China and several African nations have reiterated their commitment to upholding each other’s sovereignty and working together for shared development as Beijing’s top diplomat Wang Yi wrapped up a six-day visit to the continent, the traditional first visit destination of the new year by Chinese foreign ministers.
During the trip, which brought Wang to Egypt, Tunisia, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire, leaders of all four countries voiced their support for China’s position on the Taiwan question by declaring their adherence to the one-China principle.
Wang said this is a full demonstration of the tradition of China and Africa supporting each other.
The unity and friendship between China and Africa came into being as both sides fought for national liberation and independence, and was improved during the process of their common prosperity, he said on Thursday, the final day of his African visit.
“It is well worth cherishing and continuing,” Wang added.
Wang voiced China’s support for African countries in safeguarding their sovereignty and independence, playing a bigger role in international affairs and exploring a path of modernization that suits their own national conditions.
“China will always stand by Africa’s side,” he said, adding that China supports African countries in uniting with one another for greater development and “firmly holding the future and destiny of Africa in their own hands”.
Expressing China’s hope for building a closer community with a shared future with Africa, Wang said Beijing backs the continent in striving for its due status in a multipolar system and enjoying the full benefits of economic globalization.
China and Africa have always firmly supported each other over issues involving their core interests and major concerns, said He Wenping, a researcher with the Institute of West Asian and African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The mutual support forms the basis of political trust between the two sides, and helps maintain the international order, which is being challenged by profound changes in the world, including the rise of unilateralism and protectionism, He said.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a regular news briefing on Friday that Wang’s visit, which carried on the 34-year-old tradition of Beijing making Africa the first destination of its foreign minister’s overseas visits, shows the high importance China attaches to the continent.
China will work with Africa to launch measures that meet the needs of bilateral cooperation in the new era, Mao said.
As China is scheduled to host the next round of meetings during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation this year, Sino-African cooperation will press ahead with strong momentum, said He, the researcher.
Both sides will “continue to need each other” not only diplomatically and multilaterally, but also in their economic development, she said.
Wang Dong, a professor at the School of International Studies of Peking University, said cooperation with Africa is “an important cornerstone” of China’s foreign policy.
The cooperation has helped the Global South’s growth, and stands as a shining example of peaceful global development, Wang said.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).