The Fourth Senior Officials Meeting of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum concluded in Beijing Tuesday and African delegates said that they hope to improve cooperation with China, especially by enhancing trade and economic ties.
State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan told African delegation heads that China has proposed to promote the third ministerial meeting of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum in 2006 to a summit meeting.
"China will listen to African leaders' comments on the proposal and we believe it will be a success," Tang said during the closing ceremony of the two-day meeting.
"China will stick to the road of peaceful development. We seek harmony and development in domestic affairs while promoting cooperation and safeguarding peace in external relations," Tang said.
Wei Jianguo, co-chair of the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the forum and vice minister of commerce, said at the closing ceremony that the forum has become a platform of China and Africa for enhancing dialogue and promoting cooperation for common development.
Eleih-Elle Etian, dean of the African diplomatic corps to China and Cameroonian ambassador, said on behalf of the African delegations that they welcome China's proposal to hold an Africa-China summit.
China fulfilled its commitment to cooperation with Africa under the framework of the forum, he said, hoping that China increases investment in Africa and expands trade with Africa.
He also reiterated most African countries' support of the one-China policy.
Alfred Nkurunziza, Burundian ambassador to China, said African countries have carried out fruitful cooperation with China, which is "useful and helpful."
He appreciated China's support to Africa in the fields of health care, agriculture and education, saying Burundi hopes for more cooperation with China.
Felix Ngoma, director of Asia-Oceania of the Congolese Foreign Ministry, said Chinese companies invested mostly in construction and sanitation, and have built many large structures in Congo, such as broadcasting and television buildings, dams, hydropower stations and hospitals.
"It is our hope to extend the trade and economic ties to more fields, such as manufacturing, regarding Africa's rich resources and market access to other countries," he said.
However, direct investment from China's private sector is still far from expected, Felix said.
"We hope Chinese business people will invest more and establish joint ventures with African companies," said a delegate from Equatorial Guinea. "So we can learn new techniques and borrow experiences from our Chinese partners."
George Monyemangene, a senior official with South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry, also noted that cooperation with China in exploring natural resources has great potential.
Delegations from 46 African countries and observers from six African regional organizations attended the two-day senior officials meeting in Beijing.
(Xinhua News Agency August 24, 2005)