BEIJING, April 20 (Xinhua) -- Presidents of China and Gabon on Sunday exchanged congratulations on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.
In his congratulatory message, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the decision to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries at ambassadorial level 40 years ago ushered in a new phase of China-Gabon friendship.
Over the past 40 years, the governments and people of both countries have forged profound friendship based on mutual respect, mutual support and sincere cooperation, Xi said.
China-Gabon ties have enjoyed rapid growth in the new century, and bilateral cooperation has brought great benefit to the people of both countries, he said.
As developing countries and members of the Sino-African community of shared destiny, both China and Gabon are striving for development and national rejuvenation, Xi said.
Developing China-Gabon ties conforms to the fundamental interests of the people of both countries, Xi added.
"I attach great importance to the development of China-Gabon ties. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Gabonese side to strengthen our traditional friendship and deepen our friendly cooperation so that China-Gabon ties can display new vitality," Xi said.
Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba, for his part, said Gabon-China ties have enjoyed healthy and stable development over the past 40 years.
China has actively participated in Gabon's development, and is an important strategic partner in the "Strategic Plan for Emerging Gabon (PSGE)," said the president, who also expressed satisfaction, on behalf of the Gabonese government and people, and in his own name, with the multiple projects accomplished by China in Gabon.
The two sides have conducted successful cooperation in multilateral affairs and have maintained candid and friendly cooperation and exchanges in international organizations with similar views on many major issues, Bongo said.
"I'd like to make joint efforts with you to continuously deepen and expand bilateral fruitful and friendly cooperation," he said.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also exchanged congratulatory messages with his Gabonese counterpart Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet.