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Wen: China Pursues No Selfish Interest in Africa
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao stated in Cape Town on Wednesday that China pursues no selfish interest in Africa but equality and mutual benefit.


Addressing a press conference held in Cape Town, the visiting Chinese premier said that China had never taken one inch of land on the continent in its long history with Africa.


Wen said that Africa was subject to more than 600 years of colonial rule while China was also subject to more than 100 years of foreign aggression.


"There is no selfish interest for China to pursue in... Africa," Wen said, adding that China gave valuable support to African countries in their struggle against colonial rule and national liberation.


Wen, who arrived here on Wednesday afternoon, said that China provided more than 900 infrastructure projects to African countries, including a railway line between Tanzania and Zambia.


China also dispatched 16,000 medical doctors to African countries and they provided medical treatment to 240 million people in the African continent.


In its dealings with Africa, he added, China adheres to the principles of equality, mutual benefit and non-interference in countries' internal affairs.


"We encourage African countries to improve democracy and the rule of law and to maintain social justice and equality. We have full confidence the African people have the ability to properly handle their own affairs," he said.


South African President Thabo Mbeki hailed the long-standing ties between China and Africa, which he described as a history of comradeship and support. This included China's backing for various independence struggles.


"China has (always) insisted that its own involvement in the continent will be determined by what Africans themselves wanted," Mbeki said.


"I have absolutely no doubt that China will consistently respond positively to such matters as the African continent will place on the agenda."


China's bilateral relationship was a matter between itself and its partners, Mbeki added.


(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2006)

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