Chinese President Hu Jintao left Beijing Tuesday to begin state visits to eight African countries from Jan. 30 to Feb. 10.
At the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in early November last year, President Hu said the Chinese government would take eight steps as part of the efforts to forge a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership:
The eight steps are as follows:
-- Double its 2006 assistance to Africa by 2009.
-- Provide 3 billion U.S. dollars of preferential loans and 2 billion dollars of preferential buyer's credits to Africa in the next three years.
-- Set up a China-Africa development fund which will reach 5 billion dollars to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Africa and provide support to them.
-- Build a conference center for the African Union to support African countries in their efforts to strengthen themselves through unity and support the process of African integration.
-- Cancel debt in the form of all the interest-free government loans that matured at the end of 2005 owed by the heavily indebted poor countries and the least developed countries in Africa that have diplomatic relations with China.
-- Further open up China's market to Africa by increasing from 190 to over 440 the number of export items to China receiving zero-tariff treatment from the least developed countries in Africa having diplomatic ties with China.
-- Establish three to five trade and economic cooperation zones in Africa in the next three years.
-- Over the next three years, train 15,000 African professionals; send 100 senior agricultural experts to Africa; set up 10 special agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa; build 30 hospitals in Africa and provide RMB 300 million of grant for providing artemisinin and building 30 malaria prevention and treatment centers to fight malaria in Africa; dispatch 300 youth volunteers to Africa; build 100 rural schools in Africa; and increase the number of Chinese government scholarships to African students from the current 2,000 per year to 4,000 per year by 2009.