Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Friday that China will always be an all-weather friend and partner of Africa.
"China will continue to uphold the principle of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, and dedicate itself unswervingly to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development," Xi said in a speech delivered at the parliament of the Republic of Congo.
"No matter how the international situation will change, China is always Africa's all-weather friend and partner," said Xi, who arrived in the central African country earlier Friday for a state visit.
The Republic of Congo is the last leg of Xi's four-nation tour, his first foreign trip since assuming presidency earlier this month. He has already visited Russia, Tanzania and South Africa.
The Chinese president noted that since China and the Republic of Congo established diplomatic ties nearly half a century ago, bilateral friendship has grown steadily and vigorously and produced fruitful results.
The comprehensive cooperative partnership of solidarity and mutual assistance between China and the Republic of Congo has become a model of South-South cooperation, said Xi.
The Chinese president, who also attended the fifth BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, said he had met with many African leaders during the trip and had extensive contacts with African people from various sectors.
"I have a very deep feeling that Africa is a continent full of vitality and hope," Xi said. "China-Africa cooperation has great potential and bright prospects."
In the new era, China's development will bring unprecedented opportunities to Africa, while Africa's development will also provide unprecedented opportunities for China's development, Xi said, calling on the two sides to stick to the path of mutually beneficial cooperation and common development.
China will firmly keep up solidarity and mutual assistance with African nations, continue to increase aid to Africa within its capabilities, expand trade with and investment in Africa, strengthen practical cooperation with the continent and make joint efforts to address the challenges posed by global economic risks and difficulties, Xi said.
China will firmly strive to enhance mutual trust with African nations and consolidate the political foundation of China-Africa traditional friendship, Xi said.
China supports African states in following the development paths which they have chosen on their own and which suit their respective domestic conditions, and backs the efforts of the African states and regional organizations, such as the African Union, in safeguarding national sovereignty and independently settling the issues on the continent, he said.
He promised that China will play a constructive role in bolstering peace and security in Africa.
China will also firmly maintain close cooperation with African nations and increase coordination with them in international affairs, Xi added.
The Chinese president noted that the China-Africa traditional friendship, which is deeply rooted in the people of both sides, is an important foundation for bilateral relationship.
Only with active public participation can the China-Africa friendship maintain its vigor and can the bilateral cooperation be consolidated continuously, he said.
The development of such relationship can enjoy wider and firmer public support only when the two-way cooperation continuously benefits people from both sides, he added.
Describing the cultural links as an important channel for peoples of different countries to increase mutual understanding and friendship, Xi called the people-to-people exchanges "an important pillar for the new type strategic partnership between China and Africa."
He said the China-Africa relations need both "hard backing" such as economic cooperation, and "soft propellant" like people-to-people ties which would provide cultural nutrition and spiritual impetus for the entire relationship.
Xi said that while he is glad to see the fast growth, enriched content, diversified forms and concrete achievements of the cultural ties between the two sides, there is still much room for improvement to meet the expectations of the peoples from both sides.
He called for building more platforms for direct contacts between Chinese and African peoples, and providing more information sources for mutual understanding, so that the bilateral friendship could be ingrained in the hearts of both peoples and pass on to the future generations.
To make his point, Xi praised the heroic action of three Chinese nationals who saved 12 of their Congolese neighbors, including 5 children, when Brazzaville was hit by floodings last December.
The story demonstrates that the people-to-people ties and exchanges are the fundamental basis for building the new type China-Africa strategic partnership, he said.
Xi said that given the legislature's prominent role in national politics, the inter-parliamentary exchanges between China and the Republic of Congo and the direct contacts between their lawmakers constitute a key part of the overall bilateral relationship, and an important channel for the two peoples to enhance mutual understanding and friendship.
He expressed the hope the legislatures from both countries will maintain the good momentum of friendly exchanges and sincere cooperation, and that the Congolese lawmakers in presence will make their contributions to the bilateral ties.
The Chinese leader, who will conclude his visit to the Republic of Congo on Saturday, said that he will carry home the happy memories of the visit to the country, including the smiles and sincere words of the Congolese people.
He said he will always keep his current Africa trip in his memories and believes the China-Africa friendship will last forever just like the unceasing flows of the Yangtze and Congo Rivers.