Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao stressed the importance of further strengthening and developing China-Gabon and China-Africa ties in his address to the National Assembly of Gabon on Monday.
Hu arrived in Libreville Sunday afternoon to start his three-day state visit to Gabon, the first trip to the African nation by a Chinese head of state in three decades.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Gabon. During the 30 years since 1974, Hu said, the two countries have cooperated fruitfully in various fields and become trustworthy and reliable partners. He believed that the traditional friendship and cooperation between the peoples of China and Gabon would be further strengthened and developed.
Expounding China's policy on reinforcing traditional friendshipand deepening overall cooperation with African countries, Hu said China has attached great importance to developing relations with Africa ever since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and has been providing support and assistance to the causeof national liberation and economic development in the continent.
The China-Africa Cooperation Forum, established in 2000, provides a platform for the development of Sino-Africa relations, he said. Both sides have agreed to establish a new, stable and long-term partnership of equality and mutual benefit.
He said he was impressed by the brave and diligent African people during his visit, the third he has paid to Africa, and China is happy to see Africa's economic growth and its positive roles in international affairs.
Gabon is the third leg of Hu's four-nation tour, which will also take him to Algeria. He has visited France and Egypt.
(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2004)