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Flower of Sino-African friendship blossoms
2014-12-15 23:12

Author: Zhou Fei

Source: Global Times

The 10th Senior Officials' Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was held from December 9 to 10 in Pretoria, the sunny and splendid administrative capital of South Africa.

Delegates from 52 member countries gathered at the forum to engage in the full review of the implementation of the follow-up action of the 5th Ministerial Meeting, summarize the positive progress of the China-Africa cooperation led by the forum, and conduct an in-depth discussion of the program of the 6th Ministerial Meeting.

China has been lauded by African delegates for its support in the battle against Ebola in Africa. This meeting is a landmark event for China-Africa cooperation in 2014, and manifests the China-Africa relationship that is pursing new progress and experiencing booming development in the new era.

Since the establishment of Sino-Egyptian diplomatic relations in 1956, China and Africa have stood together through adversity and hardship to forge a strong friendship.

In March, the Ebola epidemic broke out, throwing three West African countries into an abyss of suffering. Chinese felt sympathy for Africans hit by the virus and took quick action to offer assistance by sending four batches of emergency aid totaling 750 million yuan ($122.6 million), chartering eight planes to transport supplies and personnel and dispatching nearly 1,000 epidemic-prevention experts and medical personnel. Crisis can reveal sincere friendship and the touchstone of Ebola has shown the genuine feelings of Chinese for Africans.

In July 2012, when the 5th Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation opened in Beijing, the Chinese government announced new measures concerning cooperation with Africa in five areas including investment and financing, assistance, African integration, non-governmental exchange and African peace and security.

Over the past two-odd years, with the joint efforts of China and Africa, the post-meeting follow-up action has forged ahead, China-Africa political exchange has become closer, cooperation in investment and financing has expanded, non-governmental exchanges have played a more active role, and cooperation on African integration and African peace and security has been strengthened. Partial commitments have been fulfilled ahead of time and even surpassed the target, turning cooperation blueprint into reality. China has always kept its promises and honored its commitments, gaining recognition from African delegates.

The China-Africa trade volume reached $210 billion in 2013, 21 times that of 2000. China's investment stock in Africa approached $30 billion, and non-commercial loans topped $50 billion. In 2013, 1,895,000 Chinese citizens visited African countries as their first stop and 553,000 African people visited China. China-Africa cooperation, characterized by fairness, pragmatism and efficiency, has become a bright spot in international cooperation with Africa.

Next year marks the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and the 6th Ministerial Meeting will be held in South Africa. In the crucial moment of strengthening China-Africa unity and cooperation and accelerating reciprocal development, forum members will gather again in South Africa to discuss a cooperation blueprint.

China and Africa will intensify collaboration, work together and announce at the next ministerial meeting more practical measures in line with the needs of China and Africa to align China's goals with Africa's industrialization and modernization drive, and advance China-Africa new strategic partnership to a new level. China will continue to play a leading role in international cooperation with Africa.

Bathed in Pretoria's pleasant sunshine, the 10th Senior Officials Meeting will vividly depict the great accomplishment and bright outlook of China-Africa friendship like a blossoming flower. In March 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping used four terms - genuineness, real results, affinity, and sincerity - to describe China's policy on Africa when he delivered a speech in Dar es Salaam, capital of Tanzania. His incisive description continues to be tested and will further light up the bright path on which China-Africa friendly cooperation strides forward.

The author is an observer of international affairs based in Beijing. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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