China-Mozambique cooperation yields numerous benefits

By Wang Hejun Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/12 22:31:30

Wang Hejun, Chinese Ambassador to Mozambique Photo: Courtesy of the Chinese Embassy in Mozambique

Despite extreme weather and the novel coronavirus epidemic, China and Mozambique's bilateral cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has deepened, stabilizing Mozambique's economic situation, strengthening Mozambique's economic resilience and boosting market confidence. 

In the past two years, facing the impact of typhoons and the epidemic, China and Mozambique have worked hard to maintain steady progress in bilateral economic and trade cooperation. These efforts have played a positive role in stabilizing Mozambique's economic situation and overcoming external challenges. China has also worked hard to help Mozambique ensure domestic market supply and promote exports of a variety of agricultural products to China. 

We have helped Mozambique to broaden its sources of foreign exchange income. All this work has played a positive role in stabilizing Mozambique's foreign trade situation. China has also become Mozambique's third-largest source of imports and second largest export destination.

Bilateral cooperation strengthens Mozambique's economic resilience. In recent years, several major roads, bridges, ports, and railway facilities constructed by China in Mozambique have been completed and put into operation. The digital TV transformation and mobile network modernization projects have steadily made progress. These projects have played a positive role in consolidating the economic foundations and strengthening development resilience in Mozambique. During the tropical cyclone Idai disaster and the novel coronavirus epidemic, the facilities played a crucial role.

Meanwhile, bilateral cooperation also boosts market confidence. The development of offshore natural gas in Area 1 and Area 4 in the northern Ruvuma Basin is critical to the economic development of Mozambique. 

In recent years, China has not merely actively participated in development as one of the shareholders of Area 4 and promoted the project to be put into operation as soon as possible; it has also participated in the purchase of natural gas resources in Area 1. The smooth development of natural gas resources in the north has boosted the confidence of the international market in Mozambique, and many parties have expressed optimism about Mozambique's development prospects.

Cooperation achievements

In 2016, China and Mozambique established a comprehensive strategic partnership, and bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields entered the fast lane. 

China became one of the largest sources of investment in Mozambique. There were more than 100 Chinese companies in Mozambique, in the fields of infrastructure, energy, mining, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, telecommunications and digital television. Nonfinancial direct investment reached $1.997 billion, and total investment was almost $8 billion. 

In the field of infrastructure, China has become an important financier and builder in Mozambique. Several major transportation infrastructure projects such as the Maputo Bay Bridge, the EN6 Highway, the Nacala Corridor Railway, and the Beira fishing port have been completed and put into operation. 

The level of infrastructure in Mozambique has created advantages for Mozambique's regional transportation corridors and gateways to the sea. 

In terms of tourism and housing construction, a few resort hotels and housing projects undertaken and operated by Chinese companies have sprung up, changing the appearance of the capital and other areas of Mozambique and becoming local landmarks. 

In the context of the transformation and upgrading of bilateral pragmatic cooperation, Chinese companies in Mozambique are focusing on localized operations, actively creating job opportunities, contributing taxes, and helping local development.

Take the Maputo Bay Bridge for example - it is the longest suspension bridge on the African continent. The bridge connects the Mozambican capital of Maputo, on the northern bank, with its suburb of Katembe on the southern bank. 

During the construction phase, more than 3,000 people were employed in total, and the residents referred to it as the "University of Civil Engineering."

Peace and security

As an important cornerstone of stabilizing the international order, the United Nations has always played a central role in eliminating conflicts, maintaining peace, and promoting development. 

UN peacekeeping operations are an important support for upholding multilateralism and maintaining international peace and security. China's active participation in peacekeeping operations organized by the UN in Africa and other places is fulfilling its responsibilities as a permanent member of the Security Council and playing a constructive role in international and regional issues. 

It is practical to safeguard the international system with the UN as the core and the international order based on international law, and it is also a firm commitment to multilateralism and world peace. China will continue to be an important participant in UN peacekeeping operations. 

Since the end of 2017, Mozambique's northern province Cabo Delgado has been attacked by Islamic extremists, causing a large number of casualties. 

The Mozambican government has mobilized forces to fight terrorism in the local area, and comprehensively implemented measures to eradicate local instability, and has made gradual progress. 

The Mozambican government attaches great importance to the impact of extremist attacks on local development and has taken measures to avoid an impact on major projects. 

China is highly concerned about the security situation in Cabo Delgado. China's local economic and trade cooperation projects are generally progressing smoothly and have not been affected by the attacks. 

China opposes all acts of terrorism and firmly supports the anti-terrorism and livelihood relief operations in northern Mozambique. China will continue to provide necessary support and assistance within our ability.

Investment in good faith 

In recent years, China has followed the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and has continuously deepened China-Africa cooperation in investment and other fields. These commitments have strongly promoted the development of Africa and brought tangible benefits to the African people. It has been generally welcomed by African countries and people. Supporting the development and progress of Africa is the common responsibility of the international community.

China has always viewed international cooperation with Africa with an open attitude and support its development based on respect for Africa. 

We believe that relevant cooperation should truly respect the will of Africa, benefit the African people, and benefit international cooperation with Africa.

If the US increases its investment in Africa for the development of Africa, China will welcome it and is willing to work with the US to support the development of Africa. 

However, if the US investment in Africa is aimed at cooperation with other international partners, we believe that the international community will not support it, and the African people will not agree either.

Exchanges enhanced

The digital TV transformation project in Mozambique was financed by Exim Bank of China and implemented by StarTimes. It is one of the major practical cooperation projects between China and Mozambique. 

The completion of the project is of great significance to Mozambique. It will help improve the quality of Mozambican radio and television signal transmission, increase coverage, and speed up the digitalization and modernization of these services.

Meanwhile, it helps Mozambique to further shape a unified national identity and cultural concept, while promoting domestic national unity, to achieve regional inclusive and coordinated development. 

For our two countries, the implementation of the project will help to deepen Mozambique's understanding of China's digital technology and enhance bilateral cooperation in the field of information technology. It builds a new platform for bilateral cultural exchanges, facilitating people-to-people and cultural exchanges in various forms between the two peoples and enhances mutual understanding.

The author is China's Ambassador to Mozambique.


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