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President Hu Starts Visit to Liberia
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President Hu Jintao arrived in Monrovia, capital of Liberia, on Thursday for a one-day state visit to the western African state.


Hu paid the visit as guest of his Liberian counterpart Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who hosted a ceremony in honor of Hu at the airport.


Hu and Johnson-Sirleaf will hold official talks to discuss ways of expanding friendly cooperation between China and Liberia.


In a written statement issued at the airport upon his arrival, the Chinese president said that Liberia is an important country in West Africa.


Committed to peace, stability and national reconciliation, reconstruction and development, the Liberian government and people follow the policy of good-neighborliness and friendship and are engaged in all-round diplomacy, making gratifying achievements, Hu said.


On bilateral ties, he said the Chinese and Liberian peoples have always enjoyed friendship. In recent years, thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, the relations have grown fast and the cooperation in various fields has completely resumed and yielded marked results.


The Liberian president paid a state visit to China and attended the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation last November. Hu described Johnson-Sirleaf's Beijing trip as "taking the bilateral ties to a new level."


In addition to the talks, Hu is scheduled to meet with other Liberian leaders. He will also unveil a malaria prevention center and inspect Chinese servicemen now serving as United Nations peacekeeping troops in Liberia.


Bilateral ties have developed well since the two countries resumed the diplomatic relations in October 2003. The two sides have forged mutual political trust, respect and support, accelerated economic and trade cooperation and maintained close coordination on international affairs.


China firmly supports Liberia's peace process and economic reconstruction and appreciates its adherence to the one-China policy.


Hu, who arrived here from Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, is on an eight-nation tour of Africa that will also take him to Sudan, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and the Seychelles.


On an earlier occasion, the Chinese president described his Africa trip as "a journey of friendship and cooperation."


He said that his current visit to African countries is aimed at consolidating the traditional friendship between China and Africa, implementing the agreements reached at the Beijing Summit, enlarging substantial 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, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchanges.


(Xinhua News Agency February 2, 2007)

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