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Beijing Summit Concludes After Two Historic Documents Adopted
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The two-day Beijing Summit of the Forum on the China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) concluded in Beijing on Sunday afternoon, after two historic documents, a declaration and an action plan for 2007-2009 period, had been adopted.

The declaration was read out by Chinese President Hu Jintao, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak following the two-day grand gathering. After the reading-out ceremony, the leaders took group photos at the Great Hall of the People.

The strategic partnership features "political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchanges, " said the declaration, which was adopted by leaders of China and 48 African countries attending the summit.

"We hold that the world today is undergoing complex and profound changes, and that the pursuit of peace, development and cooperation has become the trend of the times," said Chinese President Hu, reading out the declaration.

"We declare that the development of our friendly relations and cooperation are in accordance with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence as well as all the international principles that promote multilateralism and democracy in international relations," Hu said.

The declaration called for enhancing South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue to promote balanced, coordinated and sustainable development of the global economy to enable all countries to share its benefits and realize common development and prosperity.

On the UN reform, the declaration said that the United Nations should strengthen its role through the reform and priority should be given to increasing the representation and full participation of African countries in the UN Security Council and other UN agencies.

The declaration also said China reaffirms its support for the African countries in their efforts to strengthen themselves through unity and independently resolve African problems, supports the African regional and sub-regional organizations in their efforts to promote economic integration, and supports the African countries in implementing the "New Partnership for Africa's Development" programs.

The declaration also urged developed nations to increase assistance to African countries.

"We urge the developed countries to increase official development assistance and honor their commitments to opening market and debt relief," said Meles, while reading out the declaration.

The declaration urged the developed nations to provide more financial and technical assistance to enhance Africa's capacity in poverty and disaster reduction and prevention and control of desertification, and help Africa realize the UN Millennium Development Goals.

It also called on the international community to encourage and support Africa's efforts to pursue peace and development.

The African countries attending the high-profile Beijing Summit also reiterated in the declaration that they are firmly committed to the one-China policy.

"They (the African countries) reiterated that they adhere to the one-China policy and support China's peaceful reunification," said a declaration.

"We hold that the adherence of China, the world's largest developing country, to peaceful development and the commitment of Africa, a continent with the largest number of developing countries, to stability, development and renaissance are in themselves significant contribution to world peace and development, " the declaration said.

To further promote the China-Africa strategic partnership, the declaration said China and African countries will take a series of measures, including enhancing high-level visits and personnel exchanges, improving international cooperation and promoting cultural exchanges.

The leaders also agreed to deepen and broaden mutually beneficial cooperation, encourage and promote two-way trade and investment and explore new modes of cooperation.

Priority should be given to cooperation in agriculture, infrastructure, industry, fishing, information technology, public health and personnel training to draw on each other's strengths for the benefit of the two peoples, according to the declaration.

The leaders also promised to properly handle issues and challenges that may arise in the course of cooperation through friendly consultation in keeping with China-Africa friendship and the long-term interests of the two sides.

"We hold that the establishment of a new type of strategic partnership is both the shared desire and independent choice of China and Africa, serves our common interests, and will help enhance solidarity, mutual support and assistance and unity of the developing countries and contribute to durable peace and harmonious development in the world," said Egyptian President Mubarak, reading out the declaration.

(Xinhua News Agency November 5, 2006)

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