Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Saturday that economic cooperation between China and Africa is mutually beneficial and carried out on an equal footing.
Chinese President Hu Jintao shakes hands with Zambian President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa in Lusaka, capital of Zambia on February 3, 2007.
Hu, who arrived in Lusaka earlier in the day for a state visit to Zambia, made the remarks at a banquet hosted by his Zambian counterpart Levy Patrick Mwanawasa.
Cooperation between China and African countries covers a wide range of areas, including agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, science and technology, education, health, culture, sports, tourism and human resources development, said the president.
He added that the pragmatic cooperation in all these fields "has yielded fruitful results."
Chinese investment in such areas as infrastructure in African countries is instrumental in turning their advantage in energy resources into one in development, Hu said.
Local consumers have benefited from the quality and cheap Chinese commodities, which have also helped African countries cut back on foreign exchange spending, he said.
"The basic foothold for China's economic development is to expand its own domestic demand," said Hu.
He said the Chinese government does not encourage Chinese enterprises to squeeze into other markets by solely increasing exports.
Instead, the Chinese government encourages Chinese enterprises to increase their investment in Africa, in particular in those areas which have a direct bearing on the livelihood of African people.
Chinese President Hu Jintao attends a welcoming ceremony held by his Zambian counterpart Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, upon his arrival in Lusaka, capital of Zambia on February 3, 2007.
Meanwhile, China has increased imports from Africa and taken active measures, including the reduction and exemption of tariffs on some African goods, in an effort to address some African nations' concerns about trade issues, he said.
"Facts have proven and will continue to prove that on the African people's great march toward peace and development, the Chinese people will always be their time-tested and trusted friend, partner and brother," Hu said.
The Chinese president flew into Lusaka from Khartoum, capital of Sudan.
Zambia is the fourth leg of Hu's eight-nation Africa tour, which has already taken him to Cameroon, Liberia and Sudan. He will also visit Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Seychelles.
(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2007)