BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Senior officials from
China and 48 African countries concluded a two-day meeting in the Chinese
capital Thursday, having made final preparations for the upcoming high-profile
Beijing Summit scheduled for Nov. 4-5.
The Senior Officials Meeting has been the fifth in
the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), a mechanism for
collective dialogue and cooperation jointly established by China and Africa to
cope with new challenges and facilitate common development.
China will announce a package of major assistance,
investment, trade and other key cooperation projects with Africa at the summit,
said Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wei Jianguo at the Senior Officials Meeting.
Considering the wishes of African friends, the
Chinese government has decided to offer more cooperation projects to Africa to
deepen mutual benefit and cooperation and realize common development, Wei said.
During the Senior Officials Meeting, delegates from
China and African countries reviewed the preparation work for the Beijing Summit
and the FOCAC Ministerial Conference, and further exchanged views on the
documents to be passed at the summit.
Meanwhile, 15 African leaders arrived in Beijing
Thursday, including presidents of Zambia, Ghana and Kenya, and nine others had
arrived earlier for the Beijing Summit.
During Chinese President Hu Jintao's talks with James
Alix Michel, president of the Republic of Seychelles on Thursday, Hu said "the
China-Seychelles relation has become a model for equal treatment and mutual
assistance between big and small countries", and China will continue to boost
the international community to pay more attention to the development issue of
Seychelles and other small-island developing countries.
In a meeting with Sudanese President Omer Hassan
Ahmed El-Bashir, Hu said China hopes the Sudanese government can strengthen
dialogue with each concerned party on the Darfur conflict and try to maintain
stability in the region.
"We hope the Sudanese government can find an
appropriate settlement, maintain stability, and constantly improves the
humanitarian conditions in the region," Hu said, noting China will continue to
make contributions to an early realization of peace and stability in Darfur.
"We are willing to deepen mutual understanding and
trust, widen bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, culture, education and
health, and strengthen coordination and cooperation between China and Botswana
in international affairs to maintain the common interests of developing
countries," Hu told Botswana President Festus Mogaein in a meeting the same day.
China's capital has been dressed up in the run-up to
the historic summit, with traditional Chinese red lanterns and billboards
featuring typical images of Africa and posters proclaiming Sino-African
"friendship, cooperation, development and peace" in English and French on major
streets in downtown Beijing.
On the sideline the of the Beijing Summit, the
Chinese government is also cranking up a campaign to promote African culture
among citizens, with two exhibitions opening here Thursday, one of coins and
stamps from 48 African countries and the other of African handicraft, to
showcase African landscapes, places of historical interest and relations with
"It's a good opportunity for ordinary Chinese to have
a glimpse of Africa," said Cheng Hui, an avid collector who provided some of the
handicraft pieces on show. "Many Africans are born to be artists. Even items
from 2,000 years ago still make vogue artwork today."
Johnson Weru from Kenya said the exhibition made him
feel at home and would help enhance friendship and understanding between the
Africans and the Chinese.
So far over 1,200 Chinese and overseas journalists
have been registered for the covering of the summit, including 118 African
reporters that have arrived in Beijing. About 300 African reporters are also
gearing up for the Third Ministerial Conference on Friday, and the summit over
Seeing comfortable environment, convenient
communication equipment, broadband, IDD telephone, bulletin boards, many African
reporters coming to China for the summit said they feel like working at home.