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China reiterates support for African countries on trade

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A senior Chinese government official on Tuesday reiterated the country's time-honored and firm support for African countries to develop trade so as to improve their economies.

Yi Xiaozhun, deputy minister of commerce from China, told participants at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Aid for Trade Conference here that the Chinese government had actively participated in mutually-beneficial economic cooperation in various forms with Africa.

"Since the 1950s, China has provided assistance to the best of its ability to 53 African countries through nearly 900 projects covering areas such as farming, animal husbandry, fishery, light and textile industries, transportation, radio communication, water conservation, electricity supply, machinery, as well as public and civil construction," said the deputy minister.

As a developing country itself, China shares the feelings of other developing countries, especially the countries in Africa, said the deputy minister.

Yi cited a traditional Chinese saying to pinpoint that the sustainability of showing others how to fish is better than simply feeding them with fish.

"So China's philosophy of helping recipient countries gradually move on to a path of self-reliance and independent economic development concurs with the WTO mission of Aid for Trade which is aiming at helping the beneficiaries stand and grow on their own feet," the official added.

Yi promised that China will continue to expand its aid programs in Africa with the country's own economic growth so as to further enhance efficiency of aid utilization, and to broaden economic and technological cooperation with African countries.

The Chinese official appealed to developed countries to shoulder greater responsibilities as they have the capacity and obligation to do more to help the developing countries.

"They should increase Official Development Aid and the flow of foreign direct investment to African countries," he said.

The multilateral trading system with much imbalance favoring more the interests of developed countries has resulted in the marginalization of some developing countries, especially the least developed countries in Africa, in the course of globalization.

"This situation must be corrected," urged the Chinese official who called for the provision of technical assistance to help developing countries address their inadequacies in trade-related capacity and infrastructure.

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