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FM: Hu's 8-Nation African Tour Successful
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President Hu Jintao's eight-nation African tour was successful in promoting friendly and cooperative ties between China and Africa, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said on Saturday.


Hu traveled to Africa on a mission of friendship and cooperation, marking another major event in Sino-African relations following the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) last November, Li told Chinese journalists accompanying Hu on his African trip.


The huge success of President Hu's African tour will have far-reaching consequences on future relations between China and Africa, Li said.


The trip, beginning on January 30, took President Hu to Cameroon, Liberia, Sudan, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and the Seychelles.


China seeks friendship with Africa for generations to come


Li said the China-Africa friendship was deeply-rooted and forged through years of mutual support.


It is symbolized by Tazara, a railway built to link land-locked Zambia with a port in Tanzania in the 1970s. It is reflected in the warm feelings witnessed between Chinese medical teams in Africa and their patients. It is embodied by African nations' steadfast support for the restoration of China's legal rights in the UN.


During his trip, Hu spoke widely on the Chinese people's ever-lasting friendship with the African people, said Li.


President Hu further promised that the Chinese people would never impose their ideology, social system or mode of development on other countries, or carry out any activities detrimental to the African people and their countries. These remarks met with warm applause from audiences, stated China's top diplomat.


President Hu's African tour proves the popular conviction that the China-Africa friendship will continue from one generation to the next, according to the Chinese minister.


Implementing the Beijing summit outcome for the benefit of the African people


During his visit, President Hu informed African leaders on China's implementation of the eight steps unveiled during the FOCAC Summit.


The measures will be carried out following the principles of mutual benefit, friendly consultation, high efficiency and pragmatism, the Chinese president said, adding the necessity for them to cater to the needs of the African people.


During the trip, over 50 cooperation agreements were signed, many involving methods of implementation for the FOCAC Summit outcome, Li said.


The eight steps include China's pledge to double its assistance to Africa by 2009. Specifically, China will provide US$3 billion in preferential loans and US$2 billion in preferential buyer's credits to Africa. It will also create development fund of US$5 billion aimed at bolstering Chinese investment in Africa. Debt cancellation is also among China's priorities in Africa.


Bright future for new China-Africa strategic partnership has a bright future


At the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Chinese and African leaders unanimously decided to pursue a new China-Africa strategic partnership based on political equality and common trust, mutually beneficial cooperation and cultural exchanges, Li said.


Following on from this, President Hu and African leaders laid out their joint plans for future development of China-Africa relations.


Hu proposed that China and Africa should enhance exchanges, promote common development, ramp up international affairs consultation, increase personnel exchanges, jointly safeguard the interests of developing countries and strive to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and prosperity, according to Li.


African leaders spoke highly of China's Africa policy, hailing it as "a new practice in international cooperation," and held it up as a model for international cooperation, said Li.


African leaders agreed to President Hu Jintao's proposals for developing China-Africa relations, announcing that strengthening relations with China is of strategic importance to Africa and serves the fundamental interests of its people, according to Li.


China and Africa achieved great consensus on strengthening multilateral friendly cooperation and promoting a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership, said Li.


He quoted President Hu as saying in South Africa that a new China-Africa strategic partnership was promised to a bright future, through the great efforts of both sides.


The visit achieved the goals of cementing the traditional China-Africa friendship, implementing the outcome of the Beijing summit, expanding pragmatic cooperation between China and Africa, and promoting common development, Li said, adding it marked an important chapter in the history of China-Africa relations.


(Xinhua News Agency February 12, 2007)

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