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African Commitment
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President Hu Jintao leaves Beijing for Cameroon today, kicking off a visit to fulfill China's promise to Africa.

A tour throughout the African continent will take him to eight African countries, five of which the Chinese president will set foot in for the first time.

Hu announced China's aid package in November when Chinese and African leaders put their heads together at the Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum. His eight-point proposal provided African countries with more assistance and preferential loans, coupled with the commitment to help the continent with more hands, expertise and training programs.

Hu's tour is telling evidence of the Chinese government's sincerity in its promise and resolution in deed.

China's African policy unveiled at the Beijing summit shows that the country will continue to attach great weight to building strong ties with Africa.

China's aid to the African continent, which enables the two sides to bring their cooperation to a higher level, will help some African countries survive and others move steadily forward.

Hu's trip will lay a solid foundation for the new strategic partnership between China and Africa. Hu will visit Cameroon, Liberia, Sudan, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Seychelles.

China has a long history of friendship with the continent. In a sense, Hu is on a trip to visit old friends, such as Zambia, the first South African country that established diplomatic relations with China.

The political dimension of China-Africa relations fares well under the principle of equality and mutual trust. This is a relationship free from sensitive issues.

Good relations have produced an interactive effect. China and the continent have exchanged frequent visits. Both President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao toured parts of Africa last year. Since 2004 more than 20 heads of state from the African continent visited China.

The constant contacts between China and the African continent are a case in point of the smooth development of the bilateral relations.

After China and Africa deliberated and redefined the nature of their future relations last year, Hu's visit will help the two sides keep the momentum of their growing ties.
(China Daily January 30, 2007)

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