Li Keqiang Meets with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister O'Neill

On September 11, 2012, Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang met with visiting Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, who was here in Yinchuan to attend the China (Ningxia) International Investment and Trade Fair and the 3rd China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum.

Li first conveyed Premier Wen Jiabao's cordial greetings to Prime Minister O'Neill. Li said that China attaches great importance to developing relations with Papua New Guinea and has always deemed it as a sincere and reliable friend and partner. In recent years, the China-Papua New Guinea relations in economic, trade and other fields have shown a good momentum of development and the two economies are highly complementary to each other. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Papua New Guinea in agriculture, energy resources, infrastructure and other fields to achieve a win-win situation. The two countries, both developing nations in the Asia-Pacific region, have maintained sound coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues and are both committed to maintaining peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.

Li stressed that the Japanese government's deal to "purchase" the Diaoyu Islands from the so-called "owner" severely undermines China's territorial sovereignty. "The Chinese side has lodged solemn representations and strong protest to the Japanese government," Li said. The Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islets have been an inherent part of China's territory since ancient times, and China has indisputable sovereignty over them, Li said. Highlighting China's firm resolution and will to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, the vice premier vowed "we will maintain our sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands resolutely." "Both China and Papua New Guinea were victims to the Japanese fascist invasion back in the Second World War," Li reminded his visitor, adding that Japan's position today on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands is an outright denial of the outcomes of victory in the war against fascism and constitutes a grave challenge to the post-war international order. No nation or people who are peace-loving and justice-upholding will tolerate Japan's stance, according to Li.

O'Neill thanked for the Chinese government's long-term support for the development in Papua New Guinea. He said Papua New Guinea and China have similar historical experiences. He noted that Papua New Guinea understands China's position and that Japan's move cannot be accepted by the international community. The international community should work together to defend the post-war world order, O'Neill added.