CHINA / National

Sino-African ties threat to none - Premier Wen
Updated: 2006-06-19 06:35

'Sino-African oil trade open, reciprocal'

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao here Sunday hailed the Sino-African ties of cooperation and stressed that oil trade between China and some African countries is "normal ".

Wen was in Egypt, his first stop on a seven-nation tour of Africa. [Reuters]
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (R) and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao talk during their meeting in Cairo June 18, 2006. Wen said on Sunday that China's efforts of boosting relations with African and Latin American countries in a bid to expand trade and energy cooperation posed no threat to US interests. Wen was in Egypt, his first stop on a seven-nation tour of Africa. [Reuters]

Wen made the remarks at a press conference at the end of his two-day official visit to Egypt, the first stop of his seven- nation visit to Africa.

"It is known to all that China has engaged in oil trade with several African countries, and such a trade relationship is open, transparent, normal and mutually beneficial," Wen told the reporters.

"I could say that oil trade volumes between China and the African countries are less than one third of those enjoyed by some major countries," he said.

Recalling that China and African countries have supported each other over the past decades, Wen said that as the Chinese economy has been developing, China will not forget African friends.

"China places importance on developing its economic and trade ties with Africa, and a huge potential needs to be tapped for such ties," he said.

The Chinese premier said that China will take measures to promote African countries' export to China and help African countries develop by themselves and offer training for African professionals.

"On the political front, China will not interfere in internal affairs of African countries. We believe that African countries have the right and capability to solve their own problems," he said.

As for a Sino-African summit due in Beijing in November, Wen said that such a summit could be seen as a platform for promoting friendship and cooperation between China and African countries.

"During the summit, we will focus on reducing and remitting debts, economic assistance, personnel training and investment by enterprises," he said.

He said that the Chinese government encourages Chinese enterprises to seek cooperation opportunities in the African continent. "Such cooperation will help African countries develop by themselves."

"We seek to promote political mutual trust, mutually beneficial economic cooperation and cultural exchanges with African countries, " he said.

After his visit to Egypt, Wen will travel to Ghana, the Republic of Congo, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

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