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African Officials Affirm China's Aid for Development in Africa
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China's economic aid to African countries is free of political conditions and is based on African countries' priorities, political party leaders from 11 African countries said in Beijing Wednesday.


Officials from Burundi, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea, Mauritius, Niger, Rwanda, Chad, Congo, Djibouti and Togo gathered in China for a two-week seminar held by the International Department of the CPC Central Committee to discuss issues relating to the region, religion, poverty and building a harmonious society.


As a developing country, China's experiences in rapid development of its economy is of great importance for less developed African countries, Ahmed said.


China has carried out more than 800 assistance projects in Africa, ranging from railway, fabric factories, hydro-power stations, office buildings, hospitals, schools, ports and roads.


"With China's help to build a stadium, Togo's team is playing in the World Cup for the first time," said Simfeitcheou Pre, adviser to prime minister of Togo.


China helped Djibouti build a multi-functional stadium where many young people play football, which has led to a lower crime rate, said Mohamed Hassan Ahmed, central member of People's Rally for Progress, Djibouti's ruling party.


"China's aid and support do not have any political conditions and with the esteem of our sovereignty and freedom. That's why we African people always keep a friendly feeling toward China." Ahmed said.


China has reduced the debt of 31 African countries by 10.5 billion yuan (about US$1.3 billion). It also granted zero-tariff treatment on 190 categories of African export goods.


Statistics shows that trade between China and African countries increased from US$10 million in the 1950s' to nearly US$39.7 billion in 2005. African exports to China soared 10 times to US$21 billion.


Chinese direct investment to Africa has reached US$1.25 billion and more than 800 Chinese-funded companies have been established in Africa.


"Currently most of China's investment in Congo is in infrastructure, we hope there will be more investment in other fields. " said Alpnonse Gondzia, member of Cougolese Labour Party.


(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2006)

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