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Africa-China Friendship is Time Tested, and Fruits yielding

Francis Pelenah/Maximilian Kasseh, Jr.

BEIJING, CHINA-Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi says China will continue to strengthen its strong diplomatic and economic ties with Africa in the coming years and beyond.

Minister Wang said China-Africa Cooperation is becoming more successful and there is a deep mutual trust between the two sides.

The Minister was facing questions from the local and international media at the Beijing Media Center as the convening of China’s top Legislators enters its final week.

“Our Friendship with Africa is time tested and the fruits of our cooperation can be seen across the African continent” the Foreign Minister noted.

Last year China pledged to invest $60bn (sixty billion) US dollars) in Africa and every single country on the continent is now looking up to China, an emerging power in the world economy, for its share of the pile.

The Country has over the years been involved with massive infrastructure projects in Africa, most notably the over $3bn (three billion) US dollar rail way project in East Africa.
The Foreign Minister spoke of additional support that African countries will continue to get from China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The BRI is a development framework initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping over three years ago intended to use bilateral ties to connect with Nations through infrastructural advancement.

Initially meant for neighboring countries and the Asia Pacific region, the idea grew rapidly and appealed to many countries. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2016 as a key development model to further economic development especially in the third world and developing nations.

In the coming weeks the second Belt and Road Forum will be held in Beijing China in late April. Over 100 countries and 40 international corporations have signed up to participate in the forum.

Minister Wang added “Belt and Road initiated in China but its benefits are shared across the world”.

A key benefit of the Belt and Road Initiative is connectivity in Africa. The CRSG Railway in Kenya connecting Kenya, Uganda and other countries in the region is a key milestone for China’s Economic Diplomacy in Africa. This is in addition to the Addis Ababa/Djibouti Railway which is the longest transboundary railway in Africa.

Chinese Companies are practically all over Africa building factories and constructing major public infrastructure on the continent.

It must be noted that the government of Liberia has earmarked some highly ambitious projects and will eagerly be looking forward to the People’s Republic of China for assistance to implement them.

For China, the Belt and Road Initiative is a major step toward promoting a world of infrastructural connectivity ensuring that the rest of the world benefits from China’s most cherished development model.

This year’s Political season (convening of the Chinese People Political Consultative Conference CPPCC and the National People’s Congress) has come with so many things on the agenda.

According to Liu Yangou, Minister of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, the targets include growing the Country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 6 to 6.5%, creating 11 million new urban jobs and lifting about 13 million people out of poverty by the end of 2020.
“We intend to build the capacity of villagers, give them marketable skills, upgrade their villages and prepare them for life” Minister Liu added.

He said the government hopes that by the end of 2020, the least income for people in the now poor counties of China will hit about 4000 RMB (four thousand Chinese Yuan, an estimated $610 USD). These moves also include free and compulsory education and free medical care.

The National People Congress is China’s top Legislature and highest decision making body while the Chinese People Political Consultative Conference plays an advisory role.

During the annual meeting of the Two Sessions, proposals, policy actions, decisions and major laws are made. It also reviews the performance of the government from the previous year and adopts government’s work plan for the current year.

The two weeks’ meeting will come to an end on Friday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.


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