President Xi Jinping said China and Senegal should deepen pragmatic cooperation under frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to leverage their complementary strengths.
Xi made the remark in a signed article published by the Senegalese daily newspaper Le Soleil ahead of his state visit to the country on Saturday.
Xi said China is ready to deepen cooperation with Senegal in areas including trade and processing of agricultural and fishery products, infrastructure construction, production capacity, industrial parks and human resources development as well as help the country improve its self-development capacity.
The two countries should stay committed to equality and mutual trust and handle bilateral relations from long-term perspectives, he said, adding that they should firmly support each other in issues relating to their core interests and major concerns.
“We should be good friends and good partners who treat each other sincerely, trust each other and help each other,” he wrote.
Xi noted that China is now the second-largest trading partner of Senegal and bilateral trade volume has expanded by 16 times in the past decade.
China is also the largest financing source for the country. A fund provided by China helped build 251 wells and 1,800 kilometers of pipelines in rural areas, providing water for drinking and daily use for one-seventh of the population, according to the article.
Bilateral relations have opened a new chapter since the two countries reestablished diplomatic relations in 2005, and China supports Senegal in following a development path that suits its national conditions, Xi said.
Senegal has provided China with firm support on issues related to its core interests, and political trust has risen continuously, giving rise to fruitful cooperative outcomes, he said.
The two countries also should seek greater synergy in strategies, and China is willing to share with Senegal its experience of governance as well as its successful experience in industrial development, rural vitalization and poverty alleviation over the past 40 years in its reform and opening-up, Xi said.
Xi also called on the two nations to bring their peoples closer and urged continuous bilateral exchanges in education and research institutions, art groups, media and youth.
The two sides should also enhance cooperation in international and regional affairs, and China is willing to step up communication and coordination with Senegal over major issues including United Nations affairs, safeguarding the multilateral trading system, climate change and the peaceful development of Africa, Xi said.
Xi added that China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Senegal within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and seek greater development for the forum and China-Africa relations.