2015:A New Era of Comprehensive Development of China-Africa Cooperation

Source: 2016-01-06

Nairobi, December 27th (journalist Yuan Bingzhong) – The year 2015 has witnessed China-Africa relations recording the most splendid chapter in the history of international relations.

Fruitful achievements have been made in the recently concluded Johannesburg Summit of FOCAC, which ushered in a new era of win-win cooperation and common development between China and Africa and brought China-Africa relations onto a new journey with broad prospects.

History will always remember the year 2015.

Johannesburg Summit is indeed a milestone in China-Africa relations, which sent a strong signal to the world – China and Africa will join hands for win-win cooperation and common development and promote comprehensive development of their relations.

From proposing to strengthen and consolidate the "five major pillars" of China-Africa relations to announcing "ten major cooperation initiatives" with Africa in the following three years supported by US$60 billion for their smooth implementation; from initiating five proposals on China-Africa friendly cooperation to emphasizing the principle that four things will never change in its relations with Africa … China has made solemn commitment and taken real actions to keep up to date its policy of developing relations with African countries with sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith and approach of upholding principles and pursuing interests

The year 2015 is a year of fully deepening and upgrading China-Africa relations. Leaders of China and African countries all agree at the summit to upgrade their new type of strategic partnership into comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, thus realizing another leap of China-Africa relations.

Such a new positioning will fully expand China-Africa relations and open up broad prospects of their mutually beneficial cooperation at a larger scope, wider field and higher level, which is of strategic importance for both sides. China is now working hard to realize the Chinese dream of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, for which the CPC Central Committee adopted the Suggestion on the 13th Five-Year Plan at its Fifth Plenary Session, while the AU also adopted Agenda 2063 early this year, mapping out the development vision for the following 50 years. A series of new measures for matching the development strategies of China and Africa will promote comprehensive upgrading of China-Africa cooperation.

To strengthen and consolidate the "five major pillars" of China-Africa relations, namely political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation, cultural exchange and mutual learning, mutual support in security, and solidarity and collaboration in international affairs, will offer strong support and guarantee for comprehensive development of China-Africa friendly cooperation.

Having gone through several hundred years of ups and downs, China and Africa now define their relations as comprehensive cooperative partnership, which starts a brand new era. South African President Zuma said full of expectation that with the strong support of China, upheaval changes will happen in the African continent. Zimbabwean President Mugabe could not help to show his excitement at the Summit and expressed "most sincere and profound gratitude" to China. Leaders of African countries are full of joy for the real measures and sincere commitment of China to help Africa.

The year 2015 is a crucial year in the history of China-Africa relations. It marks the 15thanniversary of the establishment of FOCAC. The past 15 years have witnessed robustdevelopment of China-Africa relations with their cooperation making great headway in various fields, yielding fruitful results.

Politically, there has been frequent exchange of high-level visits, making their political mutual trust more solid. China and Africa have rendered each other mutual support and cooperation in international affairs, and shown mutual understanding and support on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns.

Economically, China has maintained Africa's biggest trading partner for the sixth consecutive year. China-Africa trade stood at US$220 billion in 2014, which is 22 times that of the year 2000 when FOCAC was inaugurated. China's total investment to Africa has exceeded US$30 billion, which is 60 times that of 2000, up by 20% annually in average.

In the field of production capacity cooperation, China is committed to helping Africa to address the problem of underdevelopment in infrastructure which hinders its development. By September 2015, through China's assistance and financing, the total railway lines completed and under construction by China in Africa were 5675 kilometers, and that of highways 4507 kilometers. The internal combustion bullet trains, locomotives, passenger trains, freight trains, and urban rail of the CRRC have covered 29 African countries, providing nearly 10,000 railway vehicles to Africa.

People-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Africa have also been deepened and expanded. China has helped to build schools and offers government scholarships to African countries, and organizes multilateral and bilateral training programmes on technical management as well as workshops for senior officials of African countries. Moreover, more and more Chinese people prefer to travel to Africa, and many of them have chosen to settle down there, leaving many touching "love stories".

China and Africa need and complement each other in their cooperation, and are faced with unprecedented historic opportunities.

Africa now is in the initial period of industrialization, while China has accumulated rich experience in the filed of industrialization, and can offer its development experience to African countries for reference. China-Africa cooperation is timely and appropriate.

China has proposed "ten major cooperation initiatives" including industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure and green development, covering various aspects of Africa's development, which can help Africa to overcome bottleneck constraint against its development, thus to achieve independent and sustained development. The initiatives aim at promoting matching of development strategies of the two sides.

China has always been a firm participant, supporter and promoter for Africa' s development. President Zuma said passionately that when China came to Africa to cooperate with them, he was for the first time full of hope for Africa's future, which is something he could not dare to imagine in the old times when western countries colonizedAfrica.

"The beginning of all stings is small." China-Africa traditional friendship has laid a solid foundation for China-Africa relations to embark on a new journey.

The year 2015 is the first year for China-Africa relations to embark on a new journey. In the coming year of 2016, under the guidance of the policy of developing relations with African countries with sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith and the principle of "proposed, agreed upon and led by Africa", we will work to strengthen and consolidate "five major pillars" of China-Africa relations based on the needs and reality in Africa. There will be a new future of China-Africa cooperation.

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