LOME, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese soldiers will assist Western African countries in securing navigational safety in the Gulf of Guinea at a time when the region is facing an increasing threat from pirates, a visiting Chinese major general said here Thursday.
China will join the international anti-piracy effort in the Gulf of Guinea by helping littoral states in the region build necessary infrastructure, said Qian Lihua, former head of the foreign affairs office of China's Ministry of National Defence.
Speaking at a meeting on African peace and stability, the Chinese major general also put forward a few proposals on fighting piracy in the region.
He called on the international community to help regional countries strengthen their capacity by training maritime security troops, putting more financial and technical resources into anti-piracy efforts and expanding development aid to those countries so as to rid poverty and raise the employment rate among young people.
China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace and security in Africa based on the principles of respecting the will of African countries, not interfering in African internal affairs and observing the basic norms governing international relations, he noted.
China welcomes third-party initiatives regarding cooperation on peace and security in Africa, but "that can only be done on the bases of African consent and African dominance," he added.
The two-day meeting which began on Wednesday, was co-sponsored by the Carter Center in the United States, Togo's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN office for West Africa. It was a preparatory event for a maritime security summit of the African Union in October.