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Sino-African engagement steered onto stable path

By Liu Yuxi | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-07-05 09:27

The Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of Follow-up Actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, held recently in Beijing, was an important gathering in the process of China-Africa friendly engagement to take the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to a higher level.

At the meeting, China and Africa agreed to build a community of shared future and jointly pursue a development path under the Belt and Road Initiative.

With rising unilateralism, protectionism and bullying in the contemporary world, economic globalization is confronted by various countercurrents that have become major barriers constraining the growth of developing countries.

China, the biggest developing country, and Africa, the continent with the largest number of developing countries, remain true to their original aspirations by joining hands to promote a community of shared future for mankind.

China believes in equality among nations regardless of their size, wealth or strength, seeks no political self-interest in cooperation, fully respects the sovereignty of African countries and supports Africa's independent exploration of development paths.

Africa is an important cornerstone of China's foreign policy. President Xi Jinping has visited Africa several times, and frequently meets with leaders of African nations, forging friendship with his counterparts.

China and Africa have been mutually supportive on issues of core interest, and they share positions on promoting democracy in international relations and safeguarding multilateralism, international equality and justice, and the common interests of developing countries.

Joint development is the important mission of China-Africa cooperation. China and Africa are committed to realizing the dream of national prosperity, revitalization and people's happiness, and promoting common development through practical cooperation.

Through implementation of the follow-up actions of the FOCAC Beijing Summit, aligning with the African Union's Agenda 2063, and joining hands in the BRI, China-Africa cooperation is creating new opportunities for Africa.

China has been Africa's top trading partner for the 10th consecutive year, with its overall investment in Africa valued at over $110 billion. Twenty-four African countries have forged strategic partnerships or comprehensive cooperative partnerships with China. More than 3,700 Chinese businesses have invested in African countries.

The follow-up actions of the FOCAC Beijing Summit last year are bearing fruit.

China will implement more than 880 cooperation projects in Africa. Major projects such as the Maputo-Catembe Bridge, Africa's longest suspension bridge, and Guinea's Souapiti hydropower station have either been completed or put on the fast track. The first Luban Workshop, dedicated to cultivating students' professional quality, practical ability and creativity, opened in Djibouti.

The China-Africa Institute was launched in Beijing, and China and the African Union signed documents on the construction of the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

China-Africa cooperation is expanding to new areas such as information and communications technology, digital economy and renewable energy. Cooperation such as public-private partnership, invest-build-operate, and investment and financing are developing exponentially.

China focuses on improving Africa's business environment to attract foreign investment, emphasizes indigenization of business operations, supports Africa's capacity-building and promotes regional economic corridors and development centers to facilitate industrial relocation and technological transfer, creating employment for host countries.

The Eastern Industry Zone, built with Chinese investment, is Ethiopia's first industrial zone. It has 81 companies on its premises with combined investment of $370 million. The zone has generated more than $60 million in tax revenue and created over 10,000 job opportunities.

China-Africa cooperation is well-known for its openness and inclusiveness. International investment in Africa has been growing rapidly in recent years. China believes that international cooperation with Africa should stick to the principle of Africa First, and China is willing to work with all other countries to play a complementary role for Africa's peace, stability and development.

The BRI is not China's solo show, but a choir involving other parties for its implementation. In fact, China has conducted meaningful trilateral cooperation with Western countries, including the UK and France. The long-held Cold War mentality, zero-sum game theory and the law of the jungle should be rejected to make room for the principles of "African initiative, African consent and African ownership" to chart the right way of cooperation and common wins.

Despite profound changes in the international situation, China-Africa cooperation and common wins are pressing ahead vigorously. China will persevere in the original aspiration of China-Africa cooperation after the coordinators' meeting to build a closer community of shared future and strengthen bilateral cooperation.

China will step up efforts to align the development strategies so that the cooperation achievements will benefit more people and keep China-Africa cooperation progressing on a stable path to the future.

The author is China's head of mission to the African Union.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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