President Hu Jintao's state visit to Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya from April 22-29 was of great significance to the development of relations between China and the four nations, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said in Nairobi on Saturday.
Li said Hu's Arab-African tour, following a visit to the United States, had achieved the desired goals of consolidating traditional friendship between China and the four nations, enhancing mutual trust and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation.
The visit ushered in a new era featuring the development of mutually beneficial relations between China and Arab, African nations and developing countries at large, Li said.
He said Hu held in-depth talks with leaders of the four nations and exchanged views with them on bilateral ties and regional and international issues of common interest.
During the tour the president made speeches on how to boost China's links with the Arab and African nations in the current climate and met entrepreneurs and students as well as public representatives, Li said.
China signed 28 accords with the four countries covering a variety of sectors including politics, security, economy and trade, energy, education, health, culture and tourism during Hu's various visits and meetings.
Strengthening of political mutual trust, promotion of bilateral relations
During the four-nation tour Hu pointed out that efforts should be made to push forward in an all-around way a new type of strategic partnership between China and Arab and African countries featuring political mutual trust, economic mutual benefit and mutual support in world affairs.
Hu said as China and the four nations were all developing countries they had common interests in safeguarding world peace, boosting common prosperity and improving their people's living standards.
China and the four countries should increase exchanges and consultations, boost mutual trust, expand pragmatic and mutually beneficial cooperation and have closer coordination in regional and international affairs, Hu said.
These opinions were echoed by the leaders of the four countries.
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz said people in his kingdom held deep appreciation for the Chinese people and their leaders and Saudi Arabia would always be a sincere and trustworthy friend to China.
Moroccan King S. M. Le Roi Mohammed VI said Hu's visit to his country had injected new vitality into the Morocco-China relations and he hoped for a continued expansion in bilateral cooperation.
Nigerian President Olusengun Obasanjo said Nigeria-China ties had got onto a track of strategic partnership and he hoped continual headway could be made.
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki said his country expected to develop better and closer ties with China.
Innovative and practical cooperation
During the visits Hu said China would work with the four nations to develop mutually complementary and win-win cooperation.
He put forward a series of proposals, including extending bilateral cooperation from the single field of trade exchanges to a greater scope covering investment and technology, undertaking contracted projects, expanding governmental cooperation to a broader range of issues involving governments, enterprises and other economic entities.
Hu also proposed increasing intelligence-related projects such as cooperation in capacity building, human resources, training and technology exchanges, promoting the development of primary product processing to realize added value, optimizing and upgrading traditional manufacturing industries, attaching great importance to facilitating local development and improving people's lives
Hu's proposals and commitments made during the visits were welcomed by the governments and business communities of the host countries.
They expected more Chinese corporate investments and cooperation in areas of infrastructure construction, agriculture, manufacturing, energy and resources.
Saudi business communities, in particular, expressed their hopes of establishing a strategic and global economic partnership with China.
Some world media outlets believe that the cooperation between China and the four nations plus other developing countries will be mutually beneficial and China's development will bring about tremendous opportunities for the economic development of the Middle East and African countries.
Bilateral exchanges and a harmonious world
Hu stressed that the Chinese, Arab and African civilizations which were among the most ancient in the history should conduct various exchanges and dialogues to deepen mutual understanding and friendship between the people, promote the development of bilateral ties and revitalize the ancient civilizations so as to make a greater contribution to mankind and the 21st century.
The president also talked about China's path of peaceful development, the opening-up strategy and the concept of building a harmonious world which helped deepen the understanding of China's domestic and foreign policies.
Speaking highly of the great achievements China had made in economic and social development the leaders of the four countries expressed their wish to learn and draw from China's successful experience.
They hoped to join hands with the Chinese people in building a better future.
Coordination and safeguarding regional peace
During his visits Hu noted that enhancing concerted coordination among the developing countries conformed to the common interests of all parties.
He said China was willing to make joint efforts with other developing countries to safeguard the principles of the United Nations (UN) Charter, strengthen consultation and cooperation within the framework of the UN and multilateral organizations and jointly defend the legal rights of the developing countries.
Hu spoke on China's position on the Middle East conflict, Iran's nuclear issue, Iraq and Sudan, noting that China considered that all actions and initiatives concerning the Middle East and the Gulf region should respect the choice of the countries and the people.
China supported the efforts of the African nations to seek unity, build national strength and to seek the settlement of African issues independently, said Hu. China also supported the leading role of the African Union in strengthening solidarity and cooperation.
During the Chinese president's four-nation Arab-Africa tour the host countries placed high value on China's status with the international arena and considered China a major force in promoting world peace and development.
They praised China for playing a constructive role in international affairs and pursuing impartial stands on relevant international issues and hoped the country would play a greater role in Middle East and African affairs.
(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2006)