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Wen Jiabao Holds Talks with Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos

On June 20, 2006, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council held talks with Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos in Luanda. Both sides agreed to expand cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefits to seek common development.

Wen noted that both sides share a traditional friendship and close cooperative relations. Since they established diplomatic ties 23 years ago, the foundation of bilateral friendly cooperation remains unshakeable despite great changes in the international situation and their respective domestic circumstances. The Chinese government highly appreciates the Angolan government for adhering to the one-China policy and supports the post-war reconstruction process in Angola.

Wen pointed out that in recent years, both sides have conducted effective cooperation in the economic and trade area and Angola has become China's second largest trading partner in Africa. Currently Chinese businesses are actively participating in Angola's economic development and a range of China-assisted projects have yielded sound economic and social benefits. These cooperative achievements have not only enhanced bilateral friendship, but also laid a solid basis for the future development of bilateral ties. Establishing economic cooperative relations of mutual benefits between both sides, as a common aspiration of the two peoples, conforms to their long-term interests and thus has broad development prospect. China will continue enlarging cooperation with Angola in the fields of infrastructure, communications and energy in the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits. China would like to offer assistance within its available resources to Angola and encourages Chinese companies to invest there.

Dos Santos said that the two countries have an unbreakable friendship and have established strategic cooperative relations in several areas. Bilateral relations have made steady progress as both sides have always abided by the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. He said Angola's current reconstruction needs China's support and help. Angola welcomes investments from Chinese companies and is willing to reinforce exchanges and cooperation with China in all areas.

Dos Santos indicated that Angola supports China's African policy, holding that China's cooperation with Africa is to help the continent to develop, relieve poverty and achieve common development. Angola would like to make efforts for promoting Africa-China ties.

With regard to bilateral energy cooperation, Wen said that China's energy development should begin inside the country, making energy saving and improved efficiency the first priority of its energy policy. Currently China can provide 90 percent of its own energy needs. The oil imported from Africa to China annually is less than one third of that by some countries. China will in the future further enhance its energy cooperation with African countries, including Angola, based on equality and mutual benefits. Such cooperation is only a part of China-Africa friendly cooperation in a broad area and will not influence any third party.

Dos Santos expressed his hope that the two countries will strengthen their mutually beneficial cooperation in the energy sector, combining Angola's rich natural resources with China's huge development potential.

When talking about the situation in Africa's Great Lakes region, Wen said that the overall situation is developing positively. The Chinese government has always insisted that the Great Lakes countries and parties concerned should try to solve their problems through consultation and dialogue on the basis of respecting each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, pursuing peace, friendship and prosperity in that region all together. China appreciates and supports the Angolan government's endeavor to this end and is ready to play a positive role in realizing lasting peace and development in the Great Lakes region at an early date.

Dos Santos noted that Angola stands for solving Africa's disputes through dialogue and consultation and will continue playing a positive role in realizing peace and development of the Great Lakes region. He also appreciated China for attaching importance to Africa and supporting the continent's peace and development.

Following the talks, the leaders of the two countries attended the signing ceremony of several bilateral cooperation documents including an extradition treaty and an agreement on economic and technological cooperation. The two sides also issued a joint communique.

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