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Chinese President Signs Deals in Mozambique as African Tour Nears End


Chinese President Hu Jintao has signed a series of bilateral agreements during a visit to Mozambique, promising the African nation debt relief and expanded trade.

President Hu and his Mozambican counterpart, Armando Guebuza, signed a range of deals on agriculture and other trade initiatives Thursday. China also promised to help Mozambique build schools and a national stadium.

Last year, bilateral trade between the two nations totaled $210 million.

This is President Hu's second-to-last stop on his eight-nation African tour.

Over the past two weeks, the Chinese president has visited through Cameroon, Liberia, Sudan, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa. In each of the nations, he has announced new aid from China or signed economic agreements.

Mr. Hu ends his tour in Seychelles Saturday.

Speaking in South Africa Wednesday, he dismissed concerns that Beijing is developing a neo-colonialist relationship with Africa in its drive to tap natural resources for its energy-hungry industries. He said China would not do anything harmful to the continent.

A U.S. State Department official, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, James Swan, says Washington is not worried about China's expanding presence in Africa, but hopes Beijing expands its interests on the continent in a way that, in his words, "supports and reinforces international norms."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.