Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in the Malian capital of Bamako on Thursday (local time) for his first state visit to the western African nation. The following are some facts and figures about his visit.
-- China and Mali have enjoyed healthy and steady development of bilateral ties since the two established diplomatic relations in 1960. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.
-- Two-way trade between China and Mali registered 200 million U.S. dollars in the first 10 months of 2008, 58 percent up over the same period in 2007.
-- From 1968 to 2008, China has sent more than 670 medical workers to Mali and treated about 3 million local people.
-- Mali was the second leg of President Hu's first overseas trip in 2009, which will later take him to Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius. Earlier, he visited Saudi Arabia.
-- This is Hu's second African tour since the landmark China-Africa summit in 2006 when Hu announced eight measures to promote ties with Africa, which include assistance, preferential finance, building a conference center for the African Union (AU), debt cancellation, further opening up Chinese markets to Africa, establishing trade and economic zones in Africa, and training African professionals.
-- Trade between China and African countries increased to 106.8billion U.S. dollars last year from just under 40 billion dollars in 2005, according to the Chinese Commerce Ministry.