A number of other Pacific leaders will join the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, for talks with the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, during his historic visit to Fiji at the end of next week.

President Xi arrives in Nadi with a large Chinese delegation on Friday November 21st to begin the first ever visit to Fiji or the Pacific by any Chinese leader.

The regional guest list is still being finalised but will include the Heads of State or Heads of Government of a number of Pacific countries. President Xi will hold a collective meeting with these leaders as well as a number of bilateral encounters.

A centerpiece of the visit will be talks between the Chinese leader and the Fijian Prime Minister, who is hosting the first State visit by a foreign leader since the election in September. The two men are due to sign a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) on subjects that are still to be announced.

The Prime Minister said Fiji was greatly honoured by President Xi’s visit. “ China is a great friend of Fiji’s and while our formal relationship stretches back to 1975, it’s the first time we have been able to host a Chinese leader here. It’s a clear sign both of the deep ties we have developed and the importance that China places on Fiji’s leadership in the Pacific”, the PM said.

The Prime Minister said he was also looking forward to hosting other Pacific leaders in Fiji and giving them the opportunity to meet the President. “ As the second biggest economy in the world, China is increasingly important for the entire region and especially our own economies. We very much welcome its desire to engage more fully with us and these meetings will take our ties to a new level”, he said.

The Chinese President’s two day visit to Fiji – centred on Denarau – includes full ceremonial and traditional welcomes and State Banquets hosted by both the Fijian President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, and President Xi.