Summit opportune for Sino-African cooperation

Updated: 2006-11-01 15:09

The Sino-African cooperation forum will hold its summit and ministerial conference in Beijing between November 3-5 with the theme "Friendship, peace, cooperation and development."

During the opportune meeting, Chinese and African leaders are expected to review the past 50-year friendly cooperation, and the achievements made since the setting up of the Sino-African cooperation forum. The two sides will also decide to forge a new strategic partnership with political equality and mutual trust, economic cooperation and collective benefit, and cultural exchanges.

It is firmly believed that the meeting would open up new paths, add new content and infuse new vigor in the cooperation between China and Africa.

Nowadays, safeguarding world peace, promoting development, and reinforcing cooperation have become the common aspirations of the people of all countries.

With continued development of political multi-polarization and economic globalization, the momentum to resolve all disputes, and promote joint development through global and regional cooperation, and cooperation within a region, have all been in an upward trend.

The Beijing Summit will surely promote China-Africa cooperation, provide new impetus for regional cooperation, and boost world peace and development.

The meeting, to be held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-African ties, is of special significance as Chinese and African leaders gather in Beijing to review the past and preview the future.

Over the past half a century, Sino-African friendly cooperation has undergone numerous historical events worth commemorating and cherishing. As Chinese President Hu Jintao said during his visit to Nigeria in April, history has witnessed the milestones of Sino-African friendship.

At present, China and African countries have maintained close political ties. High-level mutual visits, and personnel exchanges between the two sides have become more frequent. Their economic and trade ties has developed rapidly, and consultation and coordination in international affairs has enhanced gradually.

By far, China has established diplomatic relations with 48 African countries. In 1956, when China established diplomatic ties with Egypt, its trade volume with the African continent was only 12 million U.S. dollars. In 2006, the Sino-African trade volume has exceeded 50 billion dollars.

In April 1963, the Chinese government dispatched its first medical team to Africa. Since then, China has sent a total of 15,000 medical personnel to 47 African countries, who treated 170 million patients. Since 1990, China has participated in 12 UN peacekeeping operations in Africa, and dispatched 3,000-plus soldiers to join UN peacekeeping forces there.

In recent years, political, economic and security situations in Africa have displayed gratifying changes.

With the joint efforts of African nations and the African Union (AU), the political situation in Africa has generally been stable, with regional disputes reducing.

In 2004, the African economy grew 5.3 percent and it reached 5.4 percent in 2005. The figure is estimated to rise to 5.9 percent in 2006. The IMF has pointed out that southern Africa is experiencing the most powerful and sustained economic growth phase since the 1870's.

In addition, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) has already charted out the blueprint for Africa's revival and development.

African countries are now joining hands to stand on their own feet, implementing independent diplomatic policies, actively involving in South-North Cooperation, pushing forward the South-South Dialogue, and exerting a greater role in international affairs.

On the other hand, the stable society, sustained economic development, and the advancement in reform and opening up of China, brings the world an unprecedented opportunity of development and cooperation.

Against this backdrop, the Beijing Summit will enhance and cement the Sino-African friendly relations for cooperation.

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