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China, Benin agree to push ties to new high

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DAKAR, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) — Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Beninese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Aurelien Agbenonci have agreed to advance bilateral ties to a new high.

Wang and Agbenonci met in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, Tuesday on the sidelines of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Relations between China and Benin have been developing soundly and steadily with the care and leadership of the two heads of state, with continuous progress achieved in cooperation in various fields, Wang said.

China and Benin have been helping each other and uniting to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, further solidifying the friendship, he said.

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China appreciates Benin’s support for China on issues concerning its core interests and major concerns and will continue to resolutely support Benin in opposing outside interference and choosing its own development path, said Wang, stressing China stands ready to work with Benin in deepening cooperation in various fields and strive for new achievements in bilateral relations.

Agbenonci, for his part, said Chinese President Xi Jinping’s important speech at the opening of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC is uplifting and will not only elevate the level of cooperation between Africa and China but also bring fresh impetus to Benin-China cooperation.

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Benin upholds the one-China principle and will continue to firmly support China’s just stance, he said.

Benin is satisfied with the high-quality cooperation with China, Agbenonci said, thanking China for helping its economic transformation.

He also expressed gratitude to China for being among the first to provide Benin with medical materials and COVID-19 vaccines to help Benin successfully contain the pandemic.

Benin stands ready to expand mutually beneficial cooperation with China in trade, tourism, specialty product export, and personnel training, Agbenonci said.

Both sides agreed to work together to advance bilateral ties to a new high in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year.

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