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Op-ed: Xi’s Middle East, Africa visit sets South-South cooperation on new journey

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)    10:46, August 01, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his 11-day-long Middle East and African visit on July 29, after paying state visits to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa, attending the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg and paying a friendly visit to Mauritius during a stopover on his way back to Beijing.

During his visit, Xi and the foreign leaders he met with discussed plans on friendly cooperation, drew a blueprint for development and revitalization and laid a vision for building a mutually beneficial and win-win prospect. 

The meetings have caught the attention of the world and injected new impetus into the unity and cooperation among China, other emerging markets and developing countries. 

Today’s world, amidst the winds of change and profound adjustments of power balance, is faced with mounting unilateralism and trade protectionism. 

The next decade will be a crucial time when new global growth drivers will take the place of old ones. It will see faster changes in the international landscape and the international alignment of forces, as well as a profound reshaping of the global governance system. 

Faced with the unprecedented changes, a major country should keep abreast of the trend of the times, constantly consolidate the foundation for win-win cooperation and proactively contribute to world peace and development. 

Starting from a long-term perspective, Xi’s visit, which aimed at solving fundamental issues and planning the future, has demonstrated China’s image as a responsible major country.

China, as a developing country, can fully feel the desire for development of Middle East and African countries and is willing to strengthen cooperation and solidarity with them. 

Xi once again made a solemn commitment at the "BRICS Plus" dialogue that China will stay as a developing country no matter how it develops, staunchly support the development of developing countries and be committed to building close partnerships. 

During Xi’s visit, China-UAE relations were lifted to a comprehensive strategic relationship; the basis for sincere and mutually trusting partnership between China and African countries was further cemented; the strategic partnership among BRICS countries was deepened and South-South cooperation gained a more vitalized momentum. 

Xi’s trip has indicated that emerging markets and developing countries will embrace a bright future of unity and cooperation. 

China and the UAE inked nearly 20 cooperation documents, among which the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on co-construction of the Belt and Road solidified the foundation for the two sides to strengthen alignment of the development strategies and policies.

China signed nearly 40 cooperation agreements with the four African countries. It inked the Memoranda of Understanding on co-construction of the Belt and Road with Senegal and Rwanda, and reached consensus with Mauritius on signing the Belt and Road agreement as soon as possible, providing a new platform for bilateral and China-Africa cooperation. 

In addition, China and South Africa launched the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) and kicked off relevant work, creating a major flagship project under the framework of BRICS cooperation. 

As the areas and contents of cooperation between China and other emerging markets and developing countries are further widened and enriched, their aspiration for common development and prosperity is being turned into actions and reality.

Xi’s visit has injected positive energy into perfecting international governance. The unstoppable rise of emerging markets and developing countries will keep global development more comprehensive and balanced and further solidify the basis for global peace. 

When the world needs to make a choice between cooperation and confrontation, opening-up and a close-door policy, and mutual benefit and a beggar-thy-neighbor approach, China stood out once again to advocate win-win cooperation and open development and resolutely reject unilateralism and protectionism.

It pooled wide consensus for steering global economy toward greater openness, inclusiveness, balanced growth and win-win outcomes for all and advancing global governance toward a more fair and reasonable direction. 

The 10th BRICS Summit Johannesburg Declaration and the remarks by the leaders have fully demonstrated that the emerging markets and developing countries, as an important force for global governance, are playing a positive role in improving global governance. 

As Xi’s first foreign trip in this year, the visit opened a grand chapter of solidarity and cooperation, as well as collaboration for self-improvement. It displayed the Chinese philosophy of improving oneself and helping others and benefiting all the people in the world. 

As a step on the road to construct a community with a shared future for mankind, it will coordinate China’s development with that of the world and create opportunities and draw a future for common development of emerging markets and developing countries. 

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

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