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China extended aid to 161 countries by end of 2009: white paper

BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- China had extended aid to 161 countries and more than 30 international and regional organizations by the end of 2009, says a white paper on China's foreign aid released Thursday.

The recipients of China's foreign aid are mainly low-income developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Carribean, Oceania and Eastern Europe, with Asia and Africa taking up 80 percent of the total figure, says the white paper released by the Information Office of the State Council.

The aid are mainly oriented to agriculture, industry, economic infrastructure, public facilities, education and medical and health care, the paper says.

By the end of 2009, China had aided 221 agricultural projects, 688 industrial production projects, 442 economic infrastructure projects and 687 public facilities of various kinds in other developing countries, according to the white paper.

China had also helped other developing countries build more than 130 schools and over 100 hospitals and medical care centers by the end of 2009, the paper says.

As one of the first countries to develop clean energy sources, China has helped other developing countries to better utilize resources to reduce their dependence on imported fuels, according to the white paper.

China' s foreign aid began in 1950, when it provided material assistance to the Democratic People' s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Vietnam.

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