President Hu: We are forces for peace

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-08 07:17

China's President Hu Jintao gives a talk at the University of Pretoria February 7, 2007.


PRETORIA: Visiting President Hu Jintao said yesterday China will consolidate its traditional friendship and expand practical cooperation with Africa.

Hu, who is on an eight-nation African tour, made the statement in a speech at South Africa's prestigious University of Pretoria.

Both China and Africa are important forces for peace and development and to deepen their friendship is the shared desire of both peoples, Hu said.

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"China is the biggest developing country and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries," he said.

To deepen China-Africa traditional friendship and develop a new all-around strategic partnership is also a calling of the times, he said.

The president listed four fields in which China is ready to make joint efforts with Africa to boost development.

China will forge friendships, maintain close political dialogue, increase mutual understanding, and trust with Africa, Hu said.

He added that China will remain actively involved in UN peacekeeping operations in Africa.

On the economic front, he said China will deepen cooperation and expand economic and technological exchanges to achieve mutual benefits.

"The Chinese will fully implement the policy steps announced at the Beijing Summit (the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) for strengthening pragmatic cooperation with Africa and supporting its development," Hu said.

The president said China will strengthen dialogue and exchanges between the Chinese and African civilizations and make common progress through mutual learning and enrichment.

He also urged both sides to treat each other as equals and strengthen cooperation in international affairs and to uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.

On Tuesday, Hu Jintao and his South African counterpart Thabo Mbeki reached a broad consensus on the future development of bilateral relations.

Hu said China firmly stood alongside the South African people during their struggle against apartheid and that Chinese-South African ties have enjoyed fast, multi-faceted and comprehensive growth since the two countries established diplomatic ties 10 years ago.

The two countries have had fruitful bilateral cooperation in economy and trade, science and technology, education, culture, tourism and justice, he noted.

Hu expressed China's appreciation for South Africa's adherence to the one-China policy and its support for China's reunification cause.

During the talks, Hu put forward a five-point proposal for further promoting China-South Africa ties, including ways of boosting political mutual trust, deepening economic and trade cooperation, expanding the scope of bilateral cooperation, increasing people-to-people contacts and intensifying multilateral cooperation.

On economic and trade cooperation, Hu suggested that both sides optimize the trade structure and create an environment conducive to the healthy growth in bilateral trade.


(China Daily 02/08/2007 page2)

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