Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Wednesday in Beijing, with both sides agreeing to expand exchanges and cooperation.

During the meeting, Li said the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the Solomon Islands opens a new chapter of the bilateral relations, and serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples. It will promote the common development of both countries and help countries in the region to maintain stability and realize common prosperity, said Li.

China has always held that all countries should be treated equally regardless of their sizes. China supports the Solomon Islands government’s efforts to develop the economy and improve people’s livelihood, said Li.

Noting that China is the largest trading partner and export market of the Solomon Islands, Li said the two countries enjoy broad prospects of cooperation in the fields including fishery, forestry and mining.

Li called on the two countries to enhance synergy of development strategies, and said China agrees to designate the Solomon Islands as a destination for Chinese group tourists.

China supports the Solomon Islands to host the 2023 Pacific Games and welcomes the Solomon Islands to attend the third China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum, Li said

Sogavare extended congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. He said the Solomon Islands is pleased to stand on the right side of history and establish diplomatic relations with China based on the one-China principle, noting that the Solomon Islands is willing to promote cooperation with China in various fields.

After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of multiple bilateral cooperation documents.

Prior to the talks, Li held a welcome ceremony for Sogavare at the Great Hall of the People.

Sogavare laid a wreath at the Monument to the People’s Heroes at Tian’anmen Square on Tuesday afternoon.