19 January 2018

São Tomé and Príncipe: Wang Yi Summarizes China-Sao Tome and Principe Relations With Three Key Words

On January 16, 2018 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Urbino Botelho of Sao Tome and Principe jointly met the press, introducing relevant situation of his visit to Sao Tome and Principe.

Wang Yi expressed that during Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada's visit to China last April, both countries made a unanimous decision to establish a comprehensive cooperative partnership. President Xi Jinping proposed to make China-Sao Tome and Principe relations a model for cooperation between big and small countries and for South-South cooperation, which charted the general course for the development of bilateral relations. My visit here this time is to discuss with Sao Tome and Principe about how to make joint efforts toward the goals set by the leaders of both sides. Leaders of Sao Tome and Principe repeatedly reiterated that they will unswervingly stick to the one-China policy and are willing to develop long-term and stable friendly cooperation with China. The Chinese side expressed its willingness to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Sao Tome and Principe and will act as the most reliable and ideal cooperative partner in the course of the diversified economic development of Sao Tome and Principe.

Wang Yi summarized the progress achieved in the past year since the resumption of diplomatic relations between China and Sao Tome and Principe with three key words.

First, "early harvest". Since the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries a year ago, both sides have comprehensively strengthened contacts at all levels and conducted exchanges in various fields, and brought all parties together into carrying out friendly cooperation. The expert groups of power, anti-malaria, medical treatment and agriculture dispatched by the Chinese government have substantially helped the people of Sao Tome and Principe solve their difficulties and improve their livelihood with tangible results. As China's tourist groups to Sao Tome and Principe have been launched, I believe that more and more Chinese citizens will travel to Sao Tome and Principe. The Chinese side will communicate closely with Sao Tome and Principe and conduct in-depth demonstrations to ensure that every cooperation project in the future will bring tangible benefits.

Second, "curve overtaking". The cooperation between China and Sao Tome and Principe was delayed for 20 years. Both sides should speed up their efforts to make up for the lost time. Both sides could cooperate as soon as possible in Sao Tome and Principe's advantageous areas so as to elevate the cooperation level of China and Sao Tome and Principe to that of China and other African countries. Both sides have great potential and bright prospects for cooperation in the fields of fish catching and processing industry, agriculture, tourism and service industry.

Third, "advancing side by side". Since the resumption of bilateral diplomatic relations, Sao Tome and Principe has returned to the big family of China-Africa cooperation and became an official member of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries. Sao Tome and Principe can make use of these two new platforms to work with other African countries to explore new impetus and new resources for cooperation. The leaders of the country explicitly expressed their support for and participation in the "Belt and Road" construction, in the process of which, neither Africa nor Sao Tome and Principe should be absent. Leaders of the country have also expressed that they will attend at invitation the FOCAC Summit held in Beijing this September, which will be the first time that Sao Tome and Principe attends the Summit. China welcomes Sao Tome and Principe and other African countries to come together in Beijing at the scheduled time and jointly discuss the friendly cooperation between China and Africa.

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