China Focus: African ministers in Beijing to discuss closer cooperation with China

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks or meetings here Sunday with foreign ministers from eight African countries, who are here to attend the upcoming coordinators’ meeting on the implementation of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit outcomes.

The foreign ministers are Sierra Leone’s foreign minister Nabeela Tunis, Gabon’s foreign minister Alain Claude Bilie, Cameroon’s foreign minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella, San Tome and Principe’s foreign minister Elsa Teixeira Pinto, Somali foreign minister Ahmed Isse Awad, Madagascar’s foreign minister Andriantsit Ohaina Franck Michel Niaina, Congo’s foreign minister Jean Claude Gakosso and Senegal’s foreign minister Amadou Ba.

In talks with Tunis, hailing the two countries as “good friends and good brothers”, Wang called on the two sides to continue to firmly support each other on issues concerning each others’ core interests and major concerns, strengthen alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative and the eight major initiatives proposed at the FOCAC Beijing Summit with Sierra Leone’s medium-term national development plan, and beef up cooperation on infrastructure, agriculture and fishery, health care, communication, and capacity building.

Sierra Leone supports Africa and China to deepen partnership and is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with China on implementing the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and reform of the global governance system, Tunis said.

When meeting with Bilie, Wang said 53 countries in Africa have sent high-level delegations to the coordinators’ meeting, including 25 foreign ministers. The move fully reflected the importance that the African side attaches to the China-Africa ties and the unbreakable solidarity and friendship between the two sides.

Wang said the two sides should continue the support to each other on issues involving each other’s core interests, seize opportunities of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Gabon this year to create new progress in ties, and expand cooperation on Belt and Road Initiative and multilateral issues. Bilie said Gabon is willing to strengthen exchanges of experience with China in governance and seek synergy between its own development strategy with the Belt and Road Initiative.

In meeting with Mbella, Wang said Cameroon is China’s traditional friend and important partner in Africa. Both sides should continue to understand and support each other on issues involving each others core interests and major concerns. China’s financial support for African countries is based on equality and voluntarism and aims to help Africa improve its capacity for independent and sustainable development.

There is no such thing as a “debt trap” between China and Cameroon or between China and Africa, said Wang, adding that China will not seek any political purpose. Mbella said that Cameroon spoke highly of China’s policy toward Africa and thanked China for its understanding and sincere assistance to Cameroon in alleviating the debt problems.

When meeting with Pinto, Wang said facts have proved that the resumption of diplomatic relations is in full compliance with the interests of the two countries and peoples. The Chinese side appreciates Sao Tome and Principe’s active support for the Belt and Road Initiative and is willing to continue to provide assistance within its capacity to the African country.

Pinto said Sao Tome and Principe will firmly adhere to the one-China principle, strengthen political and diplomatic dialogue with China, actively promote cooperation in infrastructure and enhance non-governmental exchanges. In the meeting with Awad, Wang said China supports Somalia to restore stability and embark on the path of recovery. China is ready to explore new ways to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with Somalia under the new situation, and conduct cooperation in the areas most needed by Somalia such as agriculture, fisheries and processing industries.

Awad said Somalia expects to strengthen exchanges with China, and promote cooperation in areas such as infrastructure construction. In the meeting Niaina, Wang expressed the will to promote the alignment with Madagascar’s development strategy, and said China is ready to enhance the cooperation on multilateral issues.

When meeting with Gakosso, Wang hailed bilateral relationship and also reiterated China’s stance to safeguard multilateralism. In the talks with Amadou Ba, Wang said China would like to work with other international partners in conducting tripartite cooperation in Senegal, on the basis of respecting Senegal’s willingness.

The coordinators’ meeting will be held in Beijing from June 24 to 25. There will be over 80 African ministerial-level officials at the meeting. On the sidelines of the meeting, more than 40 bilateral and multilateral activities will be held to implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit, synergize efforts, consolidate consensus and deliver more benefits to the peoples.

Source: Xinhua