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Tuesday, October 10, 2000, updated at 17:00(GMT+8)

Sino-African Partnership Conducive to Establishment of New World Order: FM

Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan Tuesday called for the establishment of a new-type partnership between China and Africa, which he said is conducive to the establishment of a new world order.

He made the remarks at the China-Africa Cooperation Forum -- Ministerial Meeting Beijing 2000, which opened here today with the participation of representatives from over 40 African countries.

"We are convinced that if China and Africa establish a new-type partnership between us within the framework of South-South cooperation and deepen and expand our cooperation in all areas in accordance with the principles of equality and mutual benefit, diversity in form, stress on practical results and pursuit of common development, we will be able to contribute positively to the establishment of a new international political and economic order," the minister said.

Tang said the current world situation offers both opportunities and challenges to the vast number of developing countries, including China and African countries.

"As long as we strengthen unity and cooperation, we will be able to promote the establishment of a just and equitable new international political and economic order at an earlier date," he said.

The minister hailed the friendship between China and African countries since the founding of the People's Republic of China and pledged that China "will never forget the valuable support that friendly nations in Africa gave us for the restoration of the lawful seat of China in the UN and on many other international occasions."

He stressed the importance for China and African countries to explore new ideas and put in place a new framework for the development of Sino-African relations in the 21st century, which he said is why the Chinese government has come forward with the initiative of the forum.

"We are glad that African countries promptly and positively responded to the initiative," Tang said, adding "the convocation of this Forum reflects the common will of the two sides and is also an important manifestation of the solidarity and cooperation among developing countries."

"This (the forum) is not only a major event unprecedented in the history of China-African relations, but is also of important significance to the development of this relation in the new century," the minister said.He noted that the forum has two major issues on its agenda. One is promoting the establishment of a new world order in the interest of developing countries, and the other is to further China-Africa cooperation in economic, trade and other fields.

He said that the Chinese government intends to announce a number of measures to promote cooperation with Africa, including setting up a special fund to facilitate Chinese enterprises' investment in Africa, giving preference to African exports to China, reducing or exempting debts owed to China by African countries, and setting up an African human resources development fund to train more professionals for the economic development of Africa.

Though these measures might not be sufficient to meet the needs of African countries, they represent mutual help among developing countries and reflect the sincere desire on the part of China to strengthen its mutually beneficial cooperation with African countries, the minister said.

Tang said the forum is expected to adopt two documents, namely, Beijing Declaration and Program for China-Africa Cooperation in Economic and Social Development.

He expressed confidence that they will be adopted and will serve as a guide for the development of Sino-African ties in the next century.

Stressing the importance of follow-up actions after the forum, Tang said China is considering retaining the Preparatory Committee of the forum and changing its name to Committee for Follow-up Actions, and suggested African countries set up a corresponding mechanism.

He also suggested that the two sides convene another senior officials meeting in two years to review and examine progress made in the implementation of the above-mentioned documents and decide on the time and venue for the next forum.

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Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan Tuesday called for the establishment of a new-type partnership between China and Africa, which he said is conducive to the establishment of a new world order.

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