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China Pledges Enhanced Cooperation with Benin
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President Hu Jintao said in Beijing on Monday that China was ready to enhance exchanges and cooperation with the Republic of Benin to improve bilateral friendship.

China and Benin have enjoyed healthy and stable relations since resuming diplomatic ties 34 years ago. "We are satisfied with it," Hu said during talks with visiting President Thomas Boni Yayi.

Hu expressed his appreciation for Benin's adherence to the one-China policy and for its friendly cooperation with China.

"China will increase mutually-beneficial cooperation with Benin such fields as agriculture, infrastructure projects, telecommunications and energy," Hu said.

China would expand economic and trade cooperation with Benin, and encourage companies to take an active part in Benin's economic progress.

Hu said the two governments, legislative bodies and political parties should increase friendly exchanges and deepen mutual understanding and trust.

The two foreign ministries should consult widely and the two nations should continue supporting each other on major issues of sovereignty and territorial integrity, Hu said.

China would help Benin in personnel training, and continue to send medical teams there.

Hu said China would work with Benin to safeguard the legitimate interests of developing countries in such issues as development and poverty reduction, UN reform and setting rules for multilateral trade.

Yayi said Benin regarded China as an important cooperative partner, and would increase cooperation in fields such as agriculture, transport, infrastructure construction, resources, energy, education and personnel training, and enhance coordination in international affairs.

Yayi expressed his appreciation for China's help to Benin and other African nations, saying that he was looking forward to attending the China-Africa Cooperation Forum summit in Beijing in November.

Benin would firmly stick to the one-China policy, he added.

Yayi arrived in Beijing on Sunday on a seven-day state visit as Hu's guest.

Since 1972, China has provided US$200 million worth of aid to Benin, a West African coastal country, offering human resource training programs, helping to develop fisheries, agriculture and industry and improve infrastructure.

Figures from the General Administration of Customs show that Sino-Beninese trade was valued at US$1.09 billion last year, up 58.65 percent year-on-year.

(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2006)

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