Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with President of Fiji Epeli Nailatikau in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, Aug. 17, 2014. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
NANJING, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday met with Fiji President Epeli Nailatikau, who is in east China's Nanjing to attend the opening ceremony of the second Summer Youth Olympic Games.
Calling Fiji a sincere friend and important partner of China, Xi said Fiji is an influential country in the Pacific Islands region and was the first Pacific Island country to establish diplomatic ties with China. The two established diplomatic ties in November 1975.
Development of China-Fiji relations is in the fundamental interests of both peoples and is conducive to peace, stability and development of the region, said Xi.
He wished success for the presidential election in Fiji in September and welcomed Fijian leaders to visit China to enhance mutual understanding and trust.
Xi called for more measures to facilitate personnel, economic and trade exchanges and to promote cooperation in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism, and infrastructure, including transportation and telecommunication.
He said the Peace Ark, a Chinese naval hospital ship, will soon visit Fiji and help boost friendship between the two peoples.
Nailatikau said Fiji and China respect each other and treat each other on an equal footing. Fiji appreciates China's assistance in economic development and improving living conditions, he said.
Developing ties with China is a priority as part of Fiji's "Look-North" foreign policy, the president said, adding that Fiji is willing to cooperate with China.
Fiji welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in the country and hopes for more agricultural and fishery products to enter the Chinese market, Nailatikau said.
He said Fiji supports a bigger role for China in safeguarding world peace and common development.
The Youth Olympics, a sporting event for young people aged 14 to 18 from around the world, was proposed by former IOC President Jacques Rogge. Singapore held the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010. The second Summer Youth Olympics run from Aug. 16 to Aug. 28 in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing.