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Wen: G20 meeting should address woes of developing countries
Updated: 2009-03-13 15:41

BEIJING -- Assistance to developing countries, especially the least developed countries, should be among top concerns of the upcoming G20 meeting in London, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday.

"Developing countries are the worst hit in the financial crisis, however, their difficulties tend to be easily neglected," Wen told reporters at a press conference after the National People's Congress closed its annual session.

He stressed the adherence to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), saying these goals should never be changed or altered.

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MDGs are the internationally-agreed targets to slash extreme poverty and other ills by 2015.

Wen called on developed countries to continue financial assistance and policy support to developing nations.

"I hope that concerns of the least developed countries would never be left unattended amid this rare financial crisis," he said, "as poverty in these countries are also factors behind concerns of developed countries and instability of the world."

As the largest developing country, China had exempted 46 least developed countries from more than 40 billion yuan (US$5.85 billion) worth of debts by 2008, and the country's assistance to developing countries had exceeded 200 billion yuan, Wen said.

The country has pledged to eliminate all the debts from least developed countries that are due before and by the end of last year, and promised to impose zero tariff on 95 percent of the products China imported from these countries, he added.

The premier said the country would build more hospitals and schools in Africa, and allow more African students to study in China.

In addition, more medical staff and teachers would be sent to Africa to aid the least developed countries, Wen said.

Leaders form 19 developed and developing countries and the European Union are expected to meet in London on April 2 to discuss stability, growth, and jobs, among others, in face of the financial crisis.