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Chinese President Hu Jintao Holds Talks with His Tanzanian Counterpart Kikwete

On February 15, 2009, Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks with his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete in Dar es Salaam. Hu pointed out that China is ready to consolidate traditional friendship and deepen pragmatic cooperation with Tanzania to lift bilateral friendly cooperative relations to a higher level and jointly open a bright future for bilateral relations.

Hu said Tanzania is an old and good friend of China and the two peoples enjoy a profound traditional friendship, which was created and cultivated by older generations of leaders of both countries. "Despite changes in the international arena, China-Tanzania ties have developed in a sound and smooth way since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1964," Hu told Kikwete. The two sides have shown mutual understanding, trust and support for each other and conducted fruitful cooperation in economy, culture, education and public health with close cooperation in international affairs. "It can be viewed as an exemplary relationship of sincerity, solidarity and cooperation between China and an African country and between two developing countries," he said.

Hu said the relations between China and Tanzania had demonstrated a new vitality in recent years, citing frequent high-level visits, stronger political trust, and cooperation in trade and culture. Both sides have seen closer exchanges between the governments, political parties and legislative bodies. He appreciated Tanzania's efforts to ensure the smooth relay of the Olympic torch in Dar es Salaam last year as well as its adherence to the "one-China" policy.

Hu raised a three-point proposal on the development of China-Tanzania relations. First, implement the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, enhance political exchange, deepen political trust and step up cooperation in trade, culture, education and public health. Second, work for an early implementation of the agreed cooperative programs and the measures announced at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation for the benefit of the Tanzanian people. China is ready to share with Tanzania the experience in building the economic development zone and continue to support competent Chinese businesses to invest in Tanzania. Third, enhance youth exchanges. Hu said the Chinese government would invite young Tanzanians to visit China this year and offer more scholarships to the eastern African country.

On the global financial crisis, Hu said it continues to take a toll on the economies of nations. China would like to enhance communication and coordination with Tanzania and other African countries with a view to minimize the impact of the crisis. "China will keep its promise, not reduce aid to Africa and urge the international community to honor their aid commitment to the continent," he said. China would take a comprehensive, balanced, progressive and pragmatic approach to reform the international financial system, including increasing African and developing countries' representation and voice in this reform, Hu added.

Hu said in recent years, Africa's peace and security situation has been moving towards a positive direction with sustained economic growth and accelerating regional integration. The continent has also improved its capacity of resolving its own problems independently. However, regional hot issues are still emerging from time to time. China would like to work with the international community including Tanzania to play a constructive role in ensuring Africa's peace and security.

Kikwete warmly welcomed President Hu's visit and fully agreed with his comments and proposals on bilateral ties. Kikwete said Tanzania and China enjoy a special relationship, which was initiated by the previous leaderships of both nations. Tanzania deems China its great friend and best friend. Kikwete said Tanzania would carry forward the traditional relationship and foster solidarity with China. He expressed admiration and congratulations for China's enormous achievements during its 30-year-long reform and opening up, adding that Africa is also proud of such achievements. China's success has helped Africa to strengthen its confidence of getting rid of poverty and achieving development by embarking on its own road. He said his country appreciates the generous assistance and support offered by China for a long time. He said Tanzania would like to work with China to cement cooperation in trade, investment, finance, agriculture, education, public health and infrastructure. He reaffirmed that Tanzania would, as always, stick to the one-China policy and firmly support China's efforts to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Kikwete said the global financial crisis and economic downturn were taking a toll on his country. Noting Tanzania was taking action to tackle the difficulties, Kikwete called for joint action with China to address the effects of the downturn.

Following the talks, the two leaders attended a signing ceremony of several cooperation agreements between the two countries.

Prior to the talks, President Hu attended a grand welcoming ceremony held by Kikwete.

Ling Jihua, Wang Huning and Dai Bingguo attended the above activities.

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