-- Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday said that solidarity and
cooperation with African countries always serve as a major foundation stone for
China's diplomatic work.
Liberian children hold
Chinese flags before the arrival of China's President Hu Jintao in
Monrovia February 1, 2007. President Hu Jintao and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
will discuss ways of expanding friendly cooperation between China and
Speaking at a banquet given by Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in
his honor, Hu said that the Chinese government, in line with the actual need of
African countries and its own capacity, announced a series of measures to
enhance practical cooperation with Africa and support the development of African
countries at the Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)
held last November.
"The purpose is to support African countries in their economic and social
development, help African countries build the ability to develop on their own
and push forward the Sino-African cooperation," the Chinese president said.
He said that China will place as a top priority the implementation of these
measures within the FOCAC framework and inline with the principles of mutual
benefit, friendly consultation, pragmatism and high efficiency.
The eight commitments made by China include writing off debts owed by some
African countries that have diplomatic ties with China, building in Africa 30
hospitals in addition to 30 centers for malaria prevention and treatment, and
providing 300 million RMB (about 38.5 million U.S. dollars) in grants to provide
artemisinin over the coming three years.
China would start with debt write-off, tariff exemption, construction of a
number of schools in rural areas of Africa, establishment of agriculture
technology centers as well as centers for malaria prevention and treatment, Hu
"We hope the African people would benefit from the measures as soon as
possible," the Chinese president said.
He said that the implementation of the measures will certainly play a
positive role in developing a new type of the Sino-African strategic partnership
and achieving the goal of common development.
Earlier in the day, Hu held talks with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on consolidating
friendship and cooperation between China and Liberia.
He also attended the inauguration of a malaria prevention and treatment
center and visited Chinese soldiers and officers serving in the UN peacekeeping
The Chinese president arrived in Monrovia on Thursday morning from Cameroon
for a one-day state visit to Liberia, the second leg of his eight-nation Africa
tour which will also take him to Sudan, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa,
Mozambique and Seychelles.
In a written statement upon his arrival at the airport, Hu said that "I am
here to deepen the traditional friendship, enhance mutual understanding and
trust and expand mutually beneficial and pragmatic cooperation to further
develop China's relations with Liberia."