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Liu Yunshan (right), a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, meets with Abdulrahman Kinana, secretary-general of Tanzania's ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. Feng Yongbin / China Daily
First overseas trip shows importance China places on African relationship
President Xi Jinping's visit to Tanzania during his first overseas trip since taking office demonstrates how much Beijing cares about its relationship with the country and the African continent, a high-ranking Chinese official said in Beijing on Wednesday.
Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks during a meeting with Abdulrahman Kinana, secretary-general of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi, Tanzania's ruling party.
Xi will visit Tanzania from Sunday to Monday after he wraps up a trip to Russia. The arrangement "testifies to the relations between China and Africa, between China and Tanzania and also the great importance we have attached to such relations", Liu said.
"We should say the relations between China and Tanzania is an all-weather friendship.
"Admittedly despite the difficult times we have had, the relations between China and Tanzania have withstood the test of time."
In an interview with China Daily on Wednesday, Kinana said his meeting with Liu, also attended by the high-ranking Tanzanian delegation and senior officials from the CPC, was "very fruitful and friendly".
"I have a very good impression of him," Kinana said. He said he met Liu in 2011 when the Chinese official visited Tanzania.
"We are very happy that he was elected to the current position as a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPC."
On Xi's visit, Kinana said his country "takes pride" in it and is taking the visit very seriously.
"A lot of activities have been organized," he said, adding that the Chinese president is going to make a major speech in Tanzania and a number of agreements will be signed there.
Kinana said the backdrop of Xi's visit to Tanzania right after being elected as the top leader is the "historic, traditional relationship that has existed for 50 years".
The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1964.
"We have common interests, common values, we shared a lot of views on international issues and country-to-country cooperation. It is not only a testimony and evidence of China's commitment to Tanzania and to Africa, but also a recognition of the friendly relationship between our two countries and our people," he said.
Kinana wrapped up his visit to China late on Wednesday. His stay in China coincided with the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
He told China Daily he found Xi Jinping's speech on the Chinese dream very impressive. "I think it is the key to the development of the country."
He also noted that the NPC and CPPCC mentioned strengthening relations with other countries, "particularly the African countries".
Liu told Kinana that the Chinese dream Xi talked about has inspired tremendous enthusiasm among the Chinese people.
The dream will not only benefit the Chinese people but also the world, Liu said.
Kinana was leading a delegation from his party on a 10-day visit to China. It took them to many places including Guangdong and Sichuan provinces. "It was quite interesting to see the activities in the rural areas, both political and social activities."
He also found it pleasant to witness the transformations that have occurred in China, where he has visited many years ago.
"What I saw this time was absolutely tremendous, quite exciting. (It is) evidence of the CPC's reform policies. One of the reasons we came here is also to learn what China went through to become what it is today: the second-largest economy, an important country in the world."
Kinana said he was also interested in how China dealt with major issues such as "alleviating poverty and controlling corruption, since some government officials may get greedy and use their power against this amazing economic growth".
The CPC organized a seminar for the delegation on how China has transformed its political and economic policies, he said. They were also taken to many urban and rural areas to see how these policies are implemented.
Kinana said relations between China and Tanzania are very strong. The area he wants to push forward most is economic ties. A number of Chinese companies are already operating in his country.
Western media have called China's presence in Africa "neo-colonialism", a criticism that Kinana said was unfair.
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(China Daily 03/21/2013 page12)