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Xi proposes comprehensive strategic cooperative ties


12-05-2015 17:36 BJT

Full coverage: Xi Attends Paris Climate Talks, Visits Zimbabwe, S. Africa

Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed upgrading China-Africa bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. This came in his keynote speech at the opening of the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg. He also put forward proposals for seeking common development in China and Africa. 

A visit to confirm China's long-standing agenda on the African Continent. At the opening ceremony of FOCAC - a major announcement was made.

"To promote construction of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, China is willing to implement 10 major cooperation programs with Africa in the coming three years," Xi said.

The programs cover the areas of industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, financial services, green development,  poverty reduction and public welfare, people-to-people exchanges, as well as peace and security.

The president said these are aimed to escalate Africa's industrial and agricultural modernization, and realize Africa's independent sustainable development.

To ensure smooth implementation of the initiatives, President Xi announced, China will offer 60 billion US dollars of funding support, including 5 billion dollars of free aid and interest-free loans, 35 billion dollars of preferential loans and export credit on more favorable terms, 5 billion dollars of additional capital for the China-Africa Development Fund, and the Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs each. There is also a China-Africa production capacity cooperation fund with an initial capital of 10 billion dollars.

In addition to helping African countries break their development bottlenecks of backward infrastructure and inadequate fund, the programs will also address the issue of talent shortage.

President Xi said China will establish a number of regional vocational education centers and several capacity-building colleges for Africa, train 200,000 technicians for African countries, and provide the continent with 40,000 training opportunities in China.

"Africa's path of industrialization can only be found by African people through their own practice and exploration. It is China's sincere hope to share its experience with African countries, and we are willing to provide capital, technology and personnel in support of Africa's industrialization," Xi said.

Concrete plans were also laid out on the sidelines of the FOCAC meeting.

While addressing the high-level dialogue between Chinese and African business leaders, the president stressed China-Africa cooperation would prioritize infrastructure construction, to bring tangible benefits to all the people.

He also said the cooperation should be equality-based, open and inclusive, and that the focus should be oriented to capacity-building.

"China is ready to share without any reservation advanced, applicable technologies with Africa and combine Chinese competitive industries with African needs to deepen industrial cooperation. This will help enhance the quality of the African workforce and create more jobs and strengthen Africa’s internal drive for economic development," Xi said.

China is Africa's largest trading partner, with the trade volume amounting to 220 billion US dollars last year. Experts say the president's new announcements are bound to usher in a new era.

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