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|Wednesday, October 11, 2000, updated at 10:49(GMT+8)|
China Hosts Grand Reception for China-Africa ForumThe Chinese government hosted a grand reception at the Great Hall of the People this evening to welcome participants to the China-Africa Cooperation Forum which opened Tuesday morning.
Speaking at the reception, Vice-Premier Qian Qichen extended his warmest welcome to all participants on behalf of the Chinese Government.
State Councilor Wu Yi presided over the reception, which was attended by distinguished African guests including President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria and Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim of the Organization of African Unity.
As honorary chairmen of the forum, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan and Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Shi Guangsheng were also present.
Qian said in his speech that the convening of the forum is an important action taken by China and the vast majority of African countries to reinforce dialogue, promote cooperation and seek common development at this trans-centennial moment.
Such an event, unprecedented in terms of both nature and scale, demonstrates not only the full vigor of China-African relations but also their common desire and determination to create an even brighter future while meeting challenges in the new century, Qian said.
He said that President Jiang Zemin and heads of four African states gave profound analysis over the present situation faced both by China and Africa at today's opening ceremony and put forward a proposal to establish a new international political and economic world order, mapping out a blueprint for China-Africa cooperation in the future.
Vice-Premier Qian expressed the conviction that through concerted efforts of all participants, the on-going forum would achieve great success and realize the pre-set purpose of conducting equal consultation, deepening mutual understanding, expanding consensus, enhancing friendship, and promoting cooperation, thus laying a new foundation for China-Africa friendship in the 21st century.
Nearly 1,000 people including African participants, diplomats from African countries, and representatives from relevant Chinese departments attended the reception.
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