China to cancel more debt owed by poor African countries

Updated: 2006-11-04 14:46

China will cancel debt in the form of all the interest-free government loans that matured at the end of 2005 owed by the heavily indebted and the least developed African countries that have diplomatic relations with China.

Chinese President Hu Jintao made the remarks in Beijing Saturday when addressing the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

China has exempted 10.9 billion yuan (US$1.36 billion) worth of debt by 31 heavily indebted and least developed African countries since it forged diplomatic ties with the continent 50 years ago.

In order to accelerate Africa's economic and social development, and to further promote their trade and economic ties, China has provided assistance and tariff relief without any political preconditions for African nations.

During his meet with Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Friday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao reiterated that China's aid to African countries will, as always, be "sincere and altruistic."

Gobind Nankani, World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, told Xinhua on Friday that China's debt exemption has been very helpful to African countries, and China has also shown a way out of poverty to the rest of the world, especially to African countries which still have a total number of 300 million poor people.

"Common development is the shared aspiration of the Chinese and African peoples. We are committed to pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation to bring the benefits of development to our peoples," Hu told delegations from 48 African countries.

He said that the Tanzam Railway and other infrastructure projects China built in Africa and the medical teams and peacekeepers China sent to Africa have all demonstrated the friendship cherished by the two peoples.

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