Beninese president meets Chinese FM
Beninese President Patrice Talon (R) meets with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in Cotonou, Benin, Jan. 13, 2023. (Xinhua/Li Yahui)
COTONOU, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Beninese President Patrice Talon on Friday met with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang in Cotonou, the largest city of Benin.
Talon asked Qin to convey his sincere greetings and best wishes to Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying the visit of the new Chinese foreign minister to Benin during his first official African tour, which came shortly after the 50th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations between China and Benin, has demonstrated the friendly and close ties between the two countries.
Benin cherishes China's long-term support and assistance, Talon said, adding that Benin, though small in size, stands on the side of truth, equality and justice, and will continue to be a steadfast and reliable friend of China.
China has found the right development path and made achievements that impressed the whole world, achievements that have deeply inspired all the developing countries, the president said.
He said Benin looks forward to learning from China's experience, deepening and expanding practical cooperation with China, and accelerating national development and revitalization.
Qin, for his part, conveyed President Xi Jinping's cordial greetings to Talon, noting that over the past half a century, China and Benin have always respected each other and treated each other as equals.
China appreciates Benin's understanding and support on issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns, and stands ready to continue as a sincere partner of Benin with mutual political trust and forge ahead together in development, Qin said.
He said China is looking forward to jointly implementing the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and the outcomes of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), so as to continuously push China-Benin relations to new levels.
Beijing encourages more capable and reputable Chinese companies to invest in Benin, and hopes that Benin will safeguard the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese institutions and personnel, Qin said.
He said that China has always adhered to the leadership of the Communist Party of China in its reforms and development, stayed committed to independence, and never simply copied the models of any other countries.
China is willing to strengthen experience-sharing on state governance with Benin, and support its pursuit of a development path suited to Benin's national realities, Qin said.
He said China will continue to work in solidarity with African countries, including Benin, to achieve common development based on the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation and in line with the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and a commitment to the greater good and shared interests.
During the visit, Qin also held talks with his Beninese counterpart, Aurelien Agbenonci, and signed documents on cooperation in such fields as people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang (L) holds talks with his Beninese counterpart Aurelien Agbenonci in Cotonou, Benin, Jan. 14, 2023. (Xinhua/Li Yahui)