Spotlight: FOCAC Beijing summit shows China's approach, dedication to Africa
Chinese President Xi Jinping and foreign leaders attending the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) head for the venue of the summit's opening ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 3, 2018. The FOCAC Beijing Summit opened here on Monday. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech titled "Work Together for Common Development and a Shared Future" at the opening ceremony. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), held on Sept. 3-4, shows an "encouraging" approach of China to its relations with Africa and Beijing's unselfish dedication to help developing countries, experts and world leaders have said.
"FIVE-NO" APPROACH ENCOURAGING
In Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the opening ceremony of the summit on Monday, he announced China's "five-no" approach in its relations with Africa: no interference in African countries' pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference in their internal affairs; no imposition of China's will on them; no attachment of political strings to assistance; and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation.
McHenry Venaani, chairperson of the Trade Immigration and Customs portfolio in the Pan-African Parliament and Namibian Opposition leader, expressed his support for China's "no interference and no strings attached" policy to development aid and infrastructure funding in Africa.
"Announcement by President Xi that his country will support Africa with no strings attached is welcome and indeed a cornerstone of engagement between China, the second largest economy, and Africa," Venaani said. "Whatever aid China is giving to Africa for economic growth and infrastructure development is timely as Africa needs a partner for growth currently."
China proves to be Africa's all-weather friend, said Hoze Riruako, political analyst and political science lecturer at the University of Namibia.
"For a long time Africa has been looking for a partner who comes in a mutually beneficial relationship and China has proven to be that partner," said Riruako, referring to the "five-no" approach as "encouraging."
Stephen Ndegwa, a public policy lecturer at the United States International University Africa based in Kenya, described China as "a genuine development partner" for Africa.
"China has chosen to let African countries chart their own course towards an ideally unique African continent with its own social, economic and political identity," he said.
China and Africa share a very solid cooperation relationship, said Sudheendra Kulkarni, ex-chairman of Observer Research Foundation, an Indian think tank.
The "five-no" approach, a brand-new international cooperation pattern, means China-Africa cooperation is based on equality and mutual respect, Kulkarni said.
The FOCAC Beijing Action Plan (2019-2021) was adopted at the summit to confirm that China and Africa will comprehensively enhance pragmatic cooperation focusing on the implementation of the eight major initiatives -- industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health care, people-to-people exchange, and peace and security.
"The eight major initiatives are important achievements of the summit," Zimbabwean economic analyst Ernest Mudzenge told Xinhua.
In his view, these initiatives reflect priorities in China-Africa relations and will also develop a blueprint for future cooperation between China and Africa.
"I think China-Africa cooperation will reach a higher point if the eight major initiatives are implemented successfully." He said.
Kabelo Ebineng, permanent secretary of Botswana's Ministry of Transport and Communications, hails the initiative of strengthening infrastructure connectivity.
Infrastructure connectivity will not only improve Botswana's road network, but also help address some social and economic challenges in the landlocked country, Ebineng said.
Augustine B. Njamnshi Chair, director of technical and political affairs in the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, spoke highly of the inclusion of green development in the initiatives.
"This is a great move and in the right direction. This move gives the right signals and I hope it will become a culture in China-Africa relationship," the expert said.
Fadimatou Iyawa, national president of Cameroon's National Youth Council, pointed out that reinforcing capacity building is very important to help African young generations to improve their skills.
"Cultural exchanges are fundamentally relevant. This is a very welcome opportunity for Cameroon," said George Ngwane, an expert of the Cameroon National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multiculturalism. "We Cameroonians and Africans should be able to take that advantage in a win-win situation."
At a press meeting after the closing of the summit on Tuesday, Xi said that he is convinced that with concerted efforts and strong support of the over 2.6 billion Chinese and African people, the two sides will meet the goal of building an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.
The Beijing summit shows an unselfish dedication of China to help developing countries, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said during his meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Li Manchang on Tuesday.
"As the world economy faces the challenges of trade protectionism, China, as a country of great economic power, has once again demonstrated its willingness to help developing countries unselfishly, to the benefit of, as President Xi Jinping said, a common prosperity," Vucic said.
He said that "the respect that China shows to all countries and their right to development, regardless of their sizes, as well as without interference in their internal issues and political conditions, deserves the support of all who believe in the ideals of genuine equality and solidarity."
Pierre Picquart, expert of international affairs of University of Paris VIII, said that with new progress achieved every year, China-Africa cooperation has become increasingly fruitful.
China plays an active role in the continent's development and the two sides have gained a true win-win situation, he added.
(Zhang Xingjun in Bombay, Wu Changwei in Windhoek, Gao Yuan in Cape Town, Wang Xiaopeng, Jin Zheng in Nairobi, Yang Mengxi in Gaborone, Qiao Benxiao in Yaounde, Zhang Yuliang in Harare, Gao Lan, Hu Xiaoguang in Moscow, Li Sibo in Dar es Salaam, Guo Jun in Abuja, Han Bing in Paris, Wang Huijuan in Belgrade contributed to the story.)