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Summit to take co-operation to new heights

(People's Daily Online)  admin  2016-09-22 16:04

By  Tian Xuejun, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to South Africa
 

Tian Xuejun, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to South Africa

Innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive future

– it’s a win-win situation, says Chinese Ambassador

LAST December, on the occasion of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to South Africa and the co-chairing of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa-Co-operation (FOCAC), the Chinese president and African leaders together mapped out a new blueprint for China-Africa win-win co-operation and common development, ushering China- Africa relations into a new era.

This year, on September 4 and 5, President Xi will host another historic meeting – the G20 Hangzhou Summit.The summit will be held under the theme of “Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”, which resonates strongly with the co-operation and development aspirations of China and other developing countries across Africa and beyond.

Innovative economies provide China-Africa co-operation with an inexhaustible momentum of growth.

The innovation of growth models has become a common choice for China and Africa and has created space for our bilateral co-operation.

Over the last two years, China-South Africa co-operation has achieved many breakthroughs in production capacity, special economic zones, energy, infrastructure, human resources and finance.The focus of our trade relations has started to move away from traditional trade and towards more high-value-added investments and industries.

Today, over 140 medium and large Chinese companies are doing business in South Africa.And Chinese investment projects such as a home appliances industrial park and cargo truck factory have created over 20 000 jobs for South Africans.

Exciting progress is taking place in science and technology co-operation as well.China and South Africa have signed a declaration of intent on the launch of the Science Park of Co-operation.Huawei has launched its first African Innovation and Experience Centre in South Africa with the aim of training 1 000 ICT African talents.

At the continental level, China and the AU have reached agreement on establishing the African Centre of Disease Control and Prevention.China has reached agreements with South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria on science and technology co-operation.

With the launch of the China-Africa science and technology partnership in the future, China-Africa co-operation is well positioned to upgrade to a whole new phase.

Invigorated institutions offer China-Africa co-operation the strongest capacity for results delivery.

Following the conclusion of the Johannesburg summit of FOCAC, China has honoured its commitments and made efforts to implement the follow-up actions.

In Africa, more than 30 countries have established internal FOCAC follow-up mechanisms.Working together, we have created a new wave of momentum for China-Africa win-win co-operation.

Preliminary statistics record that China and Africa have signed 243 co-operation agreements worth $50.8 billion.The New Development Bank (NDB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) initiated by China have offered African countries more financing opportunities.

Last April, the NDB announced its first set of loans, among which Eskom has secured $180 million for developing power lines that transmit 670 megawatts and for renewable energy generation projects of 500 megawatts.Preparations are also under way for the launch of the regional centre of the NDB in South Africa.

In the case of the AIIB, South Africa, as a founding member, has filed applications for financing.

Increasingly, China-Africa co-operation demonstrates the renewed strength and vitality of our invigorated institutions.

Interconnected growth brings China-Africa co-operation closer to our respective national development.

Against the sluggish world economy, both China and Africa have entered into a crucial stage of economic transformation and restructuring: China is promoting supply-side structural reform and international production capacity and equipment manufacturing co-operation, while Africa is actively pursuing industrialisation, modernisation and urbanisation.

The complementarity of our development aspirations is enormous, and it has become a natural next step for both sides to make the best out of the China- Africa 10 co-operation plans and achieve fresh growth.

Since 2015, China has signed co-operation framework agreements on international production capacity with six African countries, including Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Not long ago, the South African government agreed to set up the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone where Chinese companies will take part in the development of a metallurgical complex.

Tangible progress has been made in China-Africa co-operation on large infrastructure projects including railway, highway, port, airport, water and electricity supply and telecommunications.

Africa’s first electrified light railway connecting Addis Ababa and Djibouti will soon start full co-operation.The Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway will also be put into service next year.These projects are testimony to the deepening of China-Africa win win co-operation on infrastructure development.

Inclusive development represents the shared pursuit of China-Africa co-operation.

China is the largest developing country and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries.

Both sides are seeking inclusive and sustainable development on the way forward. As it holds the presidency for this year’s G20, China has prioritised development of the global macro policy framework.

It has pushed for the leading role of G20 in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and has called for stronger emphasis on and support for Africa’s industrialisation, inclusive business, employment and food security.

Today, China’s aid has reached all friendly countries on the continent.Fourteen African countries suffering the most from the drought have received or will receive emergency food aid from China. China is committed to win-win co-operation with Africa and will strive to bring the fruits of co-operation to our people.

The steady progress in China- Africa co-operation cannot be achieved without deep political trust and strong public support.China and Africa have always been good friends, good partners and good brothers. The two have enjoyed high-level exchanges and co-ordinated with each other on international and regional issues such as UN reform, climate change, Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and counterterrorism.

Together, China and Africa not only have supported each other’s development, but upheld the common and fundamental interests of the whole developing world.

China firmly supports African countries in exploring development paths suitable for individual national conditions.China remains committed to speaking up for Africa in the international arena, calls on the international community to pay greater attention to Africa, and supports that priority be given to enhancing the representation of Africa in the UN Security Council and other institutions.

China-Africa co-operation and exchanges also bear fruitful results in the areas of culture, education, health, science and technology, think-tanks, women and youth.

The celebrations in 2014 and last year mark an important innovation for China-South Africa and China- Africa relations.

Currently, over 40 000 African students are studying in China and more than 27 African countries have resident journalists in China. A steady increase has also been registered in the number of visitors between China and Africa.

In this golden autumn season, the G20 Hangzhou Summit to be held in the most beautiful city in southern China will enjoy the extensive participation of developing countries and has great potential to yield fruitful results. For Africa’s participation, China has invited heads of state of G20 member South Africa and guest countries of Egypt, Chad, and Senegal.

We have strong reasons to believe that their participation in the G20 Hangzhou Summit will help lead China-Africa co-operation into a new era of innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive development.

(The story was originally published on Business Report on September 2nd, 2016.)