BEIJING, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday met with Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Michael Thomas Somare.
In their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing, Hu said bilateral relations have made significant progress since both countries forged diplomatic ties in 1976, citing frequent high-level visits, deep political trust and fruitful cooperation in all fields.
Hu appreciated Papua New Guinea's unswerving adherence to the one-China policy and support on China's peaceful reunification.
Hu said Papua New Guinea was an important Pacific island country and played a crucial role in regional affairs.
Hu said his country regarded Papua New Guinea as a good friend and partner in pacific islands.
On the economic front, Hu said both countries were complementary and had a broad prospect for cooperation. He proposed both countries step up mutually-beneficial cooperation in key areas such as trade, agriculture, forestry, fishery, transportation, resources and energy.
Hu said the Chinese government encouraged and supported Chinese businesses to invest and operate in Papua New Guinea.
Somare, who was here for an official visit, said Papua New Guinea cherished its relations with China, which was a sincere and reliable partner.
Somare said his country respected China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and adhered to the one-China policy.
He thanked China for offering generous assistance to his country for many years.
He said his country would like to work more closely with China on trade, energy, resources and construction.
Somare is to visit south China's Hainan Province for the 2009 meeting of the Bo'ao Forum for Asia (BFA) from April 17 to 19.