China, Republic of Congo pledge closer cooperation
BEIJING, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with his Republic of Congo counterpart Denis Sassou Nguesso here on Thursday and both pledged to boost cooperation between the two countries and advance the China-Africa strategic partnership.
Recalling his visit to the Republic of Congo in March last year, Xi said it offered an opportunity for the two sides to forge a comprehensive cooperative partnership featuring solidarity and mutual assistance.
As this year marks the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, Xi said China and the Republic of Congo should work together to "carry forward the undertakings of predecessors and open up a new road for the future" of bilateral ties.
Xi proposed the two countries step up interactions at governmental, parliamentary and political party levels to share experience of governance and maintain high mutual trust, as well as enhance communication and coordination on major issues of common concern to make the international system more fair and rational.
The Chinese president also suggested the two sides boost cooperation on petroleum, finance and infrastructure construction, and increase cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
During the talks, Xi reiterated China's commitment to developing relations with Africa with sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith.
"We support Africa's efforts to resolve Africa's problems in an African way and stand ready to make more contribution to the realization of peace, stability and development in Africa," said the Chinese leader.
The Republic of Congo is an influential country and President Sassou is a senior statesman in Africa, Xi said, noting that the Chinese side will make joint efforts with the Republic of Congo to advance the new-type of China-Africa strategic partnership in a sustainable way.
Hailing the solid friendship and fruitful cooperation between China and the Republic of Congo, Sassou voiced his gratitude for China's assistance in his country's development.
The Republic of Congo looks forward to closer cooperation with the Chinese side and hopes to push ahead with a package of projects to speed up its development, Sassou said.
The Republic of Congo welcomes Chinese companies to help in the country's push to exploit potassium deposits, improve infrastructure and build a special economic zone, Sassou said, adding that he also looks forward to even brighter prospects for the Africa-China relationship.
After their talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing of a number of agreements between the two countries, involving trade, infrastructure construction, finance and culture.
Prior to the talks, Xi held a red-carpet ceremony to welcome Sassou.
A group of Tibetan children attended the ceremony. They were from an elementary school funded by the Republic of Congo after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Yushu, a Tibetan prefecture in west China in April 2010.
Sassou is making a state visit to China, where he is also scheduled to attend the World Culture Forum in Shanghai.