|Chinese president congratulates AU summit|
BEIJING, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao hailed the African Union (AU) as one of the most influential regional organizations in the world on Sunday as the bloc opened a summit in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia.
In a message wishing great success for the 18th session of the Assembly of the AU, Hu said the establishment of the AU, which headquarters in Addis Ababa, was an epoch-making event for the unity, cooperation, rejuvenation and development of African countries.
"Over the past decade since its inception, the African Union has made great efforts to strengthen institutional and capability building and played a pivotal role in safeguarding peace and stability, promoting social and economic development and advancing the integration process in Africa," Hu said.
He said the bloc has now become one of the most influential regional organizations in the world.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, China-Africa relations have grown rapidly, and made in-depth progress on all fronts, Hu said, adding the establishment and development of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership have boosted bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the political, economic, trade and cultural fields.
The Chinese president said China has always been Africa's good friend, good partner and good brother. To further consolidate and strengthen unity and cooperation between China and Africa and promote common development is an important cornerstone of China's foreign policy and a long-term strategic choice that China is firmly committed to, he said.
Hu said China would continue to work with Africa to take the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership to a higher and broader plane, thus making even greater contribution to the cause of peace and development in Africa and the world as a whole.