The Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, Zhang Ming has said China aspires to support the diverse developments of its African partners.
According to him, if the international community helps Africa’s development based on equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect and making full use of their unique characteristics and advantages, the world would become more harmonious, prosperous and stable.
Mr Ming was speaking on Friday during a press briefing ahead of the Sherpa Meeting of the Outcome Implementation of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) slated for July 29th in Beijing. The press briefing was held at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Fifty three ministerial representatives are expected to attend the forum to review the progress made in the implementation of the Johannesburg Summit outcomes, and discuss plans and thinking for further progress.
Mr. Ming described the Johannesburg Summit held last December as a huge success. He cited a speech delivered by President Xi Jinping that explained the new ideals of China’s Africa policy. He said the President announced an upgrade of Sino-Africa relations to comprehensive strategic partnership level, and put forward 10 major cooperation projects in Africa in the coming three years with a $60 billion funding pledge.
“Since the conclusion of the summit, China and Africa have attached great importance to the outcome-implementation of the Summit,” Vice Minister Ming noted.
He emphasised that China-Africa cooperation is a vital component of international cooperation. Implementing the summit results, he added, would not only promote the common development of China and Africa, but also help create better environment for the international community to expand cooperation in Africa.
“Both sides hope that FOCAC continues to play a leading role, promoting the international community, especially developed countries to fulfill their commitments, and contributing more to the lasting peace and sustainable development of Africa,” he remarked.
When asked whether China is competing with the West in Africa? Zhang Ming responded that Africa is not an arena, nor is it anyone’s sphere of influence.
“Africa belongs to itself. African people are the only host of Africa, having right to choose partners and cooperation. As an important component of the international community, a strong Africa leads to a strong world, an affluent Africa leads to an affluent world, and a peaceful Africa also guarantees the world’s overall peace and security.”
Vice Minister Ming informed the press that the preparatory work of the Sherpa Meeting has entered the final stage and that both sides have reached an agreement on the main arrangements.
With African countries’ active engagement, he noted, all African member nations and the African Union Commission have been confirmed to send high-level delegation to attend the meeting, which fully reflects that both sides have set a premium on it.
During the forum, there would be a series of supporting activities, including China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation Exchange Conference; signing ceremonies of bilateral cooperation agreements among governments, departments, financial institutions and enterprises, and dialogue between directors from Chinese financial institutions and African coordinators responsible for the implementation of the outcomes.
by Mariatou Ngum, in Beijing, China