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Envoy says China, Africa should speak with one voice

By Otiato Opali in Nairobi, Kenya | | Updated: 2022-06-14 20:39
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Wu Peng, the director-general for African Affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, has said China and Africa should, along with other developing countries, speak with louder voices on international issues and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

Wu made the remarks after meeting South African scholars in Pretoria on Monday as part of his trip to several African countries. He also said the COVID-19 pandemic and other global changes meant China and Africa had even more reasons to cooperate closely.

"Economically, China and Africa should join together with other developing countries, express firm opposition against irresponsible politicizing, weaponizing or marginalizing of normal trade and economic activities. We need to say no to segmenting the international trading system by ideology and urge developed countries to fulfill pledges of providing development assistance and uphold an inclusive trading system," Wu said.

"On peace and security, both Africa and China need to oppose the 'I win, you lose' cold war mentality and refuse exclusive small blocs and rather seek to promote the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security as envisaged by the United Nations Charter," he added.

David Monyae, the director of the Centre for Africa-China Studies at the University of Johannesburg said by and large, although fragmented and varied, African countries and people are not in favor of the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

He said more than anything, concerns are around the weaponization of certain global public goods and sanctions, which have brought more contradictions and challenges and posed even more danger to the continent.

On Tuesday, Wu met with Candith Mashego-Dlamini, South Africa's deputy foreign minister, and discussed how to expand bilateral trade cooperation, especially in promoting the export of South African products to China. During his African tour, Wu is expected to visit Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Togo in the coming days.

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