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Joint Press Communique Between the People's Republic of China and the Kingdom of Tonga

Beijing, March 1 2018

At the invitation of His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, His Majesty King Tupou Ⅵ of the Kingdom of Tonga is paying a state visit to China from February 28 to March 8, 2018.

During the visit, H.M. King Tupou Ⅵ held talks with H.E. President Xi Jinping and met with H.E. Premier Li Keqiang. The two sides had in-depth discussion on further consolidating and developing the strategic partnership between China and Tonga and other issues of shared interest, and reached important consensus. H.M. King Tupou Ⅵ and his delegation visited Beijing, and will visit Zhejiang, Hainan and Guangdong.

1. Tonga warmly congratulated the Communist Party of China (CPC) on the successful conclusion of its 19th National Congress, and President Xi Jinping on his re-election as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee. Tonga wishes the Chinese people greater achievements in attaining the two centenary goals under the leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping.

China congratulated Tonga on its achievements in its national development and external cooperation since the accession of H.M. King Tupou Ⅵ. China wishes the Tongan people new accomplishments in its endeavor for better and faster development under the leadership of H.M. King Tupou Ⅵ and the Tongan government.

2. The two sides shall warmly celebrate the 20th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, commend the historic progress in the bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties, and decide to host various forms of commemorative events. Both sides reiterated their commitment to deepening practical cooperation and friendly exchanges in all sectors, and to advancing the strategic partnership of mutual respect and common development, so as to better serve the interests of both peoples.

3. The two sides agreed that countries are equals regardless of their size, strength or wealth. In the new historic era, countries need to develop friendly exchanges on the basis of mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, endeavor to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

4. The two sides reaffirmed their respect on each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, support to the independent choice of development path which suits their national conditions, and mutual understanding and support on issues concerning each other's core interests. Tonga reiterated its firm commitment to upholding the One China Policy, and recognized that there is only one China in the world, the government of the People's Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory.

5. The two sides agreed to maintain the momentum of exchanges at leadership and other levels, expand cooperation between government departments, legislatures, defense authorities and local governments, strengthen the exchange of experience in governance, and continue to enhance mutual understanding and political trust.

6. Tonga spoke highly of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by the Chinese side, and recognized that the Initiative, following the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, matches the practical needs of developing countries and provides important opportunities to the development of Tonga and other Pacific island countries. Tonga looks forward to participating in the Belt and Road cooperation to promote regional connectivity. China welcomed Tonga's participation in the practical cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and congratulated Tonga on joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

7. The two sides agreed to step up cooperation in such areas as trade and investment, agriculture and fishery, clean energy, maritime resource conservation and sustainable development. China welcomed more Tongan agricultural and fishery products that meet Chinese inspection and quarantine standards and consumer needs to enter the Chinese market, and encouraged more competitive Chinese companies with good reputation to invest in Tonga. China invited Tonga to participate in the China International Import Expo in 2018. Tonga expressed its appreciation and confirmed its participation.

8. The Chinese side expressed its readiness to further strengthen solidarity and cooperation with Tonga and provide support and assistance within its capacity to Tonga to develop its economy and improve its people's livelihood. Tonga expressed its appreciation to China for its long-term assistance and acknowledged the important role the assistance played in promoting Tonga's economic and social development, which was warmly welcomed by the Tongan people.

9. The two sides agreed to conduct various forms of people-to-people exchanges and further strengthen cooperation in such areas as culture, education, tourism, media, youth and health. The two sides agreed to support more cooperation between friendship associations, and more exchanges at non-governmental and sub-national levels, including those between China's Guangdong province and relevant Tongan islands, so as to enhance understanding and friendship between the two peoples. China will continue to help Tonga in human resources development by providing government scholarships and training opportunities in China.

10. The two sides agreed to further strengthen coordination and cooperation in the United Nations, Pacific Islands Forum and other multilateral fora, and enhance communication and collaboration on global issues including climate change and sustainable development. Both sides believed that climate change is a common challenge facing mankind, and that all countries need to work together to uphold and facilitate international cooperation in addressing climate change, ensure the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, and promote green, low-carbon and sustainable development in the world. China stands ready to enhance South-South cooperation on climate change with Tonga, in particular in practical cooperation relating to mitigation and adaptation.

Both sides believed that reforms should be conducted to enhance the authority and efficiency of the UN Security Council and increase the representation and voice of the developing countries. A package proposal should be found through full, democratic consultation and consensus-building, and that a reform proposal that is deeply divided shall not be forced ahead.

11. During the visit, the two sides signed 7 cooperation agreements, including Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and Government of the Kingdom of Tonga, Memorandum of Understanding on Human Resources Development Cooperation between the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Tonga, Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Education of the Kingdom of Tonga relating to the Cooperation in Education and etc.

12. The two sides expressed their satisfaction on the positive outcomes achieved through the state visit to China by H.M. King Tupou Ⅵ, and agreed that this visit is of great significance for deepening political trust, strengthening practical cooperation, and promoting the strategic partnership between China and Tonga. H.M. King Tupou Ⅵ expressed his appreciation to President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government and Chinese people for their warm hospitality.

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