South African media praises Forum for China-Africa Cooperation for promoting common development

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-7-21 14:25:56

The Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has gained notable success, the South African newspaper Star reported on Friday.

The two-day Fifth FOCAC Ministerial Conference concluded in Beijing on Friday, attended by government heads, officials and other delegates. The forum debuted in 2000.

The first Europe-Africa summit was also held in 2000 just like the first FOCAC. However, only three summits between Europe and Africa have taken place up to now due to its political controversy and other problems, said the Star.

"China is employing to keep expanding its economic cooperation with Africa so rapidly, its relation with Africa is also growing very fast," the paper pointed out.

"China is the world's largest developing country and Africa is home to the largest number of the developing countries. The establishment of FOCAC is the greatest creation of China-Africa relations," said Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Tian Xuejun on July 4.

"China and Africa have achieved greatly in the bilateral relations over the past 50 odd years, especially since the establishment of FOCAC in 2000. The trade between China and Africa has soared from over 10 billion US dollars to 166 billion US dollars in 2011," the Chinese ambassador said.

The Star believed that the basis of China's burgeoning relations with Africa is that "it does not interfere in the political affairs of the African countries." The African countries regularly complain Europe would set political conditions for their aid.

The second Europe-Africa summit was supposed to have been held in Portugal in 2003, but was delayed until 2007 because Europe declined to accept Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who was under the European Union (EU) sanctions.

China's practical policy is viewed as one of the main contributors to the development of the bilateral relations. "China has announced a set of concrete measures to support Africa and then has pretty much completely implemented them," the paper said.

Those measures have been substantial, more importantly, concrete, specific and achievable, while the Europe-Africa summit outcomes were quite vague, including aid, trade and investment, said the paper.

"On the sidelines of the Fifth FOCAC Ministerial Conference, the Chinese government announced that it will fund 200 South Africans to study in China over the next three years, with scholarships to be awarded to South African students who specialize in early childhood education, mathematics, science and technology," the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported on Friday.

Addressing the Fifth FOCAC Ministerial Conference in Beijing on Thursday, South African President Jacob Zuma thanked China for delivering on almost all of its promises made at the fourth FOCAC conference in Egypt in November 2009, the Star added.

The paper also praised China for promising at the Fifth FOCAC Ministerial Conference that it will improve the trade imbalance between China and Africa due to the fact that Africa buys almost entirely manufactured goods from China while sells China almost entirely raw materials.

South African President Zuma accepted the promise in good faith, saying "we are certainly convinced China's intention is different from Europe's, which to date continues to attempt to influence African countries for its sole benefit," said the Star.

Posted in: Africa

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