Fiji supports China's proposition on South China Sea issue: ministers

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016-4-15 8:50:46

Fiji supported China's proposition on the issue of the South China Sea, said a joint press release by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Fijian counterpart Inoke Kubuabola on Wednesday.

The two sides stressed that prior consent of parties to the dispute must be sought before proceeding with any third party settlement.

Following is the full text of the press release:

On April 13th, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with visiting Foreign Minister Inoke Kubuabola of the Republic of Fiji in Beijing.

Minister Wang Yi extended sympathies to Minister Kubuabola over the recent tropical cyclone that hit Fiji. He wished the government and people of Fiji speedy reconstruction and expressed China's willingness to continue providing assistance to the Fijian side as its ability permits. Minister Kubuabola expressed his appreciation for China's timely and generous assistance and its long-term support to Fiji's development.

Both sides spoke highly of the bilateral relationship. The two sides decided to continue implementing the important agreement reached during President Xi Jinping's state visit to Fiji in November 2014 and the official visit to China by Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama in July 2015, and to deepen business, trade and eco-tech cooperation as well as people-to-people ties with a view to advancing the China-Fiji Strategic Partnership and bringing more benefits to both peoples. The two sides agreed to complete the joint feasibility study on China-Fiji Free Trade Agreement as scheduled.

Minister Wang Yi pointed out that China respects the development path independently chosen by the Fijian people. China applauds the important achievements Fiji has made in its development drive and will continue to assist Fiji to the extent possible in its effort to grow the economy and improve people's livelihood. Minister Kubuabola stated that Fiji will remain firmly committed to the one-China policy and oppose "Taiwan independence".

The two sides expressed their readiness to enhance cooperation in multilateral organizations including the United Nations, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Islands Development Forum, and will maintain close communication and coordination on the United Nations Security Council reform, sustainable development, climate change and other matters. China understands and supports Fiji's aspiration to play a greater role in international and regional affairs and attaches importance to Fiji's nomination of candidacy for the President of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly. China commends Fiji for its important role in the South Pacific and Fiji welcomes greater participation by China in the region.

Fiji supported China's proposition on the issue of the South China Sea. The two sides called on parties directly concerned to stay committed to peaceful settlement of disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests through friendly consultations and negotiations in accordance with bilateral agreements and pursuant to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. International judicial and arbitration bodies should fully respect the declaration on optional exceptions made by countries under Article 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The two sides stressed that the right of sovereign states and States Parties to UNCLOS to independently choose the means of dispute settlement shall be respected and that prior consent of parties to the dispute must be sought before proceeding with any third party settlement.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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