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Wang makes last stop with 'major boost' to Africa's B&R participation

By Zhang Yunbi | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-17 09:20

Sao Tome and Principe will be welcomed when attending the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation's Beijing Summit this year as a new member of the panel, Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.

Wang made the remarks when meeting with Urbino Botelho, foreign minister of the western African country, on Monday in the nation's capital Sao Tome.

The Chinese top diplomat was on the last stop of his first trip abroad in 2018 after his stays in Rwanda, Angola and Gabon. The forum has made a major topic item at each leg of the trip.

China and Africa have agreed to upgrade this year's Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to be held in China to a leaders' summit.

Botelho told Wang his country is ready for proactive participation in building the Belt and Road Initiative and it will fully support Beijing to ensure the forum's summit this year is a success.

Li Xinfeng, an African researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the summit "will give a major boost" to the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the African Union's Agenda 2063 blueprint.

Wang arrived in Sao Tome shortly after the first anniversary of the two countries' resuming diplomatic relations in December, 2016.

The two ministers were part of that historic moment as they held talks at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing and signed a joint communique to resume diplomatic relations.

On Monday, Wang said he still remember the moment, and he referred to Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada's visit to China in April and meeting with President Xi Jinping.

The bilateral ties have achieved a leap forward in the past year, as bilateral exchanges in various fields have been carried out in an all-around way, Wang noted.

Wang mentioned a rapid increase in personnel exchanges and the remarkable progress in experts groups working on electricity, antimalarial medicine and medical services.

China will offer necessary support at the request of Sao Tome and Principe to boost its economic and social development, Wang said, adding that China is ready to further champion the common interests of both nations as well as various developing countries.

Botelho said resuming diplomatic ties with China is the most correct decision made by his government, and the country will unswervingly uphold the one-China policy.

The country welcomes Chinese companies' greater involvement in those areas of cooperation, such as infrastructure, agriculture and fisheries, Botelho said.

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