By Theodora Amedetor
China says its relationship with Africa, is at its highest, and continues to be a pace-setter for the rest of the world, despite criticisms. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Mr. Wang Yi, was giving a full picture of China’s foreign policy and answering questions, from the media, on a range of diplomatic issues, at a news conference, in Beijing.
The People’s Republic of China turns 70 this year, 2019. China believes it has made great strides, since it was founded and is much closer to the world’s center stage. On the diplomatic front, it has also traveled an extraordinary journey, while breaking new grounds, and overcoming many difficulties.
Interacting with journalists, on China’s foreign policies and relations, Mr. Wang Yi, said Chinese diplomacy is at a new starting point, and remains committed to the path of peaceful development, cooperation for win-win outcomes, uphold existing international systems and contribute to world peace and human progress.
On relations with Africa, Mr. Wang yi said China has stepped up its cooperation with Africa, based on deep mutual trust between the two sides that have stood the test of time.
He said though China-Africa cooperation has always been open and inclusive, there are some criticisms and negative tags. Mr. Wang explained that criticism, from some quarters that China is setting up a “debt trap” or acting like a “neo-colonial power”, is due to the fact that “such do not have audience in Africa.
He argued that the fruits of China-Africa cooperation is visible across Africa. Hence, the “exemplary effect of such cooperation can be leveraged to encourage more countries to give greater attention, weight and input to Africa.” He said Africa’s development requires more input, from the international community, and called for a joint effort to contribute more to peace and development in Africa.
For the future , Mr. Wang said China will fully implement the eight major initiatives, announced at last year’s FOCAC Beijing Summit, and continuously deepen its Belt and Road Initiative cooperation, as the country prepares to host the much-anticipated second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) late in April, in Beijing. He said with these two opportunities, China can build an even stronger community with Africa with a shared future.
There were other media briefings by the National Development and Reform Commission, to give details about the country’s macro-economic policies and social development, Chinese Ministry of Finance on the reform of fiscal and taxation system and financial issues, State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development regarding winning the final battle against poverty, as well as ministries and government agencies that took turns to brief the media on their agenda for 2019.