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AU unveils China-funded center to mark African-Sino ties, African solidarity


08:30, January 29, 2012

ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Saturday afternoon unveiled the China-funded conference center at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

The occasion marks the friendly ties between Africa and China on the one hand and the African solidarity across the continent on the other, Jean Ping, president of the African Union Commission, declared at the inauguration ceremony.

The high-rise project consists of two main buildings, including a tower housing offices with a capacity of 700 and a conference center equipped with facilities for top-level meetings.

The grand hall of the conference boasts a capacity of 2,500, while another meeting hall accommodates 700.

In addition, the complex has three VIP salons, four 113-seat meeting halls, eight halls for bilateral meetings, 31 committee meeting rooms each having 25 to 30 seats, one multipurpose hall having 500 seats and capable of receiving 1,000 people, one amphitheater of 1,000 seats and a commercial center.

Outside the complex are beautiful gardens of plants, flowers and local species of trees.

"We also run a garden of the Union, where each head of state and government or head of the delegation will plant a tree to signify the preservation of an healthy and clean environment," Jean Ping said.

A garden of "Tai Hu Shi", a kind of stone of celebrity in China, is put up to symbolize the friendship between Africa and China. In the southern extreme of the new AU conference center is a helicopter pad for air services.


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