FOCAC will boost China-Africa relations

By Zhu Weidong Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/2 18:53:39

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT



The summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) being held in Beijing with the theme - "China and Africa: Toward an even Stronger Community of a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation," is a big event for both sides and will open a new page for China-Africa relations. 

The concept of China-Africa community with a shared future was first put forward by President Xi Jinping in his speech delivered at Julius Nyerere International Convention Center on March 25, 2013. In his speech, Xi said history had taught us "China and Africa have always been a community of shared future." This is a concise characterization of China-Africa relations, which Xi emphasized again in his opening remarks at the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit on December 4, 2015.

It is necessary to grasp the essence and meaning of China-Africa community with a shared future to have a better understanding of China's policy toward Africa. Such a description of China-Africa relations is based on history, reality and the future of both sides.

Similar historical experiences, shared strategic interests, as well as common development tasks have bound the two sides closely together. People from both sides forged a kind of fraternal friendship in their anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle for national independence and liberation; the compatibility of their development strategies and the complementarity of their economies also make them a community of shared interest; the Chinese people are currently committed to realizing the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation while African people are striving for the African dream of self-development through unity and growth. People from both sides should strengthen unity and cooperation to help each other realize their respective dreams.

History, reality and future determine that China and Africa will be good brothers, good partners and good friends for ever, which vividly explains the essence and meaning of China-Africa community with a shared future. However complicated the world becomes and whatever changes the international society goes through, good brothers, partners and friends will nevertheless trust each other, support each other, treat each other equally and develop together. In this sense, China-Africa community with a shared future is not only the basis but also the aim of China's policy toward Africa.

In order to bolster China-Africa community with a shared future, the Chinese government released a second document of China's Africa policy with the aim of establishing a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership in December 2015. As can be seen from the document, China's overall policy toward Africa and the concrete measures to implement it are fully compatible with the features of China-Africa relations, and they also reflect the "five major pillars" and "10 major cooperation plans" put forward by Xi at the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit's opening ceremony.

The document announced that the Chinese government will uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests and adhere to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, to push for new momentum in its friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation with Africa.

It means that in developing China-Africa relations we Chinese value both friendship and justice as well as shared interests and attach more importance to the former. China will never travel the beaten path of colonialism in its cooperation with Africa and never pursue development at the cost of Africa's environment or long-term interests.

The year marks the 18th year of the establishment of FOCAC. In July, Xi paid state visits to Senegal, Rwanda, Republic of South Africa, and a friendly visit to Mauritius during a stopover. This is the fourth time Xi has visited African countries after becoming president. In his signed article published in the Senegalese media, Xi said China and African countries should join hands to build a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future. New policies and measures will be put forward at the FOCAC Beijing Summit to make China-Africa community with shared future stronger, and it will also promote effective combination of the Belt and Road initiative and the African Union's Agenda 2063.

As part of the community with a shared future for mankind, the development and improvement of China-Africa community with a shared future will help build the former. China-Africa community with a shared future aims to push for the realization of the Chinese dream and the African dream, both of which regard enabling the people to live a more prosperous and happier life as their goals. The realization will definitely help realize the dream of building an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

The author is a senior research fellow with the Institute of West Asian and African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn



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