30 May 2013

China ready to step up links with Pacific region

1:52 pm on 30 May 2013

China's president Xi Jin Ping says China is ready to step up its links with Pacific Island countries.

He was speaking during a meeting in Beijing with the leader of the Fiji regime, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Sally Round reports.

"Mr Xi says China treasures its friendship with Fiji and it's ready to strengthen ties not only with Fiji but other Pacific Island nations. He says the Asia Pacific region can't achieve as a whole without the development of Pacific Island countries."

China's Xinhua news agency reports Commodore Bainimarama is the first Pacific Island leader to visit China since its new leadership came to power. The Fiji regime leader also met China's Premier Li Keqiang who called for deals with Suva on fishing, visa exemptions and cultural exchanges and wants to see more Chinese businesses investing in Fiji. China's also called for stronger links on agriculture, minerals, telecommunications and infrastructure and it's stressed its support on issues of energy security, climate change and protecting sea resources. Commodore Bainimarama also updated the leaders on moves towards elections next year.