China is determined to widen cooperation with Gabon and boost existing pragmatic relations between the two sides, according to a senior Chinese official on a visit to the Central African country. The pledge was made at a meeting held Wednesday between Gabonese Prime Minister Raymond Ndong Sima and Ai Ping, deputy head of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee. Ai hailed the Sino-Gabonese friendship forged by leaders of generations of the two nations, saying it has taken root in the heart of the two peoples. He pointed out that the friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two nations have yielded abundant fruits. \"In the new international situation, the cooperation between China and Gabon is very essential because the two countries are both engaged in reinforcement of their economies, protection of the environment and improvement of the well-being of their citizens,\" he said. China is committed to exploring new forms of cooperation with Gabon under the auspices of China-Africa Cooperation Forum, he added. On his part, the Gabonese prime minister praised the friendly ties and cooperation between Gabon\'s ruling party, the Democratic Party of Gabon (PDG), and the CPC. He expressed appreciation of China\'s reform policy and decision to open up to the outside world. In the past 15 years, he said, Chinese companies have increased investment in Gabon, making a great contribution to the Gabonese- Sino economic cooperation. Ai is heading a CPC delegation on a three-day visit to Gabon at the invitation of the PDG.