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Africa sees future ties with China through CPPCC

03-03-2014 22:25 BJT Special Report: 2014 NPC & CPPCC Sessions |

African countries will be keenly watching the developments in Beijing this week, to determine how China’s internal and external priorities and strategies in the last year have affected its approach to Africa since the ascension to office of China’s new leadership.

During the 2013 CPPCC session, promoting bilateral cooperation between China and Africa was a major focus. And today China and Africa’s relationship has reached a historic high. China’s President Xi Jinping made Africa his first official destination after assuming office with visits to Tanzania, Congo Brazzaville and South Africa, demonstrating the importance China is attaching to its partnership with Africa.

Meanwhile, African leaders have remained keen to forge closer ties with China, with at least nine African Heads of State visiting China since 2013, two others in the coming month. They include Zambia’s Michael Sata, Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Senegal’s Macky Sall and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

In a recent meeting with former Namibian President Sam Nujoma, China’s top political advisor, Yu Zhengsheng, lauded ties forged between China and Namibia as well as other African countries. Yu expressed readiness to step up communication with all African parties to promote peace and development in Africa. He said "friendly cooperation with African countries has always been an important part of the foundation of China’s foreign policy".

Undoubtedly Sino-Africa ties have deepened in the last year, with Africa becoming China’s fourth largest investment destination and China maintaining its position as Africa’s largest trade partner. A Chinese policy Paper issued last August laid out various areas of future cooperation. They include: Enhancing investment and financing; Cooperation in Agriculture and Food Security; Infrastructure Construction; and supporting African People’ s Livelihoods.

African countries are today more optimistic than ever, about economic engagements with china, and will be watching this year’s CPPCC session for indications on China’s economic policies touching on these areas.

China’s shift in its African policy this year, will be another highlight. China is today an engaged partner in both dialogue as well as playing a more prominent role in peace keeping efforts in Africa’s troublespots. China has continued sending peacekeeping troops to the UN mission areas in South Sudan since its independence in 2011. The troops have contributed to about 280 UNMISS projects, helped build some 50 kilometers of road and provided medical services to more than 1,500 local residents. China recently also sent a 395-strong force to Mali under the UN mandate. The peacekeeping missions have not only boosted China’s global standing but also further extended its credibility with African countries.

It is acknowledged on the continent that Africa’s economic transformation is now firmly tied to China. So any policy decisions coming out of this year’s CPPCC & NPC sessions will be watched closely here for its effect on future Sino-Africa relations.

Editor:James |Source:

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