Graphics: A quick look at China-Papua New Guinea ties
Updated 09:50, 18-Nov-2018
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to pay a state visit to Papua New Guinea (PNG) from Thursday to Friday and it will be the first time for a Chinese head of state to visit PNG since the two sides established diplomatic relations in 1976.
As President Xi noted in his signed article published in PNG's newspapers ahead of his state visit, the relationship between the two countries "has stood the test of changing international circumstances and stayed as strong as ever."
In recent years, bilateral ties have also entered a new stage of rapid growth.
PNG is China's largest trading partner in the region. Official data showed bilateral trade in 2017 amounted to 2.83 billion US dollars, up 24.4 percent year on year, with a surplus on the PNG side.
Meanwhile, China is the biggest foreign investor and project contractor in this country with an estimated 3.04 billion US dollars in direct investment as of October 2018.
Xue Bing, China's ambassador to PNG, said that about 40 Chinese companies are now operating in the country, creating a large number of local jobs.
In the first half of this year, PNG officially joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and became the first Pacific island state to sign a memorandum of understanding with China on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation.
The two countries have also witnessed increasingly close people-to-people exchanges and growing military, law enforcement and inter-party ties, Xue said, citing the visits in 2014 and 2018 by the Chinese naval hospital ship Peace Ark on medical service missions.