Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) meets
with Malian President Amadou Toumany Toure in Bamako, Mali, on Feb. 12,
2009. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin) Photo Gallery>>>
BAMAKO, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu
Jintao Thursday vowed to increase aid to African countries, cancel part of their
debts, and expand trade with and investment in these countries.
Hu made the statement while meeting with his Malian
counterpart Amadou Toumany Toure.
Hu, making his first visit to this western African
nation, was accorded a 21-gun salute in a welcome ceremony before the two
presidents started talks.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (C) and
Malian President Amadou Toumany Toure (L) review the honor guard during a
welcoming ceremony in Bamako, Mali, on Feb. 12, 2009. (Xinhua/Ju
This is Hu's second African tour since the landmark
China-Africa summit in 2006 when Hu announced eight measures to promote ties
with Africa, including massive tariff cuts and debt exemptions for scores of
African countries, and doubling aid to Africa over a three-year period.
Hu said that as the world financial crisis has posed
severe challenges, it is of greater significance to step up China-Africa
solidarity and cooperation.
"China is paying much attention to African countries'
difficulties and concerns as the global financial crisis has begun to take a
toll on Africa," Hu said.
"We would like to increase communication and
exchanges with Mali and other African countries so that together we will tide
over the crisis," Hu said.
Following their talks, the two leaders signed
cooperative deals and gave a briefing to the media.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (L, Front)
shakes hands with Malian President Amadou Toumany Toure (R, Front) after
signing agreements in Bamako, Mali, on Feb. 12, 2009. (Xinhua/Rao
Hu arrived here Thursday after concluding a state
visit to Saudi Arabia.
"Both countries have achieved fruitful cooperation in
various fields over the past 49 years. China cherishes its ties with Mali and
would like to enhance our friendship and cooperation," Hu said in a written
statement upon his arrival.
The visit is aimed at consolidating friendship,
deepening cooperation, dealing with challenges and seeking common development,
From Mali, Hu will travel to the three African
countries of Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius.
BAMAKO, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Malian people
waving flags welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao on his arrival on Thursday in
the Mali capital of Bamako on his first visit to this western African nation.
Hu was received by his Malian counterpart Amadou Toumany
Toure at the airport and by big crowds lining the main streets of Bamako. Full story