BEIJING, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday exchanged congratulations with Antigua and Barbuda's Governor-General Rodney Williams on the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Noting that Antigua and Barbuda is China's important cooperative partner in the Caribbean, Xi said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties 40 years ago, bilateral relations have been developing smoothly with ever stronger political mutual trust, fruitful practical cooperation and ever deeper friendship between the two peoples.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides have come to each other's aid and navigated through the difficulties together, writing a new chapter in the friendly relations between the two countries, Xi said.
Expressing that he attaches great importance to the development of bilateral relations, Xi said he stands ready to work with Williams to take the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties as a new starting point to deepen cooperation in various fields, promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and open up an even better future for China-Antigua and Barbuda relations.
For his part, Williams said Antigua and Barbuda is very happy to join the Chinese side in celebrating the anniversary, which is an important milestone in bilateral relations.
In recent years, under the leadership of Xi, the relationship between the two countries has grown closer, Williams said, adding that Antigua and Barbuda will continue to work to maintain and strengthen the existing sound relations between the two countries.
Also on Sunday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang exchanged congratulations with Antigua and Barbuda's Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
Li said China is willing to make joint efforts with Antigua and Barbuda to take the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries as an opportunity to promote the continuous and in-depth development of China-Antigua and Barbuda friendly cooperative relations to deliver more benefits to the people of the two countries.
Browne said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties, bilateral relations have been maturing, noting that Antigua and Barbuda has always pursued the one-China policy.
China has provided generous assistance for Antigua and Barbuda, and bilateral relations have scored many landmark achievements, Browne said, expressing his wish that China can achieve new successes in the post-COVID-19 era. ■