BEIJING, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- China and Suriname on Wednesday decided to upgrade their relationship to a strategic partnership of cooperation.
The announcement came as Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Surinamese President Desire Bouterse at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
During the talks, Xi said Suriname is one of the first Caribbean countries to establish diplomatic relations with China. The relations can be considered a model of friendly relations and equal treatment between countries of different sizes.
The development of bilateral ties is in an important historical period, and China is willing to work with Suriname to take the opportunity of the Belt and Road cooperation to uplift the ties to new heights, said Xi.
Xi stressed that the two countries should maintain support on issues involving each other's core interests and major concerns.
Xi called on the two sides to deepen cooperation in areas such as infrastructure construction, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, communications and energy, and explore cooperation in new areas such as new energy, digital economy, tourism and ocean economy.
"China encourages more capable Chinese companies to invest in Suriname," said Xi.
Noting that Suriname is one of the countries with the largest overseas Chinese population in the Caribbean area, Xi said it is necessary to promote cultural exchanges, facilitate personnel exchanges and strengthen cooperation in areas such as education and law enforcement. China will also send a medical expert panel to Suriname.
The two sides should maintain communication and coordination on global issues, practice multilateralism, build an open world economy and safeguard the common interests of both countries and all developing countries, said Xi.
China is willing to continue to speak out from a sense of justice for Suriname on multilateral occasions and work together with the international community including Suriname to constructively participate in the multilateral process on global climate issues, he said.
Xi added that China has always respected the right of Latin American people to choose their own development path and supported the process of Latin American integration and the handling of regional issues through dialogue and consultation.
China is willing to work with Latin America to promote the construction of the Belt and Road and deepen China-Latin America cooperation by the principles of equal treatment and mutual benefit, said Xi.
Bouterse extended congratulations on the 70th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China, and said under Xi's leadership, socialism with Chinese characteristics will be a success and will bring benefits to the Chinese people and people around the world.
Underscoring the historic and political significance of his visit, Bouterse said Suriname will firmly uphold the one-China principle and support China's national reunification.
He said Suriname is grateful for China's help in his country's economic and social development, and ready to work with China to enhance exchanges at all levels, cement political mutual trust, expand economic and trade cooperation, deepen people-to-people exchanges and take the joint construction of the Belt and Road as an opportunity to upgrade bilateral strategic relations.
Suriname stands ready to work with China to safeguard multilateralism, international law and basic norms of international relations, Bouterse said.
After the meeting, Xi and Bouterse witnessed the signing of several cooperation documents.