Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba
2023-04-19 22:06

On the afternoon of April 19, 2023, President Xi Jinping held talks at the Great Hall of the People with Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba who is in China for a state visit. The two heads of state decided to elevate the China-Gabon comprehensive cooperative partnership to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Welcoming Ali Bongo Ondimba's visit to China, Xi Jinping pointed out that next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Gabon. Over the past half century, under the personal attention and guidance of several generations of leaders of the two countries, China-Gabon friendship has always been rock-solid. The two sides have firmly supported each other, and safeguarded the common interests of the two countries, and upheld international fairness and justice. China is a true and sincere friend of Gabon. President Bongo's visit once again fully demonstrates  the importance and high level of China-Gabon relations. Promoting China-Gabon relations in an in-depth and sustained manner meets the common and long-term interests of the two countries, and sets an important example of advancing the building of a human community with a shared future. China is ready to work with Gabon to promote the steady and sound development of China-Gabon comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Xi Jinping emphasized that China is advancing high-quality development and Chinese modernization on all fronts, and Gabon is dedicated to achieving the strategic goal of building an “Emerging Gabon” at an early date. China is ready to work with Gabon to increase experience sharing on national governance, deepen strategic mutual trust, and firmly support each other on issues involving their respective core interests and major concerns. China firmly supports Gabon in pursuing a development path suited to its own national conditions, and stands ready to strengthen strategic synergy with Gabon, advance cooperation in such fields as infrastructure development, forestry, fishery, digital economy and industrial park development, support Gabon in realizing economic diversification and industrial upgrading, promote green Belt and Road cooperation, and set a good example of South-South cooperation on climate response. The two sides should deepen cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and strengthen cooperation in such areas as tourism, rural revitalization, poverty alleviation and agricultural development. The two sides should also strengthen strategic cooperation at multilateral platforms including the United Nations, to safeguard world peace and development, and international fairness and justice, as well as the common interests of developing countries. China is ready to work with Gabon to make greater strides in bilateral friendly cooperation as the two sides celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the world today is faced with multiple challenges and interwoven crises. China and African countries need to strengthen solidarity and cooperation more than ever. The two sides should carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, adhere to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and other basic norms governing international relations, sternly oppose any form of hegemonism and power politics, oppose interference in other countries' internal affairs, and promote the building of a human community with a shared future. China firmly supports Africa in pursuing a unique independent path of development, advancing food security, industrialization, and green development, and in becoming an important pole in world development politically, economically and culturally, and stands ready to provide Africa with new opportunities with its new development, and make China-Africa practical cooperation a prime example of South-South cooperation and international cooperation with Africa.

Bongo said that he was very honored to pay a visit to China upon invitation shortly after President Xi Jinping’s reelection, and he would like to extend once again congratulations on the success of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and China's Two Sessions, noting that these two grand events not only demonstrate the Chinese people's great trust in President Xi Jinping, but also make Gabon more convinced that China will continue to score more achievements on its path toward prosperity and development. Gabon stays firmly committed to the one-China policy, and supports the important visions proposed by President Xi Jinping such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the building of a human community with a shared future. Gabon and China have deep political mutual trust, and always respect and support each other. He thanked China for providing the country with long-standing and precious assistance and playing an important role in promoting economic diversification and industrialization in Gabon, and expressed the hope that the two sides will further strengthen cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, agriculture and tourism. Bongo noted that Gabon welcomes Chinese enterprises’ participation in its industrial park development, and stands ready to provide an enabling environment for Chinese enterprises. Gabon looks forward to grandly celebrating with China the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries next year, consolidating and deepening friendly cooperation, and advancing the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two sides. Gabon and China have shared or similar positions on many international affairs, and both advocate respecting each country's sovereignty, oppose interference in other countries' internal affairs, and oppose politicizing human rights issues and adopting double standards. Gabon is ready to continue to strengthen multilateral strategic coordination with China, and work for better development and greater achievements of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and Africa-China relations.

After the talks, the two heads of state jointly witnessed the signing of multiple bilateral cooperation documents in such fields as investment, agriculture, housing and urban development, and climate response.

The two sides issued a Joint Statement between the People's Republic of China and the Gabonese Republic on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership.

Prior to the talks, Xi Jinping held a welcoming ceremony for Ali Bongo Ondimba at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People.

As Bongo arrived, 21-gun salute was fired at the Tiananmen Square and a guard of honor lined up in salutation. After the two presidents stepped onto the stand, the military band played the national anthems of China and Gabon. Bongo reviewed the guard of honor of the People's Liberation Army and watched the march-past in President Xi's company.

Madame Peng Liyuan, wife of President Xi Jinping, and Madame Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, wife of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, were also present at the welcoming ceremony.

President Xi and Madame Peng hosted a welcoming banquet for President Ali Bongo Ondimba and his wife Sylvia Bongo Ondimba at the Golden Hall of the Great Hall of the People in the evening.

Wang Yi and Qin Gang, among others, participated in the above events.

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