Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has met the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping for the first time on the margins of the APEC Summit to discuss Fiji and China's longstanding relations.
Discussions evolved around China's pivotal global development initiatives, with a specific focus on the Belt and Road Initiative designed to foster economic connectivity, trade and cultural exchange, particularly through infrastructure development, resonated with Fiji's own developmental objectives as highlighted by Prime Minister Rabuka.
Rabuka emphasised Fiji and China’s strong historical ties, underpinned by shared aspirations and common interests, fostering a comprehensive strategic partnership rooted in mutual trust and respect.
Fiji’s concessional loan with China, a joint shipyard venture to modernise Fiji’s port facilities and ongoing talks regarding the upgrade and tar sealing of approximately 80 kilometres of roads in Vanua Levu were also discussed.
Rabuka highlighted the multifaceted collaboration between Fiji and China, spanning people-to-people relations, capacity-building, and cooperation across diverse sectors such as agriculture, defense and security, education, health, trade and investment, poverty reduction, infrastructure, and climate change.
Rabuka says the Belt and Road Initiative is aligned with Fiji’s agenda on emphasising infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, financial integration and the unification of people.
He commended the initiative's potential to usher in a new era of modernisation and development.
Rabuka expressed that China's Global Security Initiative aims at constructing a diplomatic and security architecture through multilateral treaties, alliances, and institutions.
This commitment aligns with Prime Minister Rabuka's advocacy for the "Pacific as a Zone of Peace," mirroring President Jinping's vision for global security.
As the Minister responsible for Climate Change, Rabuka expressed Fiji's interest in collaborating with China on recycling initiatives, recognising the potential for economic incentives derived from China’s experience in industrial recycling processes.
President Xi Jinping acknowledged the historic meeting, affirming China's support for Fiji's development initiatives and expressing interest in funding major capital projects.
Jinping extended an invitation to Rabuka to visit China, signaling a continued strengthening of diplomatic ties between the two nations.
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