Xi meets Zanzibari leader, ex-Tanzanian president

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Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday met separately with Ali Mohamed Shein, leader of Tanzania's Zanzibar, and former Tanzanian President Benjamin William Mkapa.

During his meeting with Shein, Xi noted that next year China and Tanzania will mark the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, and it will also mark the 50th anniversary since Tanganyika and Zanzibar were united into one country, the United Republic of Tanzania, in 1964.

Over time, China's friendly cooperation with Zanzibar is an important part of its relationship with Tanzania, he said.

Xi said China is happy to see all the achievements made by Zanzibar to promote its development and will continue to support Zanzibar's socio-economic progress by providing assistance within its capability.

He added that China will bolster bilateral cooperation in culture, education, health-care, infrastructure, maritime affairs, fishery and other sectors, so as to further develop its ties with Zanzibar and with Tanzania.

For his part, Shein hailed the brotherly friendship between Zanzibar and China, saying that the people of Zanzibar have always been grateful for China's precious assistance over the years.

Together with the Tanzanian government, he said, Zanzibar is committed to strengthening its friendly cooperation with China.

Shein also expressed the belief that with the help from their Chinese friends, Zanzibar will definitely make even greater progress.

In a separate meeting with Mkapa, President Xi praised the former Tanzanian president as an old friend of China, as well as an advocate and a witness of the China-Africa and China-Tanzania friendship.

Thanks to the joint efforts by generations of leaders from both countries, the China-Tanzania all-weather friendship has enjoyed constant development, said Xi.

The Chinese president believed that with concerted efforts from both sides, the bilateral comprehensive cooperative partnership based on mutual benefit and win-win results would undoubtedly move forward.

Mkapa, who served as president of Tanzania from 1995 to 2005, is currently chairman of the South Center, an intergovernmental organization of developing countries with its headquarters in Geneva.

Xi spoke highly of Mkapa's efforts as the South Center chairman in promoting South-South cooperation and increasing representation of the developing countries, adding that China is willing to continue to provide help within its capability to the South Center.

Mkapa said he has visited China many times, and could, on each visit, witness the development has China achieved, which has fortified his determination to explore a development path that fits the basic situation of his country.

He also hailed President Xi's visit to Tanzania as a new milestone in bilateral ties, which will vigorously enhance bilateral cooperation.

Mkapa promised that he would continue to contribute to the development of Tanzania-China relations and that the South Center would like to strengthen its cooperation with China.

Also on Monday, accompanied by the Tanzanian president's wife Salma Kikwete, Peng Liyuan, Xi's wife, visited the Women and Development Foundation(WAMA).

She hailed the foundation's contribution to helping women and children and donated to the foundation sewing machines, school bags and other gifts.

The foundation, which was founded by Salma, was set up to improve education and health care conditions for women and kids living in Tanzania.

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