Top Chinese legislator says China ready to deepen cooperation with Senegal

Xinhua Updated: 2023-05-18


Zhao Leji, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, visits the Museum of Black Civilizations in Dakar, Senegal, May 15, 2023. At the invitation of President of Senegalese National Assembly Amadou Mame Diop, Zhao paid an official friendly visit to the country from Sunday to Tuesday. [Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan]

DAKAR -- China stands ready to expand practical cooperation with Senegal and will continue to contribute positively to Africa's peace and development, visiting top Chinese legislator Zhao Leji has said.

Zhao made the remarks during his meeting with Senegalese President Macky Sall.

At the invitation of President of Senegalese National Assembly Amadou Mame Diop, Zhao, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, paid an official friendly visit to the country from Sunday to Tuesday, and held meetings with Sall and Diop.

When meeting with Sall, Zhao conveyed the sincere greetings and best wishes of Chinese President Xi Jinping, adding that under the guidance and promotion of the two heads of state, the China-Senegal comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership has been moving forward, the political mutual trust between the two countries has been enhanced, and cooperation in various fields has yielded fruitful results.

China appreciates Senegal's active support for a series of major initiatives and ideas put forward by Xi, and thanks Senegal for its invaluable support on the Taiwan question and issues related to human rights and Xinjiang, Zhao said.

China is ready to expand practical cooperation with Senegal, strengthen synergy between the nine programs for China-Africa cooperation and the Plan for an Emerging Senegal, and deepen exchanges in the fields of culture, education and medical care, Zhao said, adding that as co-chairs of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China and Senegal should implement the outcomes of the forum and jointly build the Belt and Road.

China has always followed the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and pursuing the greater good and shared interests in cooperation with Africa, Zhao said, adding that China never ties its cooperation with Africa to political considerations, nor does it make hollow promises.

Sall asked Zhao to convey his best wishes to Xi, saying that Senegal and China are good friends and strategic partners, and the two countries have achieved important results in cooperation in such fields as politics, economy and trade, infrastructure, culture and health.

Senegal abides by the one-China principle and opposes the politicization of human rights, Sall added.

Noting that China sincerely helps Africa, he said the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation has played a positive role in promoting solidarity and cooperation between Africa and China.

The achievements of China's new Long March, with development as its goal, have set an example for Africa, Sall said, adding that in particular, China insisted on independently exploring a development path suited to its own national conditions and organized its people to efficiently promote national construction, which is of great enlightenment significance.

During the meeting with Diop, Zhao said that China and Senegal are important cooperation partners, and the two peoples, sharing weal and woe, have written a new chapter of friendship in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two sides should consolidate political mutual trust, enhance people's friendship, and push for the development of high-quality and sustainable practical cooperation that benefits people's livelihoods, Zhao said.

He said the legislative bodies of the two countries should take the implementation of the important consensus reached by the two heads of state as the primary task, continue to carry out exchanges at multiple levels and in multiple fields, in order to provide a solid legal guarantee for mutually beneficial cooperation.

The two sides should also closely coordinate and cooperate in the multilateral parliamentary mechanism to safeguard the common interests of China, Senegal and Africa, Zhao added.

Diop said that Senegal and China have firmly understood and supported each other, and have established a bilateral relationship with a high degree of mutual trust.

Thanking China for its long-term support for and assistance to Senegal's economic and social development, Diop said the Senegalese National Assembly is willing to strengthen friendly exchanges with the National People's Congress of China and promote bilateral cooperation in various fields including economy, trade, culture, sports, science and technology and at sub-national levels.

Zhao briefed the Senegalese side on the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the people's congress system.

While expressing belief that China will surely achieve its goal, the Senegalese side said the development and growth of China is conducive to a more balanced world pattern and to safeguarding world fairness and justice.

During his visit, Zhao made a field trip to the Diamniadio Industrial Park, an important achievement of the Belt and Road Initiative under the joint efforts of China and Africa. He expressed hope that the industrial park will give full play to its economic and social benefits and help Senegal improve its independent development capabilities.

He also attended a symposium of Chinese-funded enterprises in Africa, and encouraged the Chinese-funded enterprises to carry forward the spirit of friendly cooperation between China and Africa and expand the breadth and depth of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation.

He visited the Museum of Black Civilizations and proposed to actively practice the Global Civilization Initiative, as well as to jointly create a new picture of people-to-people communication, cultural exchanges, and integration of hearts and minds from the two countries.

Besides, he visited the exhibition commemorating the 60th anniversary of the dispatch of the Chinese medical team to foreign countries, and visited members of the medical team to Senegal.

Zhao made a technical stop in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on his way to Malaysia after finishing his visit to Senegal.

In his meeting on Wednesday with Ghobash Saqr, Speaker of the Federal National Council of the UAE, the two sides exchanged views on strengthening cooperation between legislative bodies and promoting the development of China-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership.

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