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UPDATED: October 8, 2008  
China Pledges More Assistance for Attaining MDGs

China will speed up efforts and provide increased assistance to needy countries to facilitate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in New York on Thursday.

China will contribute $30 million to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization for establishing a trust fund to help developing countries enhance agricultural productivity, Wen said in his address to the UN high-level meeting on MDGs.

China will increase food exports and assistance to countries plagued by food shortages, and "cancel the outstanding interest-free loans extended to least developed countries that mature before the end of 2008," he pledged.

Ninety-five percent of products from these countries will also enjoy zero-tariff treatment while entering into the Chinese market, he added.

China will also increase agricultural technology support and provide more agricultural training opportunities for developing countries, Wen said.

Over the next five years, developing countries will get 10,000 more scholarships from China, along with some exclusive training programs for African teachers. China will also fully staff and equip the hospitals it builds for African countries and help train their medical staff.

In these five years, China will also develop 100 small-scale clean energy projects for developing countries, including small hydropower, solar power and bio-gas projects, Wen said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2008)

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