Think tanks forum opens as China, Africa witness closer, more frequent interactions
Published: May 30, 2023 09:55 PM
China Africa Photo: VCG

China Africa Photo: VCG

Recent weeks have witnessed closer and more frequent interactions between China and African nations with exchange visits by senior officials, and analysts said that with strong China-Africa friendship, bilateral cooperation would embrace a more promising future despite noises from the US and some Western countries. 

On Tuesday, the 12th Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum kicked off in Jinhua, East China's Zhejiang Province, with nearly 400 political, academic, media and business representatives from 40 African and other countries in attendance.  

This year is a milestone and has significant meaning for both China and Africa and China-Africa relations. For the past 60 years, China and Africa have worked together to fight imperialism and foreign interference and jointly defend multilateralism and the shared interests of developing countries, Special Representative Liu Yuxi of the Chinese Government on African Affairs said at the Tuesday forum.

Aside from recalling the fruitful achievements of Chinese-African cooperation for the past years, Liu also called on that in facing with the great changes unseen in a century, China and Africa would uphold the shared value of all humans on development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom to work together in building a community of a shared future. 

Jinhua, where the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum was held, is a window to see the close exchanges between China and Africa. Over the years, Jinhua has continuously broadened new ways of trade with Africa and has traded with all African countries and regions, with total imports and exports to Africa reaching 98.7 billion yuan in 2022, an increase of 191.0 percent in 10 years, the Global Times learned from the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. 

The complementary China-Africa cooperation for the past decades has yielded fruitful achievements and will deepen day by day based on strong friendship, Liu Qinghai, a professor at the Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University, told the Global Times. 

While the US is ramping up efforts to pull together small cliques to contain China globally, including on the African continent, China and African countries are engaged in more interactions, which highlights African countries' independence and their unwillingness to choose sides, Liu Qinghai said.  

China's cooperation and assistance to African countries, which have been based on their own interests and needs, are in stark contrast to the US and some Western countries' strategies in Africa. This is also why African countries would not be easily fooled by fallacies as "debt trap" or other narratives hyped by the US and some Western countries in an attempt to sow discord between China and African countries, analysts said. 

China and African countries have seen more frequent high-level exchanges in recent weeks. For example, the Special Envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Peng Qinghua attended Nigerian President Bola Tinubu's inauguration ceremony in the capital of Nigeria Abuja on Monday. 

On Friday, Xi met with visiting DRC President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo in Beijing, during which the two sides announced the upgrading of bilateral relations from a strategic partnership of win-win cooperation to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

The closer relations between China and African countries are rooted in sharing joy and sorrow and helping each other, and it will deepen as the two sides strengthen efforts to seek and practice true multilateralism. This stable and benign cooperation is a cornerstone for global stability and governance, analysts said.