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China's New Leadership Values Cooperation with Africa
China's new leadership will maintain the policy of attaching great significance to developing solidarity and cooperation with African countries.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue made the remarks in Beijing Thursday at a regular press conference.

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan is scheduled to visit Mauritius, Botswana, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Italy from Jan. 16-25, his 7th African tour since taking office, to boost Sino-African cooperation and to consult with leaders on bilateral issues and other issues of common concern.

"At the beginning of the new year, the Chinese foreign minister has once again selected Africa as his destination, a clear indicator that developing friendly and cooperative ties with developing countries, including those in Africa, will remain an important component of the country's foreign policy," Zhang said.

China continues to enhance its friendly ties with the majority of African nations. The level of cooperation is constantly being upgraded and the scope gradually broadened. The China-Africa Cooperation Forum, a collective dialogue mechanism between China and African countries, is constantly moving forward, and follow-up actions are advancing.

"This fully demonstrates the strong desire of the two sides to seek greater cooperation and common prosperity in accordance with current trends," she said.

The second ministerial meeting of the forum will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at year's end, during which the ministers will discuss the strengthening of Sino-African cooperation.

Zhang said China has always attached great importance to trade and economic cooperation with African countries.

China will continue to provide economic assistance and contribute to the social and economic development of African countries, Zhang said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 10, 2003)

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