Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Monday held talks with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape, who is in Beijing to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and pay an official visit to China.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 47 years ago, China-Papua New Guinea relations have developed rapidly and are at the forefront of development and cooperation between China and Pacific island countries, Li said.

China is ready to continue to consolidate mutual political trust with Papua New Guinea, further synergise development strategies and expand cooperation in infrastructure, special economic zones, and processing industries involving agriculture, forestry and fishery, he noted.

Li said efforts will be made to achieve more practical results within the framework of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, which will play an exemplary role in the Belt and Road cooperation between China and Pacific island countries.

China is willing to work with Papua New Guinea for the early convening of a new round of joint economic and trade committee meeting and accelerate a joint feasibility study on a bilateral free trade pact, Li said.

The two sides should deepen South-South cooperation on climate change and jointly promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world, he added.

Lauding China for its role in leading the development of countries in the Global South and as an important partner of Papua New Guinea, Marape said his country is willing to actively participate in Belt and Road cooperation to promote the continuous development of bilateral ties.

After the talks, Li and Marape witnessed the signing of multiple bilateral cooperation documents on Belt and Road cooperation, the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, economy, energy, education, climate change adaptation and sustainable development.