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Kiribati signs multiple deals to work more closely with China, govt says

Monday 30 May 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Kiribati, Regional

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Kiribati signs multiple deals to work more closely with China, govt says
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Kiribati President Taneti Maamau at their meeting. Photo: Supplied / China Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Kiribati formalised up to 10 agreements with China "to further elevate cooperation" between the two countries following Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to the island last Friday.

According to the Kiribati government, the deals focus on several areas, including cooperation on the Belt and Road initiative, economic and infrastructure development, livelihood projects, climate change, disaster risk reduction, tourism, protocols on dispatching medical teams, marine transportation and Covid-19 medical supplies.

In a statement, the Kiribati government confirmed discussions with Mr Wang focused on both governments' "aspirations for a mutual sustainable development".

President Taneti Maamau said Mr Wang's visit to Tarawa amid the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated China's commitment to enhancing mutual trust, building consensus, expanding cooperation, and deepening friendship with his country.

The government said Mr Wang's visit was "an important milestone" between Beijing and Tarawa to boost their diplomatic relations.

It added that the trip has also allowed Kiribati to reaffirm its commitment to the One-China principle.