China and Africa, though geologically far apart, have enjoyed a profound friendship, which has stood the test of time for the past 50 years or so.
The following are some key facts about the development of China-Africa relations:
In May 1956, China and Egypt established diplomatic relations, marking the start of a new stage of relations between China and Africa.
After Egypt established ties with China, many other African nations followed suit. At present, 50 of the 54 countries on the continent have entered diplomatic relations with China.
From the end of 1963 to the beginning of 1964, late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visited 10 African countries, which was a milestone in China-Africa relations.
During the visit, he put forward five principles for China's ties with Africa and eight principles for Chinese assistance to foreign countries, laying a solid foundation for the development of friendly relations and cooperation between China and Africa.
Since the 1980s, China-Africa relations have withstood the test of changing international circumstances and continued a strong momentum of development.
In May 1996, then Chinese President Jiang Zemin paid a visit to Africa, during which he raised a five-point proposal on advancing friendly relations of lasting stability and comprehensive cooperation between China and Africa toward the 21st century, namely "sincere friendship, equal treatment, unity and cooperation, common development and embracing the future." It opened a new chapter in China-Africa relations.
In the 21st century, enhancing China-Africa cooperation has become the consensus shared by both sides.
In October 2000, China and Africa proposed a new type of partnership featuring long-term stability, equality and mutual benefit at the first ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), held in Beijing.
To push China-Africa relations to a higher level, China issued its first African Policy Paper on Jan. 12, 2006, announcing to the world China's intention to develop a new type of strategic partnership with Africa, featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchange.
At the FOCAC Summit held in Beijing in November 2006, the Chinese and African leaders agreed to establish a new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa.
During the meeting, then President Hu Jintao also announced a package of aid and assistance measures to Africa.
In July 2012, the fifth ministerial conference of FOCAC was held in Beijing with an aim of deepening the new-type China-Africa strategic partnership.
At the opening ceremony, Hu announced a series of new measures aimed at supporting Africa's peace and development and promoting the new type of strategic partnership. This injected new vigor into the development of China-Africa relations.
Currently, the two sides are actively pursuing follow-up steps of the conference, particularly in the key areas of investment and financing, aid, African integration, people-to-people exchanges, and Africa's peace and security.