President Xi, PNG PM O'Neill attend Independence Boulevard handover ceremony
Updated 11:43, 19-Nov-2018
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Papua New Guinean (PNG) Prime Minister Peter O'Neill attended the handover ceremony of Independence Boulevard in the capital Port Moresby on Friday.
The six-lane road, directly linking Parliament House with Waigani Drive in the capital, was planned by PNG and built by China as a supporting project for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting taking place this week in the Pacific nation. 
It is a token of the Chinese people's hopes for the people of PNG and will contribute to the country's prosperity, Xi said at the ceremony.
He hailed the hard work of the engineers and workers involved in the road's construction.
China's construction enterprises ensured the completion of the project as scheduled with the highest standards and at the fastest speed, he said.
"I sincerely wish Papua New Guinea a full success in hosting this year's APEC meeting," he said, adding that China keeps providing assistance to the best of its ability as a friend and partner of the PNG.
The Chinese president noted that people of the two countries have both been benefiting from China-PNG relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties 42 years ago.
They have worked together to promote stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, Xi said.
He also noted that China has always been committed to strengthening cooperation with other developing countries and is willing to jointly plan and build the road of opening up, prosperity and friendship with PNG.
O'Neill expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government's long-running support and assistance, adding that the country is willing to maintain a strong partnership with China.
Xi arrived in PNG on Thursday, starting his first visit to the Pacific island nation. He will also attend the APEC meeting in Port Moresby this weekend.