Yang Jiechi, the State Councilor of China on behalf of the Chinese Government welcomed The Gambia in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) 2016 summit held in Beijing, China.
Speaking on Friday at the opening of the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Mr. Yang among other Chinese authorities expressed joy in re-establishing diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic of The Gambia.
In an interview, The Gambia’s Foreign Minister, Nenneh Macdouall-Gaye, thanked the Chinese President, his Government and the people of China for the warm welcome accorded to them. She revealed that The Gambia has just become a new member of FOCAC by virtue of re-establishing ties with China.
The Foreign Minister further disclosed that last year when this summit was held for the first time in South Africa, the country was invited.
Minister Macdouall-Gaye said His Excellency the President was invited as a special guest to the forum and she represented him.
She further stated that the People’s Republic of China establishing the FOCAC goes a long way to indicate their sincerity and readiness to continue to work with Africa and to see tangible results.
The Gambia’s Foreign Minister described the China-Africa relations as a very good one for the fact that the Chinese Government has gone further to have a plan of action and organise a meeting to assess the implementation process.
This, she said, shows how committed China is regarding the Africa-China relationship. “What is laudable is the mere fact that China’s relationship with Africa is not based on conditions, it is based on mutual respect, trust, understanding and solidarity,” she added.
The African delegates on Saturday travelled to Zouhou where they visited the Industrial Park and the bus manufacturing company.
Minister Macdouall-Gaye disclosed that after their visit at the Park, she had a discussion with the Director General, disclosing that they are interested and keen to help The Gambia build its own industrial park.
According to her, they have the groundwork done and are now ready to take it further after visiting the Park. “My impression is a very positive one, very inspired and I am very confident that the China-Africa relationship would grow from strength to strength.”
Therefore, she added, The Gambia is definitely looking forward to working closely with China and to build their people-to-people relationship.
by Mariatou Ngum
in Beijing, China