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Egypt's Veteran Diplomat: 2006 Is Harvest Year for China's Diplomacy
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Abdel Raouf el-Reedy, a veteran Egyptian diplomat in his 70s, has said that 2006 was a harvest year for China's diplomacy measured by all standards.

"China has achieved some very important successes on the diplomatic front," said Reedy, chairman of the Egyptian Council of Foreign Affairs and former Egyptian Ambassador to the United States, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Reedy said that the most important success for China in 2006 was the hosting of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) on Nov. 3-5, which was attended by Chinese President Hu Jintao and over 30 African leaders.

Apart from the summit, Reedy said that there were other significant events for China, including President Hu's four-nation tour in late November including India and Pakistan, a visit by new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in October, the hosting of a China-ASEAN summit and resumption of the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, among others.

China has been playing an increasingly important role in international affairs, particularly regional ones, said Reedy.

"China's foreign policies have successfully conveyed to the world an image of (seeking) development, cooperation, peaceful coexistence and a harmonious world, instead of military confrontation," he said.

Reedy was referring to the vision of building a "harmonious world," which was first announced by Hu in September 2005 when he delivered a speech at a summit on the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the UN in New York.

In his speech, Hu said multilateralism, mutually beneficial cooperation and the spirit of inclusiveness should be upheld in realizing common security and prosperity and in building a harmonious world.

"It is a very important vision and it comes in accordance with the UN Charter and the principle of peaceful coexistence. (it is) the answer to many conflicts in today's world," Reedy said.

He said the vision was to seek to build cooperative and peaceful relations between nations and eliminate military occupation, adding under the vision, neither would there be military intervention or military occupation and wars like the Iraqi war in 2003.

Terming the Sino-African relations as "very good," he said that the FOCAC Beijing Summit has given a strong impetus to the further development of African-Chinese relations, which started 50 years ago when Egypt became the first African nation to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China.

African nations, including Egypt, spoke highly of the FOCAC summit as an opportunity to deepen brotherly relations between China and Africa, Reedy said, adding that Chinese and African leaders reached consensus and signed many agreements at the summit.

He also lauded a package of assistance, investment, trade and other key cooperation projects with Africa, which was announced by Hu at the summit.

Reedy expressed hope that China should make sure that once those agreements and measures are implemented, benefits could be reached out to the African civil society.

Reedy also dismissed accusations that China is the so-called neo-colonist in Africa, saying such a theory is completely wrong.

"China respects Africa and China always emphasizes equality and mutual benefit in terms of African-Chinese economic cooperation," he said, adding that African countries have gained benefit from trade and economic cooperation with China.

Nowadays, African countries see China as a model for economic development, as most African countries are facing many challenges in economic growth, Reedy said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2006)

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