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China pledges to boost ties with Tanzania

2013-03-26 08:36 China Daily     Web Editor: Wang Fan comment
President Xi Jinping, accompanied by Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, greets a welcoming crowd on his arrival at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam on Sunday. Khalfan Said /AP

President Xi Jinping, accompanied by Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, greets a welcoming crowd on his arrival at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam on Sunday. Khalfan Said /AP

Trip demonstrates decades-old relationship with continent

China and Tanzania have pledged to boost cooperation in several areas, including agriculture, investment, energy and infrastructure.

Beijing is willing to continue to help Tanzania with its economic and social development and encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in Tanzania, President Xi Jinping said during a meeting with Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete on Sunday.

He said China is also ready to participate in the operation of the Tanzania-Zambia railway, an important example of Chinese-Tanzanian cooperation.

Analysts said Xi's visit demonstrates the traditional friendship between the two countries and opens a new chapter in future bilateral cooperation.

China's help in building the Tanzania-Zambia railway was a good example of China-Tanzania cooperation in the past, and the two countries need to create new ideas on how to better cooperate in the future, said Yao Guimei, a researcher on African studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The East African country was the initial stop on Xi's first African tour since becoming China's president on March 14.

Calling Tanzania an old and good friend of China, Xi said the two countries have maintained an all-weather friendship and China cherishes the time-tested bond with Tanzania.

China is ready to work with Tanzania to foster a comprehensive, cooperative partnership characterized by mutually beneficial results and lift bilateral relations to a higher level, he added.

Noting that both countries face the task of national development, Xi said they should trust, support and help each other and pursue common development.

They should maintain contacts and exchanges, continue to support each other on core interests and major concerns, and strengthen coordination and cooperation on global and regional issues, he said.

The two countries need to boost bilateral people-to-people exchanges and carry on their traditional friendship, said Xi, adding that China will set up a Chinese culture center in Tanzania.

The Tanzanian president thanked China for its long-term support and assistance, pledging that his country will continue to firmly back China on major issues concerning national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Tanzania also hopes to strengthen cooperation with China in areas such as poverty alleviation and human resources, Kikwete said.

After the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of several cooperation deals.

Yao said the visit sets the future for the development of the bilateral relationship, which has been a model for China-Africa cooperation.

Tanzania and most other African countries need technologies to develop themselves, Yao said. "China can transfer its technologies and experience to Tanzania and help it with personnel training."

China-Africa cooperation is complementary and therefore goes smoothly, Deborah Brautigam, a researcher on African studies with Johns Hopkins University, told The Beijing News.

The cost of labor in Africa is relatively low, so it is attractive for foreign capital, Brautigam said. She added that Chinese companies are skilled in the construction of infrastructure, which is badly needed in Africa.

In the 1970s, China provided an interest-free loan of about $159 million, shipped about 1 million tons of equipment and materials and dispatched about 50,000 technicians and workers for the construction of the 1,860-kilometer railroad connecting Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Kapri Mposhi in Zambia.

After the railway was completed in 1976, China continued to provide interest-free loans and technical assistance to guarantee normal operation of the railway.

China is Tanzania's largest trading partner and second-largest source of investment. Bilateral trade reached $2.47 billion last year, up 15.2 percent year-on-year.

Special Report:

President Xi Jinping's Four-nation Debut Tour

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