Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) holds a welcome ceremony for visiting Cameroonian President Paul Biya before their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 22, 2018. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
BEIJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- China and Cameroon on Thursday agreed to give full play to their sound friendship and great potential for cooperation to further advance bilateral relationship.
The statement came as Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with his Cameroonian counterpart Paul Biya at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Calling Biya "a senior African leader and an old friend of China," Xi said Cameroon is an important partner of China in Africa.
The two countries have respected each other, treated each other equally and supported each other on issues concerning core interest and major concerns since the two forged diplomatic ties 47 years ago, said Xi.
Biya is the first African president to visit China this year and the first foreign head of state to visit after the annual sessions of China's National People's Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Xi called on China and Cameroon to maintain exchanges at all levels and continue to support each other on core interests and major concerns.
China supports Cameroon in choosing its own path of development and speeding up its process of industrialization, said Xi.
China encourages the two countries to expand trade and enhance cooperation in major areas, and more Chinese enterprises to invest there, he said.
He also called on both countries to intensify people-to-people exchanges.
China is ready to work with Cameroon in the areas of peace, security and international affairs to protect the interests of African countries and other developing countries, Xi told Biya.
He encourages Cameroon to take an active part in China's Belt and Road Initiative and work with China to promote the construction of a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and build a community with a shared future.
China has upheld justice and pursued shared interests and built relations with Africa based on sincerity, affinity and good faith, he said.
China would always stand by developing countries and be their sincere friend and reliable partner, no matter how the international situation changed or how China developed, Xi told Biya.
Biya said China's long-term assistance to Cameroon has promoted Cameroon's economic and social development and directly benefited Cameroonian people.
Cameroon is committed to enhancing strategic cooperation with China and welcomes more investment from China in industry, agriculture, energy, transportation, housing and new technology, he said.
Cameroon spoke highly of the Belt and Road Initiative and supported cooperation within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Biya said.
He said that Cameroon firmly adheres to the one-China policy and is willing to cooperate with China within the United Nations and other multilateral frameworks.
After the talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing of agreements on economic and technological cooperation, human resources development, infrastructural construction and industrial cooperation.
Biya is paying a state visit to China from Thursday to Saturday at the invitation of Xi.