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Africa Day Marked in China

African diplomatic envoys to China held a reception in Beijing Thursday to mark the 42nd anniversary of Africa Day.

May 25, 1963, marked by the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), was a historic day for African people, said Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan while addressing the ceremony.

Tang said the birth of the African Union, which replaced the OAU in 2002, has inspired African countries in "rising to new challenges and striving for an African renaissance." The event has also brought new meaning to Africa Day, he said.

Leaders from China and African countries have kept frequent high-level visits and trade between the two sides has seen rapid growth in recent years, said Tang. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation established in 2000 has already become an effective mechanism for collective dialogues and an important platform for practical cooperation between the two sides, Tang added.

"China will always be a sincere friend of Africa," Tang said. China is ready to work with Africa to push for even greater development of the friendship and cooperation, he said.

Eleih-Elle Etian, Cameroonian Ambassador to China, said China-Africa relations have developed especially well under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

Etian, also dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in China, spoke highly of Africa-China relations, saying the two sides would double their efforts to improve cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency June 10, 2005)

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