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Sino-African roundtable talks mull closer economic, trade cooperation

(Xinhua)

13:20, November 11, 2011

WANNING, Hainan, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Second Roundtable Conference on Sino-African Cooperation was convened in the city of Wanning in south China's Hainan Province from Nov. 10 to 11.

The roundtable talks, which focused on China's African foreign policy as directed through non-governmental channels, is a strong complement to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), said Ji Peiding, former vice foreign minister and president of the Association of Former Diplomats of China.

More than 400 former diplomats, politicians, researchers and entrepreneurs from China and nearly 40 African countries attended the conference.

Sun Jiazheng, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) inaugurated the opening ceremony of the conference.

The meeting resulted in the creation of the Wanning Declaration, a document viewed as a milestone in public diplomacy between China and Africa.

The declaration underscored the agreement made between China and African nations to enhance Sino-African cooperation, said Liu Guijin, former ambassador to Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Strengthening Sino-African cooperation is a mutual need and will bring benefit for both sides, the declaration said. It suggested that the Chinese government should increase aid to Africa according to China's economic development and continue to carry out policies that are preferential toward the continent.

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