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Official: China Makes Contributions to Millennium Development Goals

A Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC) official said on Friday that although China is still a developing country, it would continue to make contributions according to its own capabilities to help reduce global poverty.

"China is still a developing country. Its GDP per capita will remain low for a very long time," said Gao Yuanyuan, the ministry's foreign aid department deputy head, at a press conference prior to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) summit to open in New York on September 25.

As this year coincides with the MDG mid-term review, heads of states or government chiefs from 140 countries will attend the summit.

Gao said although China is a developing country, it is committed to making bigger contributions to the global poverty alleviation campaign.

According to Gao, China has already offered its assistance to more than120 foreign countries, establishing about 2,000 projects abroad since the 1950s. Since then, it has also trained more than 100,000 professionals for 160 countries and dispatched 20,000 medical personnel and 240 young volunteers.

It has also exempted 376 debts owed by 49 of the most underdeveloped countries and offered timely help and assistance to those who suffered humanitarian disasters.

China's foreign assistance, according to Gao, covers such fields as agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, light textiles, transport, telecom and civil construction, among others.

The country would expand its foreign aid plan in line with its national capabilities and increase its assistance efficiency to realize the MDG along with the joint efforts from the international community, she added.

Established in 2000, the MDG include goals for eradicating extreme poverty, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and improving maternal health by 2015.

(Xinhua News Agency September 20, 2008)

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