CHINESE PRESIDENT MEETS TONGAN PRIME MINISTER

News Release

Tonga Now
Government of Tonga
Nukualofa, Tonga
April 30
CHINESE PRESIDENT MEETS TONGAN PRIME MINISTER

On the afternoon of April 27, 2007, Chinese President Hu Jintao (left) met with Tongan Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Feleti Vaka'uta Sevele (right) at the Great Hall of the People.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs quoted Hu as saying that bilateral relations have witnessed sound and smooth development based on mutual respect, equality and reciprocity since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in the 1990s.

"Both sides have conducted frequent high-level exchanges and built up political trust and the cooperation in trade, culture, education and health has been fruitful," said Hu.

According to Hu, the two countries have also maintained coordination in international and regional multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization and Pacific Islands Forum.

"King George Tupou V has put forward the "Look East" Policy after ascending the throne, which shows that the Tongan Royal Family attaches importance to developing ties with China. China highly appreciates the policy," Hu said

Hu added that his Government also gives top priority to ties with Tonga and is ready to work with the Tongan Royal Family and Government to further strengthen high-level exchanges, expand cooperation in all areas and promote sound and steady development of friendly cooperative ties for the benefit of both countries and their peoples.

Tonga’s Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Fred Sevele, said the two countries enjoy sincere friendship and China's assistance plays an important role in Tonga's economic reconstruction.

"Tonga cherishes ties with China and has actively implemented the "Look East" Policy, he said, stressing Tonga's adherence to the one-China policy and opposition to "Taiwan independence". Tonga is ready to strengthen exchanges at all levels with China, build up understanding and friendship between the two peoples and deepen pragmatic cooperation in all areas, so as to push for continued, in-depth development of the existing friendly cooperative ties between the two countries," said Sevele.

Tonga’s Minister of Finance, Siosiua ‘Utoikmanu and Minister for Transportation, Paul Karalus as well as China’Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other officials attended the meeting.

Tonga Now, formerly operated by the Government of Tonga’s Reform Information Office, is currently operated by Kalia Media Serivces, which provides media responses and information about Tonga from the Government.

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