China not to reduce assistance to Africa despite financial crisis

wen with dos santos
(Wen Jiabao with Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos)

Xinhua article.

BEIJING, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) — China said Friday it would not reduce assistance to Africa because of the international financial crisis.

Premier Wen Jiabao made the remark when meeting with Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

“We will implement the follow-up actions agreed upon during the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2006,” Wen noted.

President Hu Jintao announced eight measures at the summit for China-Africa cooperation, including China’s pledge to double its assistance to Africa by 2009, provide 3 billion U.S. dollars of preferential loans and 2 billion dollars of preferential buyer’s credits, as well as establish a development fund of 5 billion dollars to encourage Chinese firms to invest in Africa. Debt cancellation was another major measure.

During the past two years, China had increased its aid to African countries, and made great strides toward debt relief and tariff exemption for African countries, according to officials.

As for the current international financial crisis, Wen told dos Santos that China was ready to keep close cooperation with Africannations in the reform of international financial system.

“We should strengthen our confidence and work together to tide over the crisis,” he said.

Angola had become China’s largest trade partner in Africa. Wen hoped the two nations would expand channels and optimize structure to achieve balanced and stable growth of bilateral trade.

China encouraged its companies to join in Angola’s infrastructure construction and energy resources exploitation, and also encouraged its financial institutions to cooperate with the African nation through business, Wen said.

Echoing Wen, dos Santos said the Chinese business made important contribution to his country’s social and economic progress.

The president hoped that the two nations would work together to offer support and convenience for the Chinese business to participate more in Angola’s development.

Dos Santos expected more achievement in the win-win cooperation between the two sides.

China’s top legislator Wu Bangguo also met with president dos Santos on Friday.

Hailing the growth of China-Angola relations, Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress(NPC), China’s top legislature, said the two countries should increase cooperation to push forward the bilateral ties.

Wu said the NPC was ready to promote exchanges and cooperation in various levels with Angola’s parliament, in a bid to help advance China-Angola relations.

Dos Santos said his country firmly supports the parliament to make more cooperation with China’s NPC.

The president was here on a four-day state visit at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

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