Kenyan forum roots for robust China-Africa cooperation in peace, security
NAIROBI, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Friday hosted a forum to discuss ways of strengthening China-Africa cooperation on governance, peace and security as a prerequisite to sustain inclusive prosperity and stability in the continent.
Delegates who attended the forum organized by Nairobi-based pan-African think tank Africa Policy Institute agreed that China has become a critical partner in Africa's quest to tackle conflicts and governance hiccups that have undermined its progress.
In his opening remarks, Li Xuhang, the Charge d'affaires at the Chinese Embassy, said Beijing is committed to realization of peace, security and good governance in Africa without interfering with the continent's sovereignty.
"When participating in African security affairs, China has always respected the sovereignty of the countries concerned," Li said.
"On the ground of non-interference, China holds an objective and fair attitude to urge peace and promote talks to convince people by reasoning but not bias," he said.
He said that China has rallied behind long-term solution to Africa's insecurity and civil strife by investing in projects that addresses poverty and youth unemployment.
"China believes that the root causes of instability and conflict lie in poverty and under-development and only by supporting African countries in achieving coordinated economic and social development can we fundamentally achieve stability," said Li.
Senor policymakers and scholars affiliated with pan-African think tanks attended the Nairobi forum which sought to stimulate conversation on how China can be an integral part of the continent's quest to be peaceful, stable and secure.
Christopher Chika, director of Asia and Australasia Directorate at Kenya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that China's participation in Africa's peace and security agenda has redefined bilateral ties with the continent in recent times.
"The emerging consensus is to realign China-Africa engagement with our continent's peace and security agenda as we aspire to silence the guns," said Chika.
"China has invested heavily in Africa and therefore it is in its interest to promote peace and security that is key to improve the business environment," he added.
He commended Beijing's support towards stabilization of regional hotspots like Somalia and South Sudan.
Peter Kagwanja, chief executive officer of the Africa Policy Institute, said that China-Africa relations have for many decades placed heavy premium on peaceful development and sovereignty of individual countries.
"China was engaged in matters of peace and security in Africa in the 1950s as part of the struggle for liberation of states in the continent that led to their attaining of independence," said Kagwanja.
He stressed that investments in youth empowerment programs is key to neutralizing the threat of violent conflicts and terrorism in Africa.