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African leader dismisses bugging report

By Zhang Yunbi | China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-09 07:25
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Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission delivers a speech during the 30th African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Jan 28, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

Foreign Minister Wang Yi and visiting Chairman of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat both dismissed a recent report on Thursday by a French newspaper accusing Beijing of bugging the African Union Conference Center.

When asked about the article at a joint news conference with Wang, Faki, of Chad, said the allegations were lies. The center was funded by China and built in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

The allegations tried to alienate China and Africa, and he didn't see it would be in China's best interest to spy, said Faki.

Wang said that such allegations were based on the ill-feeling of some individuals and groups regarding the achievements of China-Africa cooperation.

Faki is paying his first official visit to China since taking office in March. He arrived on Wednesday and departs on Friday.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation's Beijing Summit is planned in September in Beijing, Wang said at the joint news conference.

President Xi Jinping first announced that China will host the summit in a congratulatory message sent to South African President Jacob Zuma on Jan 1 that noted the 20th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties.

China is ready to work with the African Union and its member states of the forum to make the summit a historic event reinforcing the solidarity and cooperation between China and Africa, Wang said.

The forum, begun in 2000, has become a major forum for China and the continent to promote cooperation and joint development.

Faki accepted China's invitation to attend the summit and said the event will give a great boost to the development of a comprehensive strategic partnership between China and African nations.

At the Seventh China-AU Strategic Dialogue, co-hosted by Wang and Faki earlier on Thursday, the two sides agreed to focus their cooperation on issues transcending state borders and regions.

At the news briefing, Wang also announced that China agreed with and supports the AU's plan to open a representative's office in China.

China is ready to offer assistance for this and looks forward to the office's opening soon, he said. China believes that it will play a unique role in promoting China-Africa ties and bilateral cooperation, Wang said.

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