Chinese President to visit Africa

March 19, 2013 12:15 pm


Xi, who was elected as Chinese president last week, will be making a debut visit to Africa since he assumed office/XINHUA
Xi, who was elected as Chinese president last week, will be making a debut visit to Africa since he assumed office/XINHUA
BEIJING, Mar 19 – Chinese President Xi Jinping will kick off a four-nation tour on Friday, the first by China’s top leader since his election at last year’s national congress of the Communist Party of China that completed the once-in-a-decade power transfer.

Xi, who was elected as Chinese president last week, will be making a debut visit to Africa since he assumed office, when he attends the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) block summit slated for March 26-27 in South Africa.

The Chinese president is likely to meet with other African leaders to discuss how to strengthen the Sino-Africa ties during his stay on the continent, according to the special envoy.

The impending visit of China’s new leader Xi Jinping to Africa might be critical to the continent’s future development, Zhong Jianhua, a special envoy of the People’s Republic of China in Africa, said on Monday.

Zhong told reporters in Abuja, Nigeria, that he believes President Xi’s visit could be an opportunity for the Chinese leader to announce his country’s policies for Africa in the coming years.

“There could be an address for the Chinese policy for this continent. And that address or speech, could be critical. Let’s wait for just few days until he (Xi) gives a speech. Then, we can have a clear picture on what is going to happen,” Zhong said.

The upcoming diplomatic blitzkrieg has drawn worldwide attention as it will open a new chapter for Chinese diplomacy, which advocates peaceful coexistence and promotes win-win cooperation with others nations.

Qu Xing, president of the China Institute of International Studies, a think-tank affiliated with the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said the tour, which spans Asia, Europe and Africa, demonstrated the country’s comprehensive diplomatic strategy.

“The visit involves multiple factors and various fields, such as a world power and a neighbouring country, developing nations and multilateral (cooperation),” he said. “It fully embodies China’s all-round foreign policy of peace.”

In addition, the visit will inherit the past and usher in the future for Chinese diplomacy.

China’s development cannot be separated from the world, while global prosperity and stability is also strongly linked to China.

With the reform and opening-up policy carried out over the past three decades, China has entered a new stage in its economic and social development. In a bid to realize its goal of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, the country needs to create a more favourable external environment.

Facing the in-depth development of world multi-polarization, economic globalization as well as scientific and technological progress, both Russia and African nations, as well as BRICS members and other countries, are seeking economic revitalization and a new path for development against the backdrop of the continued global economic downturn.

Xi’s visit is described as “a trip of friendship and inheritance” that was expected to broaden cooperation and map out the future.

In order to boost trade and economic cooperation between China and Africa, China will pay greater attention to Africa’s peace and security, exchange experience in governance, increase investment in Africa’s manufacturing sector, and stimulate employment and industrial upgrades on the continent by extending industrial chains.

As for the BRICS summit in Durban, the world is looking to the five leading emerging economies to forge a concrete mechanism for their cooperation. High expectation is place on the scheduled meeting between leaders of BRICS countries and African nations.

Xi’s visit will have a far-reaching influence on this part of world as it will push forward China’s relations with Russian and Africa and boost the development of the BRICS mechanism.

China needs to secure sound interaction and mutually beneficial results with other countries across the world. The visit should produce new highlights and expand the cooperation realm.

Booming economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa is one of the most dynamic highlights in global economic growth.

Since the China-Africa Cooperation Forum was founded in 2000, the content of cooperation between China and Africa is increasingly expanding. Xi’s visit is expected to accelerate China’s pragmatic cooperation with Africa and push a broader implementation of the reached agreements between China and African nations.

Liu Guijin , a former Chinese special representative on African affairs, said in the economic realm, China would reinforce its investment in Africa’s infrastructure construction, pay more attention to peace and security in the region, and support its integration process.

In the field of governance, China and Africa would exchange views on those pressing issues of common concern, such as the development of rural areas, infrastructure facilities and the economy and society, Liu said.

Xi recently has said Africa’s development creates opportunities for China as China’s development offers opportunities for the African continent, which inspires wide expectations for his African tour.

The Chinese leader’s visit will add new vigour to cooperation mechanisms between emerging economies. BRICS countries, as a new force which has contributed to more than 50 percent of global economic growth, are making the world listen to their common voice.

The long-awaited BRICS banking and monetary cooperation mechanism proposed at last year’s BRCIS meeting in Delhi, India, is ready to progress; the establishment of a BRICS business council and think-tank is on the agenda; and the trade and customs facilitation measures between BRICS countries are coming into force.

Efforts made by China and other BRICS countries in developing the bloc’s structure would inject vigour, strengthen its members’ confidence and facilitate the mechanism to bring in more member countries, said Yao Shumei, director of the International Economic and Financial Research Division of the Foreign Economic Institute of China’s National Development and Reform Commission.

The breakthroughs in the cooperation mechanism between BRICS countries bore great significance in boosting the sustainable development of the global economy, building a multiple world financial system and pushing both South-South and South-North cooperation, she said.

Xi’s visit will spread friendship and bring souls closer. Interaction with the foreign public has an important place on Xi’s agenda.
Booming cultural and people-to-people exchanges will reinforce the friendship between China and the peoples of other countries.

In Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, people are expecting Xi’s visit to inspire a genial and fresh wind of “China Style” in the country.

On the beautiful and rich land of Africa stands the monument of traditional friendship between China and Africa, as well as various China-Africa cooperation projects. People expect Xi’s visit to Africa to link up the past and the future of China-Africa friendship.


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