Xi calls for higher level China-Antigua and Barbuda co-op

Updated: 2013-06-02 13:36


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PORT OF SPAIN - President Xi Jinping on Saturday called on China and Antigua and Barbuda to push bilateral friendly cooperation to a higher level while meeting with the prime minister of the Caribbean country.

"Antigua and Barbuda is an important cooperative partner of China in the Caribbean," Xi said during talks with Baldwin Spencer, adding his country appreciates Antigua and Barbuda's precious support on issues concerning China's core interests.

Xi calls for higher level China-Antigua and Barbuda co-op

President Xi Jinping meets with Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, June 1, 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Chinese president said this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Antigua and Barbuda, and called on the two countries to use the occasion to seek even closer cooperation.

Noting Antigua and Barbuda will hold the rotating chair of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, Xi said China is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with the Caribbean country.

Xi said China values the cooperation proposals put forward by Antigua and Barbuda related to people's livelihoods and tourism, and is ready to exchange with the Caribbean nation and learn from each other on environmental protection and ecological conservation.

Xi arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Friday evening for a three-day state visit, the first by a Chinese head of state since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1974.

During his stay in Trinidad and Tobago, Xi plans to meet with a host of leaders of the Caribbean countries.

Besides Antigua and Barbuda, Xi will hold talks on Sunday with leaders of other Caribbean countries having diplomatic ties with China, including Barbados, the Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica.

Spencer, for his part, said Xi's visit to the Caribbean is of historical significance to the development of ties between the region and China.

He thanked China for its precious aid to his country and lauded the Asian nation for its efforts to develope relations with Antigua and Barbuda on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

He expressed hope the two countries can strengthen cooperation on economy, trade, culture, and multilateral issues.

He added his country wishes China to realize the Chinese dream as soon as possible, saying China's development will bring opportunities for his country and the Caribbean.

Earlier in the day, Xi held talks with Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, on expanding bilateral cooperation. Following the talks, the two countries signed a host of cooperation deals.

On the same day, the Chinese president also met with the parliament leaders of Trinidad and Tobago, calling for legislative exchanges between the two countries.

From Port of Spain, Xi will travel to Costa Rica and Mexico for state visits. He will then fly to the US state of California for a summit with his US counterpart Barack Obama on June 7-8.