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China to make efforts for friendship, cooperation with Cook Islands(30/04/2004)

The Chinese side will strengthen exchanges, friendship and cooperation with the Cook Islands and continue to make efforts for the steady development of long-term friendship and cooperation with the country, said Chinese President Hu Jintao Thursday at a meeting with visiting Prime Minister Robert Woonton of the Cook Islands who is a guest of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Hu said it is the common goal of the two countries to further bilateral friendship and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and reciprocity.

Hu pointed to the remarkable results of bilateral exchanges and cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, agriculture and culture in recent years thanks to efforts from both sides, as well as the sound communication and coordination between the two countries in international and regional affairs.

China appreciates the Cook Islands government's one-China policy and support for China's just position on the Taiwan issue, noted Hu.

Woonton said the government and people of the Cook Islands willfirmly pursue a one-China policy and support China's just stance on the Taiwan issue.

He said the Cook Islands will take active measures and substantiate the consensus reached between leaders of the two countries so as to continuously push forward the development of bilateral relations.

Before that, Premier Wen Jiabao talked with Prime Minister Robert Woonton on Wednesday.

Premier Wen set forth a four-point proposal, which is to enhance governmental and non-government contact, to safeguard the common interests of the two countries, to explore more areas for cooperation on agriculture, fishery, and tourism, and to keep closer consultations and coordination in dealing with south-Pacific affairs.

Wen said that China and the Cook Islands have advocated that all nations, big or small, are equal since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1997.

Wen said that the leaders of the two countries have maintained contact, and mutual understanding and friendship have been increasingly promoted, and the two countries have also gained mutual benefit through trade cooperation.

China has provided the Cook Islands with assistance within its capacity and gained economic and social benefit from it, he said.

Wen expressed appreciation for the commitment of the Cook Islands to one-China policy.

On China's policy towards the South-Pacific region, Wen said that China supports the south-Pacific island countries' reasonable concern on sustainable development, globalization, and nuclear wastes transportation.

He also said that China is ready to enhance friendly relations with all south-Pacific nations including the Cook Islands, and the organizations in this region, and will make joint efforts to develop the regional economy, safeguard peace and protect resources of the region.

Prime Minister Woonton said he is deeply touched by China's equal treatment to such a small country as the Cook Islands. The two countries and their people have supported each other and kept close cooperation since the Cook Islands forged diplomatic ties with China seven years ago.

He reaffirmed that the government of the Cook Islands adheres to the one-China policy, and will continue to work for the friendly and cooperative relations with China.

After the talks, the two sides signed an economic and technological cooperation agreement.Enditem

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