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Improved Sino-Sao Tomean ties seen to follow trend

By An Baijie | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-15 07:27

The resumption of diplomatic ties between China and the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe has complied with the trend of the times, President Xi Jinping said on Friday, calling for more cooperation in all areas to benefit the people of both sides.

While meeting with Patrice Trovoada, prime minister of Sao Tome and Principe, who is on a six-day official visit to China that began on Wednesday, Xi said the two countries' ties have opened a new chapter.

China is willing to push forward the establishment of a comprehensive cooperation partnership based on equality, mutual trust and win-win cooperation, he added.

Trovoada became his country's first prime minister to visit Beijing after resumption of diplomatic relations on Dec 26. The resumption came one week after the African nation cut "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan.

Currently, 21 countries and governments, mainly small nations and islands in Latin America, Oceania and Africa, rely heavily on economic aid from Taiwan and hold such ties with the island.

Xi spoke highly of Trovoada's contributions to the resumption of diplomatic ties between China and Sao Tome and Principe. The two nations should understand and support each other in issues that are related to core interests and major concerns, he said.

China is willing to support Sao Tome and Principe to improve the African country's overall development plans, boost cooperation in tourism, fishery and agriculture, and help the country's infrastructure construction, use of human resources and security capacity building, Xi said.

The two countries should also enhance people-to-people communications in such areas as education, culture, medicine, think tanks, media, youth and women, thus to strengthen the friendship between the people of both sides, he said.

China is willing to cooperate with Sao Tome and Principe in security areas including fighting piracy and cross-border organized crime, he added.

The president said China would like to support the development of African nations, help them to achieve sustainable development and jointly build the China-Africa community of shared destiny.

Sao Tome and Principe firmly upholds the one-China policy and is willing to enhance cooperation with China in such areas as economy and trade, infrastructure, tourism and security, Trovoada said, adding that the resumption of diplomatic ties won wide support in his country.

On Wednesday, Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Ming told a news briefing that Sao Tome and Principe has corrected its mistakes in relations with China and will benefit from friendship and cooperation with the world's second-largest economy.

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