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Home >> China
UPDATED: 09:16, November 06, 2006
Beijing Summit adopts declaration, highlighting China-Africa strategic partnership
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The Beijing Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Sunday adopted a declaration in the Chinese capital, proclaiming establishment of "a new type of strategic partnership" between China and Africa.

The 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 at the end of the two-day gathering.

The declaration was read out by Chinese President Hu Jintao, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, followed by a group photo of the leaders attending the summit.

"We maintain that in the new era, China and Africa have common development goals and converging interests which offer a broad prospect for cooperation," the declaration said.

"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," the declaration said.

To promote the "new type of strategic partnership", the leaders pledged to take a variety of measures, including increasing high- level visits, trade cooperation and cultural exchanges and enhancing coordination in international affairs.

Trade issues were stressed. The declaration said the leaders agreed to encourage and promote two-way trade and investment and explore new modes of cooperation.

Priority will 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.

On Saturday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao proposed that China and Africa should fully tap cooperation potential and strive to bring their trade volume to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2010.

The figure will more than double the 2005 level, about 39.7 billion U.S. dollars. In the first nine months, China-Africa trade surged to 40.6 billion U.S. dollars, up 42 percent year-on-year.

Diplomatic relations between new China and Africa started 50 years ago. So far, 48 out of the 53 countries on the African continent have forged official ties with China.

At the two-day Summit, the African leaders reiterated their countries' firm commitment 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 the declaration.

China reaffirmed in the declaration that it supports the African countries' 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 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.

Leaders of China and African countries also urged developed countries to increase assistance to Africa.

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

They called on related international organizations 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, according to the declaration.

"Greater attention should be paid to the issue of development facing the least developed countries and the heavily indebted poor countries as well as the small island and landlocked countries in Africa.," the declaration said.

The leaders also called on the international community to encourage and support Africa's efforts to pursue peace and development and provide greater assistance to African countries in peaceful resolution of conflicts and post-war reconstruction, according to the declaration.

The two-day summit, which is believed to be the largest diplomatic event between China and Africa in history, has yielded fruitful results.

At the opening ceremony Saturday, President Hu announced a package of aid and assistance measures to Africa including 3 billion U.S. dollars of preferential loans in next three years and the exemption of more debt owed by poor African countries.

Early Sunday morning, the 2nd Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs concluded with 14 agreements signed between 11 Chinese enterprises and African governments and firms, worth 1.9 billion U.S. dollars in total.

The agreements cover operation in infrastructure facilities, communications, technology and equipment, energy and resources development, finance and insurance.

Aside from the declaration, the summit also adopted an action plan which mapped out China-Africa cooperation in politics, economy, international affairs and social development in the next three years.

Source: Xinhua

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