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Chinese president vows to enhance ties with Africa
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08:13, February 17, 2009

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Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday called on China and Africa to enhance mutual trust and political, economic and trade ties.

China is ready to have closer high-level exchanges with African countries and strengthen strategic dialogue through various consultation mechanisms, Hu said in a key-note speech at a welcoming rally attended by people from various sectors.

China firmly supported the efforts of African countries, the African Union (AU) and other regional organizations to safeguard state sovereignty and independently resolve African issues, Hu said.

China will continue to be actively involved in UN peacekeeping operations in Africa and play a constructive role in women, non-governmental groups, media organizations, and academic institutions of the two sides, and enhance human resources operation, he said.

Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao addresses a welcoming rally attended by people from various sectors in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Feb. 16, 2009. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

The president also pledged to strengthen coordination with Africa in international affairs.

China will intensify cooperation with African countries in the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and other multilateral institutions, and jointly address such global issues as climate change, food security, poverty reduction and development, he said.

China appreciates Africa's desire to increase its representation and voice in reforming the global financial system and supports the AU's participation in the upcoming G20 financial summit in April in London.

The president also noted that China was ready to enhance coordination with Africa in jointly promoting the development of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

China is ready to strengthen institutional building of the forum and bring into full play its role of giving political guidance to the overall China-Africa relations, he said.

Speaking highly of the relationship between China and Tanzania, Hu said China-Tanzania relationship has become "a model for both China-Africa and South-South cooperation."

In recent years, under the leadership of President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Tanzania has worked hard with "New Zeal, New Vigor, and New Speed" to boost its economy, improve the well-being of its people, maintain political stability and play an important role in African and international affairs, Hu said.

China rejoices at the achievements of Tanzania, a country he said is renowned as the "oasis of peace" in Africa.

As for the friendship between the two countries, Hu quoted an old Chinese saying: "Nothing can separate people with common goals and ideals, not even mountains and seas."

The Chinese government has decided to invite 50 students from Tanzania to visit China within this year as part of the efforts to promote exchanges between the young people of the two countries, Hu said.

As for the ongoing global financial storm, Hu called on China and Africa to strengthen solidarity and mutual assistance to jointly tide over the crisis.

"We know fully well the difficulties we face at home; we are also keenly aware of the difficulties faced by our African friends," Hu said.

The president pledged to "earnestly follow through" on the eight measures announced at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2006, which include massive tariff cuts, debt exemptions, and doubling aid to Africa over a three-year period, among others.

"It is heartening to see that the implementation of these measures is well under way," said the Chinese president, who paying his second visit to Africa since the landmark China-Africa summit in 2006.

China will continue to increase assistance to Africa and cut debts owed by African countries as its ability permits, he said.

China will expand trade and investment and strengthen practical cooperation with Africa, he said, noting that two-way trade exceeded 100 billion U.S. dollars last year for the first time.

During times of adversity, it is all the more important for China and Africa to support each other, work in concert and tide over the difficulties together, he said.

On Sunday, Hu attended the completion ceremony of Tanzania's state stadium and paid tribute to a cemetery for Chinese experts who had worked and died in the country.

Tanzania is the fourth leg of Hu's week-long tour, which has taken him to Saudi Arabia, Mali and Senegal. He will later visit Mauritius.

Source: Xinhua


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