By He Yin
The first phase of the China-aided Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) headquarters project was recently completed, becoming a new landmark symbolizing the friendship and solidarity between China and Africa.
The Africa CDC headquarters was a flagship project of China-Africa cooperation announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2018.
The timely delivery of the reliable building mirrors the high standard and level of China-Africa cooperation and explains the demeanor of China, a country that always values its promises.
This year is the 10th year since Xi put forth, in 2013, the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and of pursuing the greater good and shared interests for China’s relations with Africa.
Over the past decade, with the joint guidance and commitment of Chinese and African leaders, China-Africa relations have made historic achievements that impressed the whole world, and entered a new era of building a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future.
The two sides always follow the spirit of sincere friendship and equality, win-win for mutual benefit and common development, fairness and justice, and progress with the times and openness and inclusiveness. China and African countries have always been good friends who stand together through prosperity and adversity, good partners who share weal and woe, and good comrades who fully trust each other in a shifting international landscape.
China and Africa offer mutual assistance on their way to achieve economic progress and national rejuvenation, and are constantly expanding the areas of cooperation.
China-Africa cooperation has progressed with the times and deepened its connotation, from the 10 major cooperation plans adopted at the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit to the eight major initiatives proposed at the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit, and to the nine programs for cooperation announced at the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC.
China has maintained the largest trading partner of Africa for the past 13 years. The two sides’ bilateral trade in 2022 is expected to exceed $260 billion. Fifty-two African countries and the African Union (AU) Commission have signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China. Landmark projects like the AU Conference Center, the Africa CDC headquarters, the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), and the Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway keep emerging.
These cooperation outcomes are tangible and play an important role in promoting the economic and social development of Africa and improving people’s livelihoods on the continent. They fully demonstrate the vision of China-Africa relations and the defining feature of China-Africa friendship.
China is the largest developing country in the world, and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. As changes of the world, of the times, and of history are unfolding today in ways like never before, the importance of strengthening China-Africa solidarity and cooperation is self-evident.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Ethiopia’s cooperation with China in such areas as infrastructure, green economy, agriculture, and industrial park construction has been exemplary and produced remarkable results, helping Ethiopia rank among the fastest-growing economies in Africa.
Angolan President Joao Lourenco said that the airports, hydropower stations, roads, ports, and many other landmark projects built with China’s support have progressed smoothly in Angola and played an indispensable role in the country’s post-war reconstruction and socio-economic development.
China is the first country to support the AU in joining the G20. It supports boosting the representation and voice of African countries in the UN Security Council and other international organizations. This helps safeguard the common interests of developing countries and will make the global governance system more just and equitable.
Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat noted that Africa values China’s strong support for African integration, connectivity, and the development of a free trade area, and looks forward to working with China to jointly advance the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
For some time, a few countries have intentionally provoked bloc confrontation in Africa, forcing African countries to take sides, which is against the will of African countries and the trend of the times.
Africa should be a stage for international cooperation, not an arena for major-force rivalry. Only the countries that sincerely help Africa achieve peace and development and strive for bigger representation and stronger voice of the continent in global governance can receive the support from African countries.
South Africa’s think tank, Institute for Global Dialogue, said in a recent report that a few countries have never adopted practical measures to help Africa cope with development challenges, and they only want to make African countries a tool that contains the influence of other countries.
Compared with such hegemonic diplomacy, China’s diplomacy, which never interferes in other countries’ domestic affairs and always pursues win-win cooperation, is welcomed by African countries.
China has always prioritized Africa in its diplomacy, and inheriting and carrying forward the China-Africa friendship has become a glorious tradition and defining feature of China’s diplomacy.
Upholding the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and of pursuing the greater good and shared interests, China and African countries will stay committed to strengthening unity and cooperation and working with each other along the path of win-win cooperation and common development. The two sides will join hands to build a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future.