China’s work in Africa boosts global reputation

By Song Wei Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/4 19:53:39

Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT



 

At present, globalization is suffering certain bottlenecks. In the face of endless global challenges, China is now deeply interacting with the world and actively participating in the global governance agenda at a new historical starting point. Africa is an important area of global governance, so China is contributing its wisdom to the resolution of cross-regional issues in Africa.

First, China has proposed the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, which will help to promote African economic governance. Amid the problems and challenges facing globalization, China resolutely opposes protectionism and advocates open cooperation, strengthening policy communication with countries along the route, and further deepening of trade and investment cooperation with them. Africa, especially the eastern and southern African countries, is an important part of the B&R initiative, which will bring unprecedented opportunities for Africa's development. In order to get rid of poverty, promote regional innovation and economic transformation, the B&R initiative will focus on infrastructure construction and strengthening cooperation in various fields, such as manufacturing, services, tourism and trade. In addition to traditional infrastructure projects, China and Africa also aim to develop the marine economy as a new area of economic growth and sustainable development. This is also included in the Africa Agenda 2063 and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative. China and Africa will further strengthen maritime resource exchanges and technical cooperation to enhance productivity and actively explore the possibility of establishment of joint ocean observatories, laboratories and cooperation centers.

Second, China has expanded its participation in regional peacekeeping to promote security governance in Africa. China has actively participated in missions in the Gulf of Aden and at the end of 2015, through friendly negotiation, China and Djibouti reached agreement on the construction of security facilities in Djibouti. The facilities will mainly be used for the Chinese army to carry out tasks such as escorting and humanitarian relief in the Gulf of Aden and Somalia. This will help the Chinese army in fulfilling its international obligations and maintaining international and regional peace and stability.

Third, China supports the 2030 agenda to promote African development governance. In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted during the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. China actively responded to the agenda and announced the establishment of the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, aiming to continue to increasingly invest in the least developed countries and to support the implementation of this agenda in developing countries. In addition, China has also put the implementation of the 2030 agenda into its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), and encouraged G20 members to help with the implementation of the agenda.

Fourth, China and Africa have worked together to build a center for disease control to promote health governance in Africa. In February 2014, the outbreak of Ebola in three African countries caused a record number of infections and deaths. China's aid to west African countries was highly appreciated by then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. China's aid has strongly supported the affected countries to combat the epidemic and strengthened the confidence of the people in affected areas to overcome the disease.

Fifth, China's participation in the Paris Agreement on climate change will promote climate governance in Africa. According to the UN, Africa will be affected by climate change earlier than the rest of the world. Climate change has already worsened local droughts and humanitarian crises. Although US President Donald Trump previously claimed that climate change is a hoax and eventually announced the US would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, China is still convinced that the Paris Agreement is in line with global development. We need joint insistence instead of giving up lightly.

Sixth, China announced a domestic ban on the ivory trade to promote ecological governance in Africa. The spread of the illegal trade of ivory has been a disaster for the African elephant population. The total number of elephants in Africa was once more than 10 million, but after recent years of slaughter, this figure has declined to roughly 500,000. On December 30, 2016, the State Council announced that China would completely prohibit ivory processing and sales and would also close dozens of ivory processing enterprises and trade centers by the end of March 2017. China's positive attitude has had a profound impact all over the world, which has enhanced China's reputation for protection of wild animals and won a louder voice for China to participate in global governance.

The author is an associate researcher with the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn



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