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Chinese, Cameroonian Leaders Discuss Ties, African Situation
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Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks with his Cameroonian counterpart, Paul Biya, on closer bilateral ties in Yaounde yesterday morning.


President Hu was accorded a red-carpet welcome by Biya before their talks. Hundreds of Cameroonian people sang and danced, giving the Chinese delegation a warm welcome.


During the talks, Hu exchanged views with Biya on the development of China-Cameroon ties and discussed other important issues of common concern, according to a Chinese official.


Hu proposed that China and Cameroon promote mutual trust and cooperation by intensifying communication at all levels and supporting each other on core issues.


He also suggested more efforts be made on economic cooperation that would benefit both countries, particularly in agriculture, primary products processing, infrastructure and telecommunications.


People-to-people exchange is another field that the Chinese president proposed the two sides focus on. "Communication should be strengthened in education, health, culture, sports and tourism," he told Biya.


Hu also called for enhancing multilateral coordination in an effort to safeguard the interests of developing countries.


For his part, Biya said Cameroon firmly supports China's endeavor to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.


"China is the great friend of Cameroon and Cameroon is the sincere friend of China," he said.


On economic cooperation, Biya said Cameroon has been making efforts to improve its investment environment and welcomes more Chinese enterprises to invest in his country.


The two heads of state also exchanged views on Africa's situation. "The world peace and development can not proceed without the stability and prosperity in Africa," Hu said.


Hu summed up the characteristics of the Sino-African ties as sincere friendship, equality and mutual benefit, solidarity and cooperation, and common development.


"China has never imposed its own ideology, social system and development pattern upon others, nor gained its own interest at the cost of others'," he said.


Hu said he believed that with the gradual implementation of the commitments made by China in the Beijing summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation last November, the Sino-African cooperation will usher in a new chapter at a "larger, broader and high level."


Biya said poverty and backwardness have posed threats to peace and stability in Africa and the world at large. The eight measures announced by China in the Beijing summit have "brought hope for Africa and opened a broad and bright prospect for Sino-African cooperation," he said.


After their talks, Hu and Biya witnessed the signing of eight bilateral cooperation documents covering economic and technological cooperation, health, education and telecom areas.


Later in the day, the two presidents attended a cultural gala with a performance by Chinese and Cameroonians.


On Wednesday afternoon, Hu met with Cavaye Yeguie Djibril, president of the National Assembly of Cameroon (NAC), and discussed exchanges between the two countries' legislatures.


The NAC has kept frequent contacts and friendly cooperation with China's National People's Congress (NPC), Hu said, adding that such communication enriched the contents of the bilateral exchanges.


Hu hoped that the NPC and the NAC will expand multi-facet cooperation and enhance coordination on multi-lateral occasions, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).


For his part, Cavaye spoke highly of China's Africa policy, describing it as "a new practice in international cooperation."


He said he expected more Chinese enterprises to run businesses in Cameroon and hoped to further cooperation between the NAC and the NPC.


Also on Wednesday, President Hu paid a visit to a China-sponsored hospital for children and women and the construction site of a stadium.


In recent years, the China-Cameroon relations have progressed, with political friendship enhanced, economic and trade cooperation expanded and human resources exchanges deepened.


In the first 11 months of 2006, trade volume between China and Cameroon amounted to US$338 million, a 101 percent increase on the corresponding period of the previous year.


Hu is on an eight-nation tour of Africa that will also take him to Liberia, Sudan, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Seychelles.


In a written statement issued upon his arrival at the Yaounde International Airport on Tuesday, Hu described his Africa trip as "a journey of friendship and cooperation."


He said his visit to the eight African countries is aimed at consolidating the traditional friendship between China and Africa, implementing the agreements reached at the Beijing summit last November, increasing cooperation and promoting common development.


At the Beijing Summit, leaders of China and 48 African countries agreed to establish and develop a new type of strategic partnership, featuring political equality and mutual trust, "win-win" economic cooperation and cultural exchanges.


(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2007)


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