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China, Africa witness close high-level contacts
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Since China and African countries held the Beijing summit two years ago, the two sides conducted frequent high-level exchange of visits and increasing dialogues and consultation in various forms, a senior Chinese foreign affairs official said in Beijing Thursday.

Xu Jinghu, director-general of the Department of African Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua about the upcoming sixth senior officials' meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

The meeting will be held from Oct. 18 to 19 in Cairo of Egypt.

Xu said progress had been made in implementing the results of the FOCAC Beijing summit over the last two years, including frequent exchange of high-level visits and increasing dialogues and consultations in various forms.

Chinese leaders including President Hu Jintao, top legislator Wu Bangguo and top political advisor Jia Qinglin have all visited Africa for after the summit.

Altogether 19 African presidents, vice presidents, prime ministers and speakers visited China in succession. 18 leaders including chairman of the African Union attended relevant activities of the Beijing Olympic Games as well as the opening ceremony and closing ceremony of the Beijing Paralympic Games, according to Xu.

She talked of the two sides' first political consultation at foreign minister level, which was held on the sidelines of 2007 UN assembly, starting the China-Africa long term dialogue mechanism at that level.

The legislatures, political parties, youth and women organizations and business circles of China and African countries also had increasing exchanges and cooperation, and enhanced mutual understanding.

China supports the efforts made by the African Union and sub-regional organizations to maintain regional peace and promote economic integration. China also appointed a special envoy on African affairs and actively participated in the UN peace keeping missions in Africa, Xu said.

The FOCAC is a collective dialogue and cooperation mechanism established by China and African countries in 2000.

(Xinhua News Agency October 17, 2008)

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