BEIJING, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday that to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with African countries is always China's resolute strategic choice.
In a telephone conversation with Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi, Xi said China supports the DRC playing its role as the rotating chair of the African Union (AU), and stands ready to work with the DRC to cement communication and coordination and make a success of the next meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Noting that the DRC is an important cooperation partner of China in Africa, Xi said the two countries have enjoyed a good tradition of mutual support and mutual trust.
The Chinese side, Xi said, always views and develops its relations with the DRC from a strategic and long-term perspective, supports the country in its efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereignty, security and development interests, and stands ready to increase political and governance exchanges with the DRC.
The DRC's participation in the Belt and Road Initiative has set up a new platform and opened up new prospects for bilateral cooperation, Xi said.
The Chinese side, he added, is ready to work with the DRC to plan their cooperation for the next stage, and strengthen practical cooperation in such areas as economy, trade, infrastructure, health, agriculture and culture, so as to lift bilateral relations to new highs.
Xi stressed that with joint efforts from both sides, the traditional friendship and political mutual trust between China and Africa have been deepening continuously, their cooperation in trade, investment and other fields has maintained a strong momentum, and their collaboration in international affairs has grown increasingly close.
He suggested that China and Africa deepen cooperation in such fields as construction of free trade zones, public health, peace and security, as well as climate change, and jointly open a new chapter of their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
Xi also said that China supports Africa in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and will encourage the international community to join forces in supporting Africa's development.
For his part, Tshisekedi extended warm congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China on behalf of the DRC and the AU.
The DRC and China have a profound friendship, he said, adding that his country upholds the one-China policy, and is firmly committed to developing DRC-China friendship and being an important cooperation partner of China in Africa.
The DRC is ready to intensify exchanges with China and deepen cooperation in such areas as economy, trade, resources and infrastructure, he said.
Tshisekedi thanked China for providing supplies, vaccines and other assistance for African countries in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The African side, he added, hopes to strengthen cooperation with China in such areas as fighting the pandemic, restoring economic growth, protecting the environment and building free trade areas, and push for new progress in Africa-China relations and the FOCAC.