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China-Africa cooperation fruitful over past 50 years
Latest Updated by 2006-11-01 09:16:52
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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of diplomatic relations between China and African countries. Over the past 50 years, China and Africa have become all-weather friends, partners of sincere cooperation, and good brothers, with the two peoples forging a profound relationship, and bilateral ties achieving great successes.

The Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), scheduled for Nov. 3-5, will be the highest-level and the largest meeting between Chinese and African leaders since China and African countries started to forge cooperative ties in the 1950s.

Over the past five decades, the relations between China and African countries have become closer and closer, with the two sides understanding, supporting and helping each other. Forty-eight out of the continent's 53 countries have established diplomatic ties with China so far.

Since late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai's three visits to Africa in the 1960s, there have been over 800 exchanges of visits between senior Chinese and African leaders.

In the first half of this year, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao paid friendly visits to 10 African countries, injecting new dynamism into the China-Africa relations.

China and Africa have shared comprehensive consensus, common interests, and a willingness to further enhance and deepen their cooperation on many of issues. Frequent high-level reciprocal visits have promoted mutual understanding and trust, and have effectively boosted the all-around, healthy development of bilateral ties.

The Chinese government issued its African Policy Paper in January this year, presenting to the world the objectives of China's policy toward Africa and the measures to achieve them.

In the document, China elaborated its definite objective and firm belief in carrying forward their traditional friendship, and in developing a new type of strategic partnership with Africa under new circumstances, which elicited an enthusiastic response among African nations.

Since the FOCAC was established in 2000, economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa has entered a new era, with comprehensive, rapid and stable development. Two-way trade volume rocketed to 39.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2005 after breaking the mark of 10 billion dollars in 2000.

In addition, China has forgiven debts of 10.9 billion yuan (1.38 billion U.S. dollars) by 31 heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries in Africa and extended zero-tariff treatment to some imports to China.

Meanwhile, Africa's energy sources, raw materials and industrial products began to enter the Chinese market. The two sides had seen an excellent development of mutual benefit and win-win outcomes through their closer cooperation in trade and economy. 
In order to accelerate Africa's economic and social development, and to further promote their trade and economic ties, China has provided assistance without any political preconditions for African nations.

By the end of 2005, China had helped establish more than 720 projects for Africa, offered over 18,000 governmental scholarships, dispatched more than 15,000 medical personnel, and treated some 170 million patients in Africa.

China promised to help Africa train 10,000 professionals three years ago at FOCAC's 2nd ministerial conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The promise will be met in 2006.

In the cultural field, China and Africa share diversified forms of culture. Up to the end of 2005, China had signed 65 cultural agreements with African countries and implemented 151 plans of cultural exchanges.

Over the past five years, more than 10 African nations have sent some 20 governmental cultural delegations to China, and art troupes or groups from both sides also visited each other and put on performances.

In 2004, a China-Africa cultural event was successfully held within the framework of the FOCAC, highlighting the cultural exchange between the two sides.

China, the largest developing country, and Africa, a continent which contains most of the developing countries in the world, have shared the same or similar views on important international issues.

Both sides have conducted close, comprehensive coordination and cooperation, jointly safeguarding the rights and interests of themselves and other developing nations.

African countries have offered valuable support to China, playing an important role in restoring the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations.

They have given China strong support in foiling anti-China motions introduced by some Western countries at the UN Human Rights Commission and helped China defeat many attempts by Taiwan to "participate in the United Nations" and to edge in to the World Heath Organization and other international bodies. African countries also supported China in its bid to host the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 World Expo.

FOCAC is a mechanism for collective dialogue and cooperation jointly established by China and Africa to cope with new challenges and facilitate common development.

At the upcoming Beijing summit, African and Chinese leaders will review the development of China-Africa cooperation over the past five decades and the results achieved since the FOCAC's establishment six years ago, ensure the development of the new type of strategic partnership, blueprint the two sides' pragmatic cooperation for the future, and exchange views on important international affairs.

The summit is bound to raise the level of China-Africa cooperation and inject new life into the friendly relations between the two sides.  

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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