Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with President of the Gabonese Republic Ali Bongo Ondimba, who is on a state visit to China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, April 19, 2023. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with President of the Gabonese Republic Ali Bongo Ondimba, who is on a state visit to China, in Beijing on Wednesday.
The two heads of state decided to upgrade the comprehensive cooperative partnership between the two countries to a "comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership."
Xi called President Bongo "an old friend" of the Chinese people. Bongo is the first African head of state visiting China after Xi was reelected as the Chinese president. It fully demonstrates the importance and high level of China-Gabon relations, said Xi.
In recent years, under the leadership of President Bongo, Gabon has been exploring a development path tailored to its national conditions and pursuing national stability and economic diversification. Significant achievements have been made in national development, Xi said.
Xi commended that Gabon has also been promoting the regional integration process and mediating hotspot issues in Africa.
Gabon has held a successful One Forest Summit and taken over as the president of the Economic Community of Central African States not long ago, Xi said, noting that Gabon's influence in the region and beyond has grown markedly.
As a sincere friend of Gabon, China wishes the country still greater progress in all its endeavors and early realization of its strategic goal toward an Emerging Gabon, said the Chinese president.
President Xi noted the 50th anniversary of China-Gabon diplomatic relations to be celebrated next year. Over the last half-century, thanks to the commitment and guidance of generations of leaders on both sides, the China-Gabon friendship has stayed rock-firm as ever, Xi said.
In a world undergoing profound changes, China and Gabon have supported each other in advancing their shared interests and upholding international fairness and justice. The strong and sustained growth of the bilateral ties serves the long-term interests of both countries and has an exemplary role to play in building a community with a shared future for humanity, said Xi.
He said that China is willing to work with Gabon to strengthen experience-sharing on state governance, deepen strategic mutual trust, and firmly support each other on issues involving each other's core interests and major concerns.
China firmly supports Gabon in pursuing a development path suited to its national realities and is willing to synergize strategies with Gabon and promote cooperation in infrastructure construction, forestry, fishery, the digital economy, and industrial park construction, Xi said.
He called on the two sides to deepen cultural and people-to-people exchanges and strengthen cooperation in tourism, rural revitalization, poverty reduction, and agricultural development.
Xi also urged joint efforts in strategic cooperation in multilateral platforms, such as the United Nations, to safeguard global peace and development, international equity and justice, and the common interests of developing countries.
Regarding China-Africa cooperation, Xi said that China is willing to provide new opportunities to African countries through its own development and turn China-Africa practical cooperation into an example for South-South cooperation and international cooperation with Africa.
Bongo said Gabon firmly adheres to the one-China policy and supports important concepts proposed by President Xi, including the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.
Bongo said he appreciates China's valuable assistance in promoting Gabon's economic diversification and industrialization. He said that the two sides could further strengthen cooperation in infrastructure, agriculture, and tourism.
Gabon looks forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China next year, consolidating and deepening friendly cooperation, and promoting the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries, said Bongo.
He added that Gabon is willing to enhance strategic coordination with China at multilateral level and push for better development and more achievements of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and Africa-China relations.
After the talks, the two heads of state witnessed the signing of several bilateral cooperation documents in fields such as investment, agriculture, housing and urban construction, and climate change.
A joint statement on establishing a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the People's Republic of China and the Gabonese Republic was published.