China, Equatorial Guinea elevate ties

(China Daily) 08:28, May 29, 2024

President Xi Jinping holds a welcoming ceremony for Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in Beijing on Tuesday before holding talks. LI XUEREN/XINHUA

China and Equatorial Guinea decided on Tuesday to upgrade their bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, in order to consolidate political mutual trust and deepen and expand practical cooperation in all areas.

The decision was announced after President Xi Jinping held talks in Beijing with Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Obiang is making a state visit to China from Monday to Friday, his 11th trip to the country as president since he first came in 1984.

"China highly values developing its relations with Equatorial Guinea and is willing to strengthen exchanges on governance experience and deepen friendly cooperation in different sectors," Xi told his guest, vowing to use the elevation of ties as an opportunity to inject lasting momentum into the two countries' traditional friendship.

Since Xi and Obiang elevated bilateral ties to an all-around partnership featuring equality, mutual trust, and win-win cooperation in 2015, the China-Equatorial Guinea relationship has enjoyed robust growth, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the two countries demonstrated their profound friendship and solidarity in a time of adversity.

Xi said that consolidating and developing China-Equatorial Guinea ties meets the fundamental interests of the two countries and the shared aspirations of the people of the two countries.

China supports the African country's socioeconomic development, encourages capable Chinese enterprises to invest and do business there, and is willing to share with it the development experiences in agriculture and rural areas, he said.

Xi also said that China will deepen exchanges and cooperation with Equatorial Guinea in areas such as healthcare, education, and culture, to pass down their traditional friendship through generations and deliver more benefits to the people of both countries.

Since 1971, China has sent 33 medical teams with over 600 professionals to provide medical care in Equatorial Guinea, making significant contributions to the improvement of local well-being.

Highlighting the urgent need for developing countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation amid unprecedented challenges, Xi said that China is willing to work with Equatorial Guinea and other developing countries to safeguard their common interests and uphold international fairness and justice.

President Xi also expressed China's readiness to make the new edition of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation a success and to open a new chapter of building a China-Africa community with a shared future.

Strengthening solidarity and cooperation with African countries will always be an important cornerstone of China's foreign policies, he said.

President Obiang hailed China as his country's good brother and reliable strategic partner, saying the bilateral relationship is now at its best in history. Projects such as the China-Equatorial Guinea Friendship Hospital, which began operation in 2023, have brought benefits to local people and become symbols of Africa-China friendship, he said.

Obiang said that Equatorial Guinea welcomes Chinese investment to assist in the African country's economic diversification and industrialization, and to help it sustain healthy development.

He also said that his country firmly upholds the one-China principle, believes that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, opposes any form of "Taiwan independence", and supports the Chinese government's efforts to realize complete reunification.

After their talks, the two heads of state witnessed the signing of multiple cooperation documents in areas such as investment, economic development, the digital economy, green development, and the implementation of the China-proposed Global Development Initiative.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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