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Thursday, January 11, 2001, updated at 08:19(GMT+8)

Gaddafi Meets Chinese FM

Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi met visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan Wednesday night.

During the meeting, Tang conveyed greetings and regards of Chinese President Jiang Zemin to Gaddafi.

In return, Gaddafi asked Tang to convey his tanks to the Chinese president and renewed his invitation for Jiang to visit Libya according to his convenience.

On behalf of Jiang, the Chinese foreign minister thanked Gaddafi for the invitation and said that President Jiang would be glad to have the chance to visit Libya in order to exchange views with Gaddafi on the Sino-Libyan ties and the international issues of common concern.

As developing countries, China and Libya suffered a history of aggression and usurpation at the hands of the Western powers and struggled to achieve their independence and national liberation, Tang said.

At present, the two countries are facing a difficult task to safeguard their independence and sovereignty and make national economic recovery, he added.

The Chinese government always attach importance to the development of its relations with Libya, Tang said, pointing out that the bilateral exchanges at all levels and friendly cooperation in all areas have witnessed a rapid progress since the two countries established their diplomatic ties 23 years ago.

The Chinese minister expressed appreciation for Libya's fair position on the issue of China peaceful reunification as well as Libya's efforts to settle the African disputes and promote the African integration.

He renewed China's firm opposition to the economic sanctions against Libya, voicing hope the efforts of the international community would lead to total removal of the sanctions as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Gaddafi said Libya was always keen on developing its ties with China, expressing desire to make concerted efforts with China to build an African-Chinese strategic partnership of cooperation.

The Libyan leader voiced hope that China, as a major developing country, would continue defending the interests of other developing countries and play an increasing role in the world affairs.

Gaddafi briefed his guest on Libya's efforts to establish the " African union."

The meeting also reviewed the Chinese-African ministerial forum, held in Beijing in 2000.

Tang expressed confidence that the forum would enhance the new long-term Chinese-African partnership on the basis of equality and common benefits.

He underscored that the developing countries should join forces to face up to the globalization challenges. He added that China backs the efforts to establish the African union.

Tang arrived here on Tuesday for a two-day official visit to Libya. He held talks with Libyan Minister of Foreign Communication and International Cooperation Abdul-Rahman Mohammad Shalgam on bilateral ties in the political, economic and trade areas. He also met Secretary for African Unity Ali Abdel Salam Triki.

The two sides have signed a protocol on the Libyan-Chinese cultural and information cooperation between 2000 and 2004.

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Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi met visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan Wednesday night.

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