China embraces diversified, win-win cooperation with African countries

China, the world largest developing country, has gradually developed its relations with Africa, where many developing countries are located, into a diversified and win-win cooperation which is hailed as a model of the "south-south cooperation."

China has declared their support to Africa which is ready to stand on its own feet and take a major step forward with the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development as the vehicles for further development.

"Despite the opportunities offered by globalization, many African countries continue to be marginalized. There is therefore a need for African community to actively pursue a common view and collective action to ensure the equitable sharing of the benefits of globalization with countries, such as China," said Yang Lihua, a research fellow with Chinese Academy of Social Science.

Fifty years after the first Bandung meeting, which marked the beginning of China-Africa cooperation, the fast-growing economic ties between China and Africa have greatly enhanced their relations and are set to shape their future exchanges, both government to government and people to people.

It is essential that China and African countries will boost cooperation by taking concerted and pragmatic approaches for the interests of both sides, Yang added.

According to official statistics, trade between China and Africa has witnessed a phenomenal growth, with direct trade rocketing from over 10 million US dollars in the 1950s to one billion dollars 30 years later.

After China's introduction of economic reforms and opening up in the late 1970s, bilateral trade grew much faster. By 2000, it grew to 10 billion. In the new century, under the framework of China-African Cooperation Forum, it took only four years for the bilateral trade to reach 30 billion dollars.

Both the Chinese and African governments are keen to see an increase in trade and have been making efforts to improve investment environment for each other.

Starting from 2005, China will implement a tariff exemption policy for certain goods from 25 least developed African states,

Besides trade, China has made investments totaling about one billion dollars in 49 African countries. In recent years, Chinese companies are encouraged to invest in Africa.

As Chinese and African leaders eye further cooperation, economic ties between China and Africa are set to shape their future exchanges and create a win-win situation and a model for South-South cooperation, Yang said.

Meanwhile, Africa and China can learn from each other's experiences in a number of key areas such as agriculture, trade and investment liberalization, human resource development, information and telecommunications technologies.

"China's phenomenal growth success story is resulting in a questioning of traditional 'western-style market economics' and its application in the developing world," she said.

China's emergence as a commercial partner of Africa, and its willingness to accept the political disposition of its African partners, will continue to guarantee China's welcome and commercial presence on the continent.

"In this sense, China needs Africa and African countries also have much expectations upon Chinese partners," the expert noted.

Source: Xinhua

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