26 Sep 2007

Cooks PM on official visit in China

12:41 pm on 26 September 2007

The Cook Islands Prime Minister is visiting China this week to further diplomatic ties and bilateral relations.

Jim Marurai is on an official state visit at the invitation of his counterpart, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

The Cook Islands foreign affairs secretary Edwin Pittman says the Prime Minister is meeting with officials in Shanghai, Xian and Beijing.

"It's an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between ourselves and China. It is the third such visit undertaken by the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands. The first two were by the then prime minister Sir Geoffrey Henry and then Dr Robert Woonton also undertook a state visit and now Jim Marurai is doing the same."

Mr Pittman says China recently helped the Cook Islands construct the National Police Headquarters, and future projects are being discussed under the Economic and Technical Cooperation programme.

The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has thanked the Cook Islands government for its support and adherence to the one-China policy.