On November 1, 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao met at the Great Hall of the People respectively with Gabonese President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba, President of the Comoros Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi and African Union (AU) Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare, who were here in Beijing to attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on the China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Hu warmly welcomed African leaders to attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on the China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) here in Beijing. He said this year marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of diplomatic ties between China and African countries, and it is also an important year linking the past with future for China-Africa relations. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), through its six-year development, has become an important arena for China-Africa group dialogue, as well as an effective mechanism for pragmatic cooperation. The Beijing Summit will mark the start of a more prosperous relationship between China and Africa. The two-day summit, with the theme of friendship, peace, cooperation and development, will recall the development process of China-Africa friendly relations, draw up a blueprint for future cooperation, and promote a new strategic partnership. "This summit demonstrates the common aspirations of the Chinese and African peoples, and conforms to the world trend of peace, development and cooperation," Hu said. This meeting will surely become a new milestone in the development history of China-Africa relations and open broader prospects for the development of the ties.
The African leaders said as a sincere and reliable friend of Africa, China has always respected and helped Africa and never interfered in the internal affairs of the African countries. "We are here for the Beijing Summit with a strong conviction that we can work with China to contribute to the success of the meeting, to enhanced Africa-China friendship and to exchanges and cooperation between both sides," the leaders said.
During the meeting with Bongo, Hu said with the joint efforts of both sides, the consensus reached between the two presidents on strengthening bilateral ties has been implemented and both sides have conducted all-round cooperation. China and Gabon enjoy a sound momentum of development in the economic and trade cooperation and have boosted cooperation on such key areas as resources exploration, infrastructure construction and telecommunications. China attaches great importance to the traditional friendship and is ready to work with Gabon to maintain high-level friendly exchanges, deepen economic and trade cooperation of mutual benefits, and keep closer consultation in the international affairs, so as to push bilateral friendly cooperation to a higher level, he said. Bongo said China is Gabon's sincere friend and the two peoples share a profound friendship. Gabon is ready to open broader prospects for enhanced traditional friendship and friendly cooperation between both countries and hopes the two sides will expand cooperation on infrastructure construction and resources exploitation, as well as consultation and coordination in international affairs. Bongo reaffirmed that Gabon supported China's reunification.
Meeting with Sambi, Hu said through their 30-year development, Sino-Comoros relations were "a good example of equal treatment and cooperation between big and small countries ". He said currently bilateral ties have been developing soundly and both sides have shown mutual understanding and support for each other and maintained consultation and cooperation in international affairs. China would continue mutually beneficial cooperation with Comoros and encourage entrepreneurs to invest there. Sambi said China is the first country to establish diplomatic ties with Comoros since Comoros's independence and China has provided precious assistance to Comoros's national development. Facts prove that China is a sincere friend and partner of Comoros, which Sambi was proud of. Sambi hoped China would continue to support Comoros in economic and social development. He reaffirmed his government would adhere to the one-China policy.
Meeting with Konare, Hu said the fruitful achievements in China-Africa relations could be attributed to the joint efforts of both sides. During different development periods of China-Africa relations, China and Africa had fostered a profound friendship with equal treatment, mutual support and sincere cooperation. The African countries and people have supported China to safeguard its state sovereignty and territorial integrity for a long period of time and the Chinese side cherished such support. He expressed appreciation for the efforts of the African Union on safeguarding stability, promoting unity and pushing forward economic integration of the continent. The African Union has played an important role in handling internal affairs of Africa and coordinating the continent's position on external affairs, he said. China attaches importance to the African Union and views the relations with the AU as an important component of Sino-African relations, Hu added. Konare said the peoples of Africa and China are old friends and both sides have maintained friendly feelings. The African people thank for the persistent support of the Chinese people. China has played an important role in promoting development, unity and stability of Africa, and China, as an important partner of Africa's economic and social development, has offered sincere help for the continent's development. To strengthen China-Africa cooperation is a right choice, Konare said. The AU valued relations with China from a strategic perspective, and would contribute to their development, he added.
State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and other officials attended the meeting.