The Cook Islands will continue to adhere to the one-China policy and actively encourage Pacific island nations to develop relations with China, said Prime Minister Jim Marurai in Beijing on Tuesday.
Marurai made the remarks when holding talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who thanked the government of the Cook Islands for its firm adherence to the one-China policy and its support for China's peaceful national reunification.
Wen also said China's policies towards the Pacific island nations are aimed at maintaining regional stability and promoting common development.
The two sides also vowed to further promote the development of bilateral relations.
Marurai said the Cook Islands highly values the friendship with China and is grateful for the long-term support and cooperation given by China to its social, economic and cultural development.
Calling the Cook Islands a friendly partner of China in the southern Pacific region, Wen said bilateral relations had witnessed smooth development for years.
Politically, the two countries share mutual respect and place each other on an equal footing, and economically, the two sides provide assistance to each other to achieve common development, Wen said.
The two countries support each other and have close coordination in handling international affairs, he added.
Wen said he hoped the two countries can take this year's tenth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to expand friendly exchanges and reciprocal cooperation in order to push forward the bilateral relations.
As for the climate change, Wen said China attaches great importance to and fully understands the concern of the developing Pacific island countries on this issue.
China is willing to continue strengthening cooperation with all sides, and make its due contributions to the tackling of climate change, he said.
Marurai is paying an official visit to China from Monday to Sunday at the invitation of his counterpart Wen Jiabao.
(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2007)