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China, Africa devoted to deepening cooperation

2014-05-08 16:46 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's ongoing four-nation Africa tour, which started Sunday, is widely expected to deepen cooperation between the Asian giant and the promising continent.[Special coverage]

The visit to Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya, Li's first to the "Land of Hope" since taking office last year, is believed to be able to unleash the great potential for the two sides' mutually-beneficial cooperation in various fields.

Analysts say the eight-day tour, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of China's late Premier Zhou Enlai's first visit to Africa and comes after President Xi Jinping's maiden overseas trip in March 2013, is of great significance for the traditional friendship, pragmatic cooperation, and a new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa.

China, the world's largest developing country, and Africa, a continent with the most developing countries, are natural partners in pursuing common development.


Five decades ago, a Chinese government delegation led by late Premier Zhou visited 10 counties in Africa, setting a milestone for the development of relations between China and the continent.

Over the past half century, China has not only unswervingly developed a friendship of cooperation with African nations, but also continued to inject fresh contents and vitality into bilateral relations.

The establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has particularly made significant contributions to consolidating the two sides' traditional friendship, deepening their strategic mutual trust, and pushing forward pragmatic cooperation in various areas.

Africa has become increasingly important for China's foreign policy, and both sides have continuously created mutually beneficial and win-win prospects.

Huang Zequan, executive vice president of the Chinese Research Society of African Affairs, said Li's visit again shows that the new Chinese leadership attaches great importance to China-Africa ties.

"The friendly cooperation between China and Africa will continue to be accelerated and enriched with new connotations," Huang said.

On Monday, the Chinese premier visited the convention center of the African Union(AU) in Addis Ababa and delivered a speech there on China-Africa cooperation, in which he expounded China's Africa policy and reaffirmed Beijing's commitment to deepening China-Africa comprehensive cooperative partnership.

He called on both sides to earnestly boost collaboration in industry, finance, poverty reduction, ecological protection, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security so as to create an upgraded version of their all-round cooperation.

In Abuja, capital of Nigeria, Li attended the 2014 World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa and delivered a speech on China-Africa common development, China's bid to promote Africa's inclusive development, and international cooperation with Africa.

"Addis Ababa is the AU's headquarters. In a sense, it is Africa's political and diplomatic capital," said Liu Guijin, a former Chinese special representative on African affairs.

Li's speech at the AU headquarters was a "centralized declaration" on China's Africa policy, Liu said, adding that Li was the first Chinese leader to attend a regional WEF summit.

"China-Africa cooperation has scored tremendous achievements, but under the new situation, it's also facing some challenges," he said. "Premier Li's Africa visit this time will strengthen China-Africa relations and help steer their development in a greener, healthier and more sustainable direction."

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