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Chinese president visits Tanzania

CHINESE President Hu Jintao arrived in the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam last night for a state visit to the eastern African nation.

Hu was greeted by Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and a local performance at the airport.

In a statement released upon arrival, Hu said the bilateral relationship has been developing in a sound and smooth way since 45 years ago when the diplomatic ties were established.

"It can be viewed as an exemplary relationship of sincerity, solidarity and cooperation between China and an African country and between two developing countries," Hu said.

The president said his visit is aimed at enhancing mutual trust, expanding cooperation, planning for the future and lifting the friendly and cooperative relations to a new high.

Hu said he is expecting an in-depth exchange of views with President Kikwete and other Tanzanian leaders on the bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.

During his stay, Hu will also meet with Zanzibar President Amani Abeid Karume, attend the completion ceremony of Tanzania's state stadium, visit a cemetery for Chinese experts, and deliver a key-note speech at a welcoming meeting tomorrow.

Tanzania is the fourth stop of Hu's five-nation tour, which was described as "a journey of friendship and cooperation." Earlier, Hu visited Saudi Arabia, Mali and Senegal. The week-long tour will also take him to Mauritius before flying back home on Tuesday.

This is Hu's second African tour since the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2006 when he announced eight policy 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.

In talks with Malian President Amadou Toumany Toure on Thursday, Hu said China would increase aid to African countries, cancel part of their debts, and expand trade with and investment in the poorest continent despite the world financial crisis.

The year 2009 will witness a 200-percent increase in aid accords with African countries in value terms as compared to 2006,according to the Chinese Commerce Ministry.

"In 2009, the Chinese leaders will continue to take the development of relations with Africa as a top priority of Chinese diplomacy," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told Xinhua last month.


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