Xi meets president of Trinidad and Tobago on ties

Updated: 2013-06-01 22:58


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PORT OF SPAIN - Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping met his counterpart of Trinidad and Tobago Anthony Carmona here Saturday on further cooperation between China and the Caribbean nation.

Xi arrived in Port of Spain late Friday for a state visit to Trinidad and Tobago, the first by a Chinese president since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1974.

The two presidents are expected to exchange views on the further development of bilateral ties and all-round cooperation between the two countries.

Following the meeting, Xi is scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. The two leaders will also witness the signing of cooperation deals by representatives of the two countries.

"I look forward to having in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest with President Anthony Carmona, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and other leaders of Trinidad and Tobago," Xi said in a written statement issued upon his arrival in Port of Spain Friday.

"I am confident that with our joint efforts, my visit will achieve full success and inject new and strong vitality into the growth of friendly relations between our two countries," he said.

Xi will also hold bilateral meetings in Port of Spain with the leaders of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica, all of which are Caribbean countries with diplomatic ties with China, according to Chinese officials.

Xi said that he looks forward to discussing bilateral ties with the leaders of the Caribbean countries and exploring together ways to boost cooperation.

"I believe that with the concerted efforts of all participants, these meetings will be successful and elevate the friendly relations and cooperation between China and Caribbean countries to a new level," he said.

Trinidad and Tobago is an important cooperative partner of China in the English-speaking Caribbean region.

The two countries advanced to a friendly and cooperative relationship of mutual benefit and development in 2005, with bilateral cooperation in political, economic, trade and cultural fields boosted in recent years.

Two-way trade stood at 449 million US dollars in 2012, according to official figures.

During Xi's stay in Trinidad and Tobago, the two countries are expected to sign a number of cooperative documents covering economy, trade and education, Chinese officials said.

From Port of Spain, the Chinese president will travel to Costa Rica and Mexico for state visits.

After his Latin American tour, Xi will fly to the U.S. state of California for a summit meeting with US President Barack Obama on June 7-8 at Sunnylands, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg estate in Rancho Mirage.

The China-US summit will be the first of its kind since both nations completed their most recent leadership transitions.