China / Government

President offers to help Mozambique

By Qin Jize and Mo Jingxi (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-19 08:46

China has offered to help Mozambique by stepping up cooperation on natural gas exploration and manufacturing.

President Xi Jinping and visiting Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi also decided on Wednesday to elevate the relationship between the two countries to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Xi said both nations should continue to view and treat bilateral ties from a strategic and long-term perspective, and provide support and understanding to each other on issues related to their core interests and major concerns.

He said China supports Mozambique's efforts to boost national defense and maintain stability. It will also step up security cooperation.

He said China is willing to enhance cooperation with the Portuguese-speaking African nation to help it to transform its potential in human and natural resources to economic development.

Nyusi said Mozambique cherishes the traditional friendship with China and welcomes more investment from Chinese enterprises.

He said he appreciates Chinese support to help Mozambique embark on a sustainable development path, and is ready to strengthen cooperation on trade, processing, manufacturing, agriculture and infrastructure construction.

Development aid

It is the first state visit by Nyusi to Beijing since he became president in January last year. He met with President Xi Jinping in December on the sidelines of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

The six-day visit, which began on Monday, comes after Western donors and financial institutions announced plans to suspend development aid to Mozambique, rated one of the poorest countries in the world.

Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Ming said that "to help a good friend to overcome a difficult time for its economy", China will provide equipment, technology and financial support to deepen cooperation for mutual benefit.

Li Wentao, a researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations' Institute of African Studies, said China and Mozambique are highly complementary to each other in terms of cooperation in fields such as port construction.

He said Mozambique could take part in strategies proposed by China, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, to boost regional interconnection.

Mozambique's advantageous location also attracts Chinese companies to invest in its port construction or to build ports with local companies, Li said. Mozambique is also an important gateway for Chinese companies to enter the market in Southeast Africa, he added. Two-way trade between Mozambique and China stood at $1.79 billion from January to September last year, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry's website.

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