Ambassador Chen Gouyou discusses upcoming China-Africa Cooperation Forum

To mark the celebration of the Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum this September, the People’s Republic of China Ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Chen Gouyou, in conversation with, reaffirmed that the summit was a great event to strengthen China-Africa Cooperation.

In conversation with the press, the People’s Republic of China Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea recalled that, 18 years have gone by since the establishment of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC) in 2000. Just like a person who at 18 reaches the age of majority, this year the China-Africa Cooperation Forum is going to celebrate the coming of age ceremony”. At this new starting point, the leaders of China and Africa will meet in Beijing in September, to jointly discuss and plan the strengthening of China-Africa cooperation and common development, opening a new chapter on the strategic association and integrated cooperation between the two regions.

China and Africa are part of a community with a common destiny, and they have joined as natural partners through their similar historical experiences, common development needs, and the common aspirations of 2,600 million inhabitants for a better life.

The friendship between China and Africa is close and sincere. Since the 50s in the last century, when China was poor and backward, Mao Zedong and other leaders of the New China forged a friendship against the wind and storms with African leaders of the previous generation, opening the way to friendly China-Africa cooperation. As the Chinese President, H. E. Xi Jinping said, it is not important how the international situation changes and up to what point Chinese development reaches; China is always by the side of African countries, and will forever be a sincere and trusted partner for Africa.

Since the start of the process of reform and opening in China in 1978, until today, China-Africa cooperation has been on a fast-track. China-Africa trade went from barely 756 million dollars in 1978, to 170,000 dollars in 2017, an increase of 200 times. Currently China has held its position as the greatest trading partner for Africa in consecutive years, and is the top trading partner, the main source of investment and foreign aid, and the main market for Equatorial Guinea exports. In recent years, every year there have been almost two million trips between the two partners. Meanwhile, the Chinese side has been implementing, since 2016, the Training of a Thousand Talents Project, which consists in training 200 talents in various areas for Equatorial Guinea every year. Until now, over 80 Confucius Institutes and Confucius Rooms have been set up in 41 African countries, including Equatorial Guinea. Through the decades, China has always maintained a policy of friendship and cooperation with Africa, and has never made empty promises with respect to cooperation, which has provided tangible fruits, which the people of Africa can see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

The Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum , to be held in September, will provide China-Africa cooperation with connotations for this new era. The subject of the summit is “Win-win cooperation, join forces to build a closer community with a common destiny between China and Africa”. The Chinese side will work with the African side in order to relate the main theme of the summit to the joint construction of the “Belt and Road”, through the sustainable development programme of the United Nations in 2030, with the 2063 Agenda from the African Union, and through the development strategies of the various African countries, including the Equatorial Guinea Horizonte 2020 National Plan for Economic and Social Development, with the aim of opening fresh perspectives and create new opportunities for the strategic association and integrated China-Africa cooperation.

Recently, His Excellency President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo declared in an interview that, since the establishment of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, investment and cooperation between China and Africa has expanded continually, which has promoted development in Africa. I hope that this year the summit can further increase pragmatic cooperation between Africa and China, so that the results of this cooperation can benefit more African countries and their peoples. As the President said during the Summit, China and Africa will jointly plan the future development path, and will make efforts to promote further fruitful cooperation in the political, economic, trade, culture, infrastructure, education, tourism, health, human resources, fight against poverty areas, among others; in addition to raising the quality and performance of the cooperation to new heights. The Chinese side will help the African side in the process of industrialisation and modernisation in agriculture, achieving new milestones in China-Africa cooperation, enriching the content of South-South cooperation, and boosting the development of the international order in a fairer, more rational direction.

Despite the abundant fruits already harvested, we must not stop in the road of achieving further progress. We hope that the presence of President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at the summit, and his tenth trip to China, will be a complete success, in order to inject further energy in the association of integrated cooperation between the two countries, and make further contributions towards friendly cooperation for the mutual benefit of China and Africa, providing a fresh boost to the realisation of the African dream and the Chinese dream”.

Source: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Equatorial Guinea

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