President Xi confirmed his attendance during bilateral talks with Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minster, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, in Beijing last Thursday as part of the Prime Minister’s Official Visit to China. During the high level discussion, President Xi expressed his support for more Chinese tourists to visit Papua New Guinea, and the two leaders discussed regional political issues. The Prime Minister said having the President of China confirm his attendance for the APEC Summit on 17-18 November in 2018 is a great endorsement for Papua New Guinea’s planning. “The President of China is the first to confirm that he will attend the APEC Papua New Guinea 2018 Leaders’ Summit and we look forward to his arrival in Port Moresby,” the Prime Minister said following the meeting. “There is a busy schedule of events around the time of our Summit, including ASEAN and G20 summits, so I thank President Xi for his commitment.”
During bilateral discussions, Prime Minister O’Neill and President Xi discussed a range of issues of consequence for both countries and the region. “President Xi has been very supportive of Papua New Guinea and has made it clear that the Chinese Government will continue to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Papua New Guinea,” PM O’Neill said. “President Xi said he is supportive of working to strengthen our industrial and manufacturing sector, and to increase exports from Papua New Guinea into China.” PM O’Neill said one of the very positive points to come from the discussion with President Xi is his support for more Chinese tourists to visit Papua New Guinea. “In Beijing, both countries signed an air services agreement that will pave the way for us to soon initiate direct flights between our countries. “As part of this President Xi said he wants to encourage more tourists from China to visit our country to see the amazing landscape and people of Papua New Guinea. “President Xi said his Government will promote Papua New Guinea as a tourist destination and this is a sound endorsement. “There were more than 100 million outbound visits from China last year, and to capture even a slight fraction of that market would be a great boost to our tourism industry. “Soon Papua New Guinea will issue tourist visas on arrival for all Chinese citizens and this will make visits even easier. “Talks will be ongoing in relation to technical issues that make Papua New Guinea an even more attractive destination for Chinese travelers.” In discussion on political matters the two leaders shared views on current issues in the South China Sea, UN reform and overall bilateral relations. “Papua New Guinea has been following issues relating to the South China Sea between China and partners in the region. “We are not a party to those discussions but we have bilateral relations with all relevant countries. “Our country encourages peaceful dialogue between the parties with a desire that these issues are resolved in a peaceful manner. “On issues relating to the United Nations it is our view that the current UN model must evolve with the needs and views of the global community.
“We must reform UN structures and processes, and reduce wastage in the UN system.” On the issue of diplomatic engagement with China, the Prime Minister said the relationship has been lifted to a new level. “Our Government maintains a very strong commitment to our One China Policy and this policy will remain in place. “Our relationship continues to grow and has reached a higher level of understanding following the signing of the Strategic Partnership of Mutual Cooperation and Development last week in Beijing with the Premier of China, H.E. Li Keqiang. “In October we celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations. The Chinese Government plans long term, as we must also, so we must continue to make concrete plans on what we will achieve over the next 40 years.” The delegation accompanying the Prime Minister on the Official Visit included Hon. Sir Peter Ipatas, Governor of Enga Province, Hon. Patrick Pruaitch, Minister for Treasury, Hon. Francis Awesa, Minister for Works & Implementation and a number of Papua New Guinea and Chinese business leaders.