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BRAZZAVILLE - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday encouraged his country's medical volunteers in Africa to make more contributions to the improvement of local health care services.
Xi made the remarks when addressing a Chinese medical team here at the newly-built China-Congo Friendship Hospital, which he and Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso had just inaugurated.
China's medical aid for Africa is a demanding but honorable undertaking, said Xi, while thanking the volunteers for the outstanding services they have provided for the local residents and the high honor they have earned for their country.
He noted that Chinese medical teams have braved the harsh natural conditions and other difficulties and made important contributions to China-Africa friendship.
Hailing the noble work of these teams as an embodiment of the Chinese national ethos, Xi encouraged them to continue to uphold the spirit of internationalism and humanitarianism, carry on the lofty cause and help further consolidate China's friendly ties with the Republic of the Congo and the whole Africa.
For his part, Sassou-Nguesso lauded the selflessness and excellence of the Chinese medical volunteers and thanked China for the benefits they have brought to the Congolese people.
Xi's wife, Peng Liyuan, witnessed the inauguration of the hospital, which was constructed with Chinese support. Among other participants in the ceremony were leaders of both chambers of the Congolese parliament, all Congolese government ministers and more than 30 foreign diplomats.
Later in the day, Xi and Sassou-Nguesso attended the opening ceremony of the Marien Ngouabi University library, which was built with Chinese aid.
The new library, the sole modern building at the only Congolese public university, features a Chinese section where the faculty and students can get to know China via books, disks and TV programs.
In talks with Congolese teachers and students, Xi encouraged them to learn Chinese and carry on the friendship between China and the Republic of the Congo.
On Friday afternoon, Peng, who is a World Health Organization goodwill ambassador for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, traveled to an orphanage in Brazzaville and visited the children there, especially those infected with HIV.
She donated computers, toys and schoolbags to the center, and extended her appreciation to its founders for their contribution to the fight against AIDS.The Republic of the Congo was the last leg of Xi's maiden foreign trip as president, which had taken him to Russia, Tanzania and South Africa.
While in South Africa, he attended the fifth summit of BRICS, an emerging-economy group consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.