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China and Africa to Consolidate Links
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To consolidate bilateral ties in the wake of the two-day Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation top Chinese and visiting African leaders met yesterday.


Chinese President Hu Jintao met South African President Thabo Mbeki and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika separately. They attended the Beijing summit before beginning state visits.


Hu and Mbeki agreed that the two countries would work together to promote the development of a new China-Africa strategic partnership and enhance coordination and collaboration in international affairs.


The development of bilateral relations had been comprehensive and rapid since the two countries established diplomatic ties nine years ago, Hu said. The two presidents reached consensus on a long-term and stable strategic partnership on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and common development.


Hu made four proposals to that effect:-The two sides enhance political trust and strategic consultation and maintain high-level contacts. Based on complementary strengths they raise trade and economic cooperation to new heights. Increase diplomatic consultation and enhance coordination and collaboration. Increase personnel and cultural exchanges.


Hu also voiced appreciation for South Africa's adherence to the one-China policy and active support for reunification.


Mbeki said South Africa welcomed Chinese enterprises to bid for the construction of stadiums for the 2010 World Cup in his country.


Hu and his Algerian counterpart Bouteflika signed a statement on developing strategic cooperative relations after their talks and witnessed the signing of seven other agreements. They included an extradition treaty and agreements on criminal judicial assistance, bilateral economic and technological cooperation and civil aviation.


Hu said the two countries should enhance political friendship and deepen cooperation especially in infrastructure construction, communications and telecommunication sectors.


The two should expand their exchanges in public health, science and technology, culture, tourism and human resources training, said Hu. He noted that Algeria had been designated an approved destination for Chinese tour groups.


Bouteflika explained that Algeria sought strategic cooperation with China in the investment, trade, agriculture, water conservancy, culture, and science and technology sectors.


Hu also separately met Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi, Togo President Faure Gnassingbe, Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Nigerian President Mamadou Tandja.


The leaders all expressed their appreciation for the China-African summit which they believed reflected China's genuine friendship and would bring benefits to African people.


High-ranking Chinese leaders, including top legislator Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and chairman of the country's top political advisory body Jia Qinglin, also met a number of African leaders yesterday.


Premier Wen said China understood the concerns of African countries on textile trade and was making unremitting efforts to ensure the balanced development of the industry throughout the world.


(China Daily November 7, 2006)

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