China, Gabon lift ties to comprehensive cooperative partnership


BEIJING,   (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting President of the Republic of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba agreed on Wednesday to lift China-Gabon relations to a comprehensive cooperative partnership in a bid to better realize common development.

Invited by Xi, Ali Bongo Ondimba is paying a state visit to China from Tuesday to Friday. It is Ali Bongo’s first state visit to a foreign country since he was re-elected as Gabon’s president in August.

Following a red-carpet welcoming ceremony for Ali Bongo at the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing, Xi stressed that the visit shows Ali Bongo’s determination to further the China-Gabon friendship.

Hailing bilateral collaboration in various fields, the Chinese president called on both countries to consolidate mutual trust, enhance high-level contact and expand exchanges between governments, parties, legislatures as well as at the local level.

China supports Gabon in accelerating the country’s industrialization process and is ready to push forward relevant cooperative projects, Xi said, adding Chinese investment in Gabon’s infrastructure construction is encouraged by the government.

China also wants to enhance cooperation with Gabon in agriculture, tourism, finance and telecommunications, according to the president.

On security ties, Xi said that China is willing to help Gabon in strengthening the country’s law enforcement capacity and maintaining stability.

On people-to-people exchanges, he called on both sides to boost cooperation in culture, education, health, human resources, youth, women, media, think tanks and other areas.

Furthermore, Xi urged the two countries to enhance communication and coordination in climate change, Africa’s peace and security and other major international issues of shared concern in order to safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

China will work with African countries to fully implement the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation last December, Xi said, noting China will continue to pair its own development with assisting the independent and sustainable growth of Africa to achieve common development.

For his part, Ali Bongo said that Gabon appreciates China’s long-term support for the country and is willing to enhance cooperation and exchanges with China on investment, agriculture, mining, science and technology, tourism, finance, infrastructure, education and health.

Gabon also stands ready to actively participate in the major China-Africa cooperation plans proposed by President Xi at the Johannesburg Summit, according to Ali Bongo.

Gabon adheres to the one-China principle, he said, adding that the country is committed to collaboration with China in international affairs.

Following the talks, the two heads of state witnessed signing of agreements on the economy, technology, culture, infrastructure and other fields.