World / China-Zimbabwe

Africans praise Xi Jinping ahead of his State visits to Zimbabwe, South Africa

( Updated: 2015-12-01 19:13

Chinese President Xi Jinping is headed for State visits to Zimbabwe and South Africa, where he will also host the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg.

The visits come as some prominent Africans spoke highly of Xi to the People's Daily, calling him a gentle and sincere person who is enthusiastic and wise.

Former Mozambique president Joaquim Alberto Chissano said Xi is a strong-willed person, and always respects others' suggestions and keeps his promises.

In 2012, Chissano visited China for the 2nd China-Africa People's Forum, and Xi, who was vice president at the time, spoke on promoting a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership at the forum's opening ceremony.

Chissano said he believes Xi's two visits to Africa in three years since he took office reflect the importance he places on China-Africa relations and developing cooperation with Africa. He expects Xi's visit to Africa this time to further deepen the win-win cooperation between the two sides.

When former Zambian president Kenneth David Kaunda visited China and met Xi in 2011, Sino-Zambian relations were temporarily at "a low point" due to the change of power in Zambia.

"I was quite worried about the situation at that time. However, during the meeting, Xi said that the China-Zambia friendship, established by old generation of leaders of the two countries, is all-weather friendship. Xi also said China cherishes its friendship with Zambia and places importance on developing China-Zambia relations," Kaunda recalled, adding that Xi is a sincere person and truly willing to maintain friendly relations with Zambia.

Essop Goolam Pahad, a former South African Minister in the Presidency, told the People's Daily that Xi is a gentle state leader. Xi smiles on many occasions, and, of course, he looks serious during discussions, Pahad said.

Pahad once attended the book launching of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China in South Africa. He said he thinks the book helped him understand China. What impressed him the most is Xi's determination to stamp out corruption, which can also be used for reference in South Africa and other African countries.

Tanzania's former ambassador to China, Charles Sanga, listened to Xi's speech in 2013 at the Julius Nyerere International Conference Center, which was built with China's help. Recalling the speech during Xi's state visit to Tanzania, Charles said it was sincere and enthusiastic. Instead of attempting to please others, the speech was candid and reasonable, a way to remind the world that China-African relations are based on true friendship and not one that is conditional. Friendly cooperation between China and Africa is based on mutual respect, and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation proves that there is a link between the Chinese dream and African dream. The miraculous economic development of China since the reform and opening up provides unprecedented opportunities for African countries to attain economic independence, he added.

Gabon's former ambassador to China, Emmanuel Mba Allo, met Xi while he was working in China. He said Xi is very outgoing and approachable. Allo wrote a book review on Xi Jinping: The Governance of China in Gabon's top newspaper l'Union on November 22. He said Xi is an outstanding politician with a broad vision. Xi's commitment to deepening reform is admirable and his concept of a Chinese dream will lift China to a more important position on the international stage.

In 2013, President Xi visited the University Marien Ngouabi in the Republic of Congo, the only public university of that country then, and the school's library was built with the aid of China and was the school's only modern building at that time. The school has greatly changed since its buildings have been upgraded through the cooperation between China and the Republic of Congo. Armand Moyikoua, honorary president of Marien Ngouabi University, praised Xi's will, wise and educated. He said these qualities, which are also showed on Chinese people, led to China's fast development, and benefited other developing countries such as the Republic of Congo.

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