EYEAFRICA TV:Beijing, CHINA: Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday underscored the importance of one-China principle as he hosted Gambian President Adama Barrow on his first visit to China since the resumption of diplomatic relations last year. The two countries established formal diplomatic links in 1974, but China suspended relations in 1995 when Gambia resumed diplomatic with Taiwan before severing ties with in 2013.
“Upholding the one-China principle and the big picture of bilateral friendship, China and Gambia should understand and support each other on issues relating to core interests and major concerns, and be sincere friends and partners on an equal footing,” Xi said during the talks at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing. He said Gambia’s decision to resume diplomatic relations with China is a “correct choice,” which follows the trend of the times and serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples.
Delivering his statement, President Barrow said the resumption of diplomatic ties fully accords with the will of the Gambian people. He said the Gambian people respect the Chinese people, reaffirming that his country will firmly adhere to the one-China policy. Hailing the sound development of bilateral cooperation since the resumption of ties, both leaders say such cooperation has brought tangible results to both countries.
“It is a sign of support, a sign of giving confidence to our new administration,” Barrow told Xi. Expressing his gratitude to China for supporting Gambia in the 1970s, especially since the two countries resumed diplomatic relations, Barrow said his country cherishes the friendship with China and will never forget its assistance. China’s support in the areas of agriculture and health has greatly promoted the national development of Gambia and improved people’s livelihood, said Barrow, adding that he himself had received treatment by Chinese medical teams.
“Gambia stands ready to enhance cooperation in areas of the economy and trade, agriculture, electricity, infrastructure, education, tourism and people-to-people exchanges, and collaboration in international affairs”, he said. While expressing his admiration for China’s achievements, Barrow said Gambia would like to learn from China’s reform and development experience and enhance its own capacity-building. He also said that Gambia is willing to take an active part in cooperation within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa
The two presidents agreed to map out future cooperation in their talks. Xi called on both sides to have closer exchanges between governments, political parties and legislative bodies and share experience in national governance. “China attaches importance to cooperation with Gambia in agriculture, electricity and infrastructure, and is willing to enhance Gambia’s capacity for self-development and sustainable development,” Xi told Barrow. Xi proposed more exchanges in culture, education, media, youth, women, health and tourism and joint efforts to build the Confucius Institute to consolidate the popular will of friendship between the two countries. “China is willing to increase cooperation with Gambia in security and to step up communication and coordination in international and regional affairs to contribute to peace and stability in West Africa.
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