The Belt and Road cooperation between China and Africa, which has overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and external interference, is covering most of the African continent and will surely have a brighter future, said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Wang made the remarks during an interview with the People’s Daily as he concluded on Saturday his visit to five African nations, namely Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Botswana, Tanzania and Seychelles.
The socio-economic development of African countries has overcome various hardships and maintained overall stability, demonstrating resilience and vitality, Wang said.
Meanwhile, as they are facing more prominent structural problems amid the COVID-19 pandemic, African countries are eager to speed up their economic transformation and look forward to strengthening the Belt and Road cooperation with China, so as to break their bottlenecks in infrastructure, funding and human resources, and enhance their capacity for independent development, Wang said.
He noted that during his trip, the DRC and Botswana signed respectively a memorandum of understanding with China on jointly building the Belt and Road, becoming successively the 45th and the 46th African partner countries to participate in Belt and Road cooperation.
China is willing to make joint efforts with Africa to strengthen strategic alignment and build consensus on cooperation in line with the expectations of African countries, and push forward the joint building of the Belt and Road between China and Africa, Wang said.
First, with a focus on infrastructure construction, China will help promote connectivity in Africa, Wang said, noting that the completion of such Belt and Road projects as the Mombasa-Nairobi railway and the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway have greatly promoted the industrial development and resource circulation along the routes.
China will continue to actively participate in Africa’s infrastructure construction in such areas as transportation, energy and communications, and inject momentum into Africa’s economic development, he said.
Second, China will support the construction of Africa free trade area and foster a large market between China and Africa, Wang said.
Noting that the Chinese market is a market for the world, he said China is more willing to share China’s development opportunities with African brothers.
China, he added, stands ready to take the opportunity of China’s construction of a new development paradigm and the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area to expand the import of high-quality African products, strengthen the connectivity of the supply and industrial chains of both sides, drive the Chinese and African markets to reinforce each other and jointly cultivate a China-Africa market boasting a population of 2.7 billion.
Third, China will optimize the distribution of capacity investment to help accelerate Africa’s industrialization, Wang said.
The Asian country, he added, stands ready to encourage Chinese enterprises to increase investment in Africa, actively explore cooperation in industrial parks, special economic zones and regional development belts, and enhance the aggregation and added value of Africa’s industrialization.
China will help Africa transform more resource advantages into development advantages at an early date, help Africa realize economic diversification and build up its internal driving force for independent development, he said.
Fourth, China will bolster cooperation in scientific and technological innovation to help Africa achieve leapfrog development, he said.
Noting that digital economy bears on the future of mankind and represents a development direction that African countries generally attach importance to, Wang said China is ready to share digital economy technology and experience with Africa and support African countries in catching up with the fourth industrial revolution.
China is also ready to work with Africa to jointly build a green economy and pursue green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable development, he added. Enditem