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Premier Zhu Meets Algerian Prime Minister
Visiting Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji yesterday told Algerian Prime Minister Ali Benflis that China was interested in expanding economic co-operation between their countries.

They then signed four agreements, covering economic and technical matters, factory construction, medicine and culture.

Zhu told Benflis that China hopes to open up new fields of co-operation with the north African country.

China and Algeria have co-operated in such areas as infrastructure construction, water conservation and public health. Since the 1960s, more than 2,200 Chinese medical professionals have worked in Algeria at one time or another.

In addition to co-operation at the governmental level, Chinese enterprises - including those in such areas as telecommunications - are showing an increasing interest in doing business with Algeria.

Zhu said he was delighted to see that some experienced Chinese enterprises had already conducted field studies in Algeria and expanded business there, according to a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman.

Exchanges between the two countries' enterprises have been regarded as an important complement to governmental co-operation and have been regarded favorably by both governments.

The Chinese spokeswoman quoted Benflis as saying that the two countries should further strengthen their trade and economic ties, and explore new ways of co-operating in the interests of their peoples.

The Chinese premier arrived in the Algerian capital Algiers on Sunday for an official visit. It was the first leg of a four-nation African tour that will also take him to Morocco, Cameroon and South Africa, where he is scheduled to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Zhu's visit to Algeria is a follow-up to the exchange of visits between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika in 1999 and 2000.

China and Algeria established diplomatic relations in 1958, and the Chinese Government appreciated Algeria's role in helping Beijing restore its legitimate seat in the United Nations in 1971. Algeria has also backed China on major issues including Taiwan and human rights.

The two leaders noted that China and Algeria have supported each other and co-operated in international affairs.

They have worked jointly to safeguard the legitimate interests of developing countries and to push for a just and rational new international political and economic order, noted Zhu.

Highlighting the mutual understanding and support between Algeria and China, Benflis said the bilateral ties were "a model" for nation-to-nation relations, according to the spokeswoman.

(China Daily August 27, 2002)

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