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China’s Foreign Minister To Explore More FOCAC Implementations in Africa

By Fredrick P. W. Gaye in Monrovia (People's Daily Online)    14:57, January 06, 2017

China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, will pay official visits to five African countries on January 7-12, 2017. The countries include Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Congo and Nigeria. 

The main purpose of Minister Wang's visit is to further explore on how to implement the major consensus reached between President Xi Jinping and African leaders as well as the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing said.

It is against the backdrop of new changes emerging in international political and economic situations and new challenges turning up in African countries so as to assist Africa's rejuvenation and development, boost the upgrading of China-Africa cooperation and contribute to solidarity and common development among developing countries.

China’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing in Beijing on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, that Minister Wang chose the five countries as the destination of his first overseas visit in the new year.

“China's diplomacy is rooted in strengthening relations with developing countries, including those in Africa. The foreign minister's first trip of every year usually takes him to Africa, a practice that has been in existence for over two decades, already establishing itself as a fine diplomatic tradition,” Mr. Geng said. He noted that 2017 will witness China-Africa cooperation marching forward and upgrading in an all-round way.

According to him, 2016 was the inaugural year of China-Africa cooperation in the new age, with China and Africa making positive efforts to implement the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and reaping a bunch of important early harvests.

Mr. Geng named a new railway in Ethiopia linking Addis Ababa to the city of Djibouti, the fast progress in building Mombasa-Nairobi railway in Kenya, and several industrial parks and special economic zones that are being planned out as few examples.

He recalled that, from January to September 2016, China's non-financial direct investment to Africa registered a year-on-year 31% increase.

“Between the end of the Johannesburg Summit and the end of last July, 245 cooperation agreements worth more than US$50 billion covering various fields were signed between the two sides. Mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Africa has shown a sound momentum of transforming and upgrading,” the spokesman added.

Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, Geng reaffirmed China’s commitment to break new grounds in forging a major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.”

Geng mentioned several activities in China’s continuing diplomatic engagements: First, China will strive to foster a sound external environment to ensure the success of the 19th National Congress of the CPC. Second, China will do her utmost to be a good host of two major diplomatic events, one being the International Cooperation Summit Forum on the Belt and Road Initiative, the other the 9th BRICS Summit. Third, the country will promote the sustained, steady and sound development of major-country relations, including China-US, China-Russia and China-EU relations, maintain a stable neighborhood, and continue to enlarge China's circle of friends. Fourth, "the overseas livelihood projects" must be moved forward so as to better complement China's national development and reform and opening-up.

He summed up as saying that China’s diplomatic efforts in 2017 will continue to safeguard the country's sovereignty, security and development interests, serve her cause of reform, development and stability, and make China's contributions to world peace and development.

Meanwhile, the Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Mr. Wang Zhengwei, is expected to participate in the inauguration of Ghanaian President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo, on January 7, 2017, in Accra. Mr. Wang is participating as a special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

About the author

Fredrick P. W. Gaye is a news editor of In Profile Daily Newspaper in Liberia and a 2016 fellow of China Africa Press Center (CAPC) in Beijing. Mr. Gaye can be reached at: fgaye.inprofile@gmail.com. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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