FOCAC leads int'l cooperation with Africa: Chinese FM

HARARE, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Sunday that the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which marks the 20th anniversary of establishment this year, has maintained a leading position in international cooperation with Africa.

Wang said the FOCAC has become an important platform for collective dialogue and an effective mechanism for practical cooperation between China and Africa over the past 20 years.

Wang made the remarks when answering questions from journalists on the achievements made since the establishment of the FOCAC and its role in promoting the development of China-Africa relations, at a joint press conference with the Zimbabwe Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Sibusiso Moyo in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe.

"The 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit was a great success, as Chinese and African leaders unanimously decided to build a closer China-Africa community with shared future, which defined the general direction of joint efforts," Wang said.

According to him, the results of the Forum can be seen across Africa. In terms of infrastructure, China has built more than 6,000 kilometers of railways and roads, respectively, as well as nearly 20 ports and more than 80 large power plants. These have boosted the process of industrialization in Africa and enhanced Africa's ability for independent development.

In the field of people's livelihood, China has so far assisted in the construction of more than 130 medical facilities, 45 gymnasiums and more than 170 schools. In the past five years, China has also trained more than 200,000 personnel in various professions in Africa, which made important contributions to promoting the vital interests and welfare of the African people, Wang said.

In terms of trade and investment, the volume of trade between China and Africa exceeded 200 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, and China has become Africa's largest trading partner for 11 years in a row. China's stock of direct investment in Africa has reached 110 billion U.S. dollars, and more than 3,700 Chinese enterprises have invested and started businesses in various parts of Africa, providing a strong driving force for the sustained economic growth in Africa, Wang added.

"Driven by China-Africa cooperation, other foreign countries have also paid more attention to Africa, bringing more opportunities for Africa's development," Wang said.

The Chinese official noted that over the past 20 years, China has maintained consistency in cooperation with Africa, and is committed to mutually beneficial cooperation and common development.

"We have always insisted on non-interference in Africa's internal affairs," Wang said, adding that China has always respected Africa's will, and never imposed its will on African countries or attached political strings.

Wang also emphasized China's medical assistance to Africa, saying that China has sent a total of 21,000 Chinese doctors and nurses over the years, who have so far treated 220 million patients in African countries. "These are what those countries that intend to discredit China-Africa cooperation cannot do at all and what they are unwilling to do. This is also why China-Africa cooperation is welcomed by African countries and appreciated by the African people," he said.

Wang said a new session of the Forum will be held in Africa next year. Together with Senegal, the co-chair of the Forum, China will conscientiously listen to the views and suggestions of all the FOCAC's African members, so as to further improve the Forum and benefit Africa and the world.

[ Editor: SRQ ]