The traditional friendship and relations of good cooperation between China and African countries have stood the test of time and gone through the trial of international turbulent events. This relationship, being a good example to the developing countries, has been further consolidated and developed under the present new situation.
China maintains close political relations with African countries through frequent exchanges of high-level visits. To establish a long-term and stable relationship of full cooperation between China and African countries in the 21 century, President Jiang Zemin put forward five principles of guidance during his visit to Africa in 1996, namely sincere friendship, equality, solidarity and cooperation, common development and being oriented to the future. Other Chinese leaders such as Premier Zhu Rongji, Chairman Li Ruihuan and Vice President Hu Jingtao visited Africa successively in the recent years. Since 1997, over 40 chiefs of state and heads of government from various African countries have visited China. China and African countries have conducted fruitful bilateral and multilateral dialogues. The brilliant example is the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation--Ministerial Conference held in Beijing in October 2000, which adopted a program towards the creation of a new-type, long-term and stable strategic partnership between China and Africa based on equality and mutual benefit. The Foreign Ministry of China has set up workable consultation mechanism with a dozen of their African counterparts. African countries firmly support China in its endeavor for national unification. And most of them support China's "one China" policy. China and African countries have carried out many exchanges in the fields of parliament and political parties. Regular consultation and mutual support in international affairs between China and African countries is further strengthened. In particular, close cooperation has been established in international forums while handling the issue of human rights and other important issues. In those forums they made joint efforts to maintain the lawful rights of developing countries and push forward the creation of a new, fair and just political and economic order in the world.
China has provided African countries with great assistance since their independence, with a view to help them develop national economy and advance the social progress, which has achieved good results and welcome by African countries and people. In the past few years, the economic and trade relations have been further developed. The Chinese government made many efforts to create new forms and ways for expanding the existing cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit in the fields of economy and trade. While continuing to provide them with economic assistance within its capacity and with no political strings attached, China encourages and supports companies and enterprises from both sides engaging in mutual-benefit cooperation and expanding their investment in Africa and increasing the trade volume. The total trade volume between China and Africa reached 10.6 billion US Dollars in 2000, greatly surpassing that of 1999. China, noting with concern the heavy debts of African countries, is ready to make its own contribution to help relieve their debt burden. In this connection, China announced for the first time during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation--Ministerial Conference 2000 that the Chinese side undertook to reduce or cancel debt amounting to 10 billion RMB yuan owed by the heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries in Africa in the coming two years.
Their cooperation in education, public health, culture and other fields maintains a good momentum. In addition, both sides have strengthened cooperation in human resources development. Continuing to grant scholarships to African students every year to study in China, the Chinese government hosted various study and training courses to help African countries forming professional contingents. Among which were the classes of advanced-studies for both Chinese and African management personnel and the training courses for young and mid-aged African diplomats. China also organized study-tours for high-ranking African diplomats to visit China and exchange experiences. China announced to establish an African Human Resources Development Fund during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation--- Ministerial Conference 2000 to help African countries train more professionals of different disciplines. Medical personnel and teachers dispatched to Africa by the Chinese government are widely welcome by the recipient countries and people.