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Thursday, March 17, 2016, 20:26

China, Gambia resume diplomatic ties

By Xinhua

China, Gambia resume diplomatic ties
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (2nd right ) and his Gambian counterpart Neneh MacDouall Gaye (2nd left ) sign a joint communique to resume diplomatic ties between the two countries, in Beijing, capital of China, March 17, 2016. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)

BEIJING - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Gambian counterpart Neneh MacDouall-Gaye signed a joint communique Thursday to resume diplomatic relations.

"The People's Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of the Gambia...have agreed and decided to resume diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level as of the date of the signing of this Joint Communique," the communique says.

The two countries also agreed to exchange ambassadors and, in accordance with the provisions of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, provide necessary assistance for the establishment of embassies and the performance of their respective duties on a reciprocal basis, it says.

According to the communique, the Chinese government supports the Gambian government in its efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and develop the economy.

The Gambian government recognizes that there is only one China in the world and that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, it says.

The Gambian government undertakes not to establish any official relations or engage in any official contact with Taiwan, it says.

The Chinese government appreciates this position of the Gambian government, it says.

During the talks between the two foreign ministers earlier on Thursday, Wang dubbed the resumption of the diplomatic ties as an "historic moment" for the two nations.

"The Chinese people always hold friendly sentiments for the Gambian people," said Wang, adding that the resumption of the ambassadorial relations reflects common aspirations and are in the fundamental interests of the two nations.

China, Gambia resume diplomatic ties
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right ) holds talks with his Gambian counterpart Neneh MacDouall Gaye in Beijing, capital of China, March 17, 2016. (Xinhua/Ding Haitao)

Wang stressed that the one-China policy is a political precondition and foundation for China to establish and develop diplomatic relations with other countries.

"We believe that the Gambian government will strictly adhere to the one-China policy and support China's undertakings for peaceful reunification," Wang said.

Wang said China stands ready to enhance mutual trust, expand cooperation and increase people-to-people exchanges with Gambia and will support the African country's efforts to play a bigger role in international and regional affairs.

Gaye said the resumption of diplomatic relations between Gambia and China is a milestone in bilateral relations.

The Gambian government and people will firmly adhere to the one-China policy, support the peaceful reunification of China and the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, she said.

Gambia is willing to be China's good friend and partner on the basis of mutual respect for each other's sovereignty, said Gaye.

An Fengshan of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office said the Chinese mainland adheres to the one-China principle and its policy of boosting peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait has not changed.

He made the remarks upon inquiry about the resumption of diplomatic relations between China and Gambia.

Also on Thursday, Gambia's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and Sinohydro, a state-owned Chinese company, have agreed on energy production that will enhance better and affordable electricity supply across Gambia.

Officials from both sides are on negotiations on how to increase energy production in the West African nation which continues to suffer from energy supply shortages.

The two countries established formal diplomatic links in 1974 but China suspended the relations in 1995 when Gambia resumed the so-called "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan.

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