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China to establish permanent mission to African Union

China will send a permanent mission to the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, reported China’s state-owned English-language newspaper China Daily.

Kuang Weilin, a former ambassador to Sierra Leone, will head the mission and arrive to the African city “later this month”, the newspaper said.

“We plan to set up several departments specialising in areas including politics, economics, peace and security,” Mr Kuang was quoted saying.

One of the major tasks for the mission is to implement major infrastructure projects in Africa, he added. China and the 54-nation bloc signed a memorandum of understanding on January 27 to facilitate the development of high-speed railways, aviation and road highways in Africa.

Figures from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce show China provided US$70.8 billion in new infrastructure projects in Africa in the first 11 months of 2014, up by 33 percent from the prior-year period.

China sent a working group to Addis Ababa at the end of last year to prepare for the establishment of the mission, Mr Kuang said.