World / FOCAC

China expects unprecedented ties with Africa

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-11-25 18:52

BEIJING - The upcoming summit of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will make Sino-African relations the strongest they have ever been, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday.

President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Zimbabwe from Dec 1 to 2 and then to South Africa from Dec 2 to 5, when he will chair the Johannesburg Summit of the FOCAC.

"This will be a historic visit of the highest level, having the most significant influence on Sino-African relations and bringing about our most extensive cooperation," said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming at a press briefing.

The Johannesburg Summit will be the highlight of Xi's visit, marking the 15th anniversary of the forum.

A total of 36 national leaders, five government heads, three vice premiers and African Union chairmen having applied to attend the event.

China will announce new initiatives aimed at accelerating Africa's industrialization and agricultural modernization and strengthening its industrial cooperation with China, according to Zhang.

The two parties will also organize meetings between Chinese and African entrepreneurs and hold an exhibition on equipment manufacturing in the railway, telecommunications and electricity sectors, according to Qian Keming, vice commerce minister.

China has been Africa's largest trade partner for six straight years and Africa is assuming growing importance as an investment and engineering contract destination for Chinese enterprises.

The Chinese government has rolled out about 900 assistance programs in Africa covering agriculture, health, education and other fields and offered training to over 30,000 local people since 2012.

China has provided African countries with loans worth over $20 billion since 2012 and will continue to provide financing support, according to Zhang.

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