|Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) meets with Bhutan's Prime Minster Jigmi Y. Thinley in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 21, 2012. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
RIO DE JANEIRO, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Bhutanese counterpart, Jigmi Y. Thinley, on Thursday expressed willingness to establish formal diplomatic ties between their countries.
The two leaders met here on the sidelines of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, known as the Rio+20 summit, which started Wednesday afternoon.
Wen said China highly appreciates Bhutan's staunch support of China's position on issues concerning Taiwan and Tibet.
China, Wen said, also values the traditional friendship between the two nations and respects Bhutan's choice for its development path according to its own national conditions.
Noting that China pursues a foreign policy of good-neighborliness, Wen said China is ready to forge formal diplomatic relations with Bhutan on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
Meanwhile, Wen said, China is willing to complete border demarcation with Bhutan at an early date and strengthen exchanges in various fields so as to push bilateral ties to a higher level.
For his part, Thinley said his talks with Wen carry great historic significance as it marks the first meeting between the heads of the two governments.
The Bhutanese, he said, highly appreciate China's endeavor to safeguard the common interests of developing countries in international and regional affairs.
Bhutan firmly sticks to a one-China policy and has strong desire to strengthen understanding of and friendship with China, Thinley said.
He confirmed that Bhutan wishes to forge formal diplomatic ties with China as soon as possible.
Bhutan is willing to settle border issues with China in an cooperative manner, enhance bilateral economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and carry out close communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, said Thinley.
Premier Wen attends Rio+20, visits Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile