Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau leaders to visit China

19 May 2006

Praia, Cape Verde, 19 May – In the next few months China will receive official visits from the president of Guinea Bissau and the prime minister of Cape Verde, the latter at the time of the Chinese-African summit, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported.

According to Lusa, Nino Vieira, president of Guinea Bissau, will visit China in June, where he is due to meet local authorities to discuss extended Chinese cooperation in his country.

The exact date has yet to be set, but the visit is expected to take place before the 6th Summit of Heads of State of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), scheduled for July 17, in Bissau.

In the meantime, according to the Cape Verde press, the country’s prime minister, José Maria das Neves, is due to visit China in November to take part in the Chinese-African summit.

Neves will take advantage of the summit on November 4 and 5 in Beijing, to meet with leaders of several African countries present.

Recently, cape Verde’s ambassador to China, Júlio Morais, said that Cape Verde wanted to become a services platform for the Chinese merchant navy, as part of its strategy to create a transport hub in the mid-Atlantic and the West African Coast.

The ambassador also said the two countries should boost their relationship to strategic partner status, with the aim of gaining access to trade loans from Chinese banks, for developing the archipelago.

On a recent visit to Cape Verde, China’s Foreign Minister, Li Zhaoxing, signed a cooperation agreement that included a no-interest loan of US$2 million to be applied to the health sector.

Cooperation between China and Cape Verde dates back to April 1976, almost a year after the African country’s independence (July 5, 1975), when diplomatic relations began.

China is currently building the first hydroelectric dam in Cape Verde on Santiago Island and the two countries are negotiating the construction of other dams and a national stadium on the outskirts of the capital city of Praia. (macauhub)