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China Pledges Support for African Development
China will cooperate with African countries to help bring to fruition their plan of developing new partnerships.

Visiting President Jiang Zemin yesterday reiterated China's set policy of developing sound relations with African countries in his meeting with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The plan, formulated in the last summit meeting of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), aims to promote the common development of the African countries, including strategies to attract foreign investment and develop economic cooperation with other countries.

Jiang expressed his strong approval of the strategy, saying it is an important step in promoting peace and prosperity in Africa.

Obasanjo expressed his thanks for China's support, noting that Nigeria is willing to further cooperation with China.

On bilateral relations, both leaders expressed satisfaction over the economic and trade cooperation between the two sides.

Jiang said that Nigeria has become one of China's most important economic and trade partners in Africa and Chinese enterprises also show strong interest in mutually beneficial cooperative undertakings with Nigeria.

According to official statistics, two-way trade volume between the two countries exceeded US$1.1 billion in 2001, setting a new record.

The two sides are actively exploring cooperation in energy, water conservancy, telecommunications and other fields. The Chinese government encourages and supports Chinese enterprises and companies in their investments in Nigeria.

Jiang yesterday also said that the Chinese government has decided to provide Nigeria with aid to support some joint projects the two sides might undertake.

Obasanjo suggested using Chinese aid to improve the medical facilities for Nigerian children.

Obasanjo said that the two countries complement each other in economic development and share bright prospects, especially in the fields of agriculture, telecommunications and mining.

In addition to economic cooperation, Jiang also pointed out that there is great potential for cooperation between the two countries in all fields.

He expressed appreciation and thanks to the Nigerian government for its support of China's human rights policies.

Jiang said that China and Nigeria, two of the world's populous developing countries, share extensive interests in safeguarding developing countries' rights and should further enhance their bilateral cooperation in order to advance common prosperity around the world.

(China Daily April 16, 2002)

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