Chinese President Hu Jintao on Saturday held separate meetings with presidents of three African countries on the sidelines of the Beijing Summit, the largest diplomatic event ever held between China and Africa.
The meetings between Hu and Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Mali President Amadou Toumany Toure and Ethiopia President Girma Wolde Giorgis were held after a grand opening ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in the morning, where Hu and 41 heads of state or government and senior officials of 48 African countries gathered.
With smiles and handshakes, Hu welcomed and thanked the leaders for their participation in the summit.
He told the leaders that he believed that the two-day summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will further strengthen the China-Africa friendly cooperative ties.
While addressing the opening ceremony, Hu announced eight new actions to assist Africa, including doubling 2006 assistance to Africa by 2009, 3 billion U.S. dollars of preferential loans in next three years and the exemption of more debt owed by poor African countries.
The three African leaders said Hu's speech in the morning demonstrated Chinese government's and its people's determination to further China-Africa cooperation.
The African leaders also reiterated their countries' firm stance on the one-China policy, saying there is only one China in the world and they wish China realize national reunification at an early date.
The summit is expected to pass a Beijing declaration and an action plan for 2007-2009.