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Li's visit to cement China-Angola strategic partnership

2014-05-08 16:49 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

On a regular Thursday morning here in Angola's capital, two major hotels in the downtown area were bustling with crowds of Chinese. They were entrepreneurs, business representatives and journalists coming all the way from Beijing for an upcoming visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.[Special coverage]

Li will start an official visit to Angola in the afternoon, the first visit of a Chinese premier to the southwest African state in eight years. This is also Li's first visit to Africa since he took office in 2013.

Governments, enterprises and financial institutions of the two countries will sign a number of agreements on economic and trade cooperation during Li's visit, China's Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said.

"The signing of those agreements will be the highlight of the visit," he said.

Gao did not disclose the details of the agreements, but said the documents will cover areas of medical science, hydro-power, agriculture and people's livelihoods.

"Angola is the third stop of Premier Li's African tour. The visit is of significant importance in comprehensively improving China-Africa strategic partnership and strengthening the solidarity and cooperation between developing countries," Gao said.

Years of domestic conflict and political instability had ravaged Angola and left the country's infrastructure in tatters. Since the end of the civil war in 2002, Angola's economy has been growing rapidly after it started oil exploitation and massive reconstruction programs.

China has participated actively in Angola's post-war reconstruction, playing a major role in building and repairing the country's infrastructure, including highways, railways, power plants and harbors.

In 2013, trade volume between the two countries reached 36 billion U.S. dollars. By the end of 2013, China's accumulative investment in Angola had exceeded 8 billion dollars. Angola has become China's second largest trade partner in Africa and the largest crude oil supplier in the continent.

As China's cooperation with Angola and other African countries deepened, the alleged "China's neo-colonialism in Africa" has been hyped up by the Western media.

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