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AU pleased with growing Chinese investments in Africa

Chinese investments in Africa jumped by 81 percen t to US$ 552 million in the first three months of 2010, a positive response to a pledge made by President Hu Jintao when he visited Africa in February 2009, the A frican Union (AU) chief, Jean Ping, said Wednesday.

Ping also applauded China for continuing to honor its commitments to Africa, des pite the recent economic and financial crises, and within the broader context of

major changes in the international order.

He thanked China for its development assistance to Africa and support in interna tional affairs, and expressed the hope that the AU and China would continue to w o rk together to expand cooperation in various areas and consolidate their win-win

partnership.

“May I seize this opportunity to reiterate the commitment and availability of th e AU to work with the Chinese Government to ensure the coordination and developm e nt of our common ideals,” Ping said.

Africa has become China’s third biggest commercial partner, with annual trade of US$ 37.7 billion. This new position, Ping noted, presents both opportunities and challenges.

The AU chief spoke before concluding a four-day visit to China at the invitation of the Chinese Government.

During the 31 October to 3 November, 2010, visit, Ping was received in Shanghai by the Chinese Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi.

The AU and the Chinese authorities exchanged views on a broad range of issues of mutual concern, including the situation in Sudan and Somalia.

The Chairperson congratulated China on its achievements and on its successful ho sting of the Shanghai World Expo, which ended on 31 October, 2010.

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