Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on joint efforts in building an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future when taking an interview with People's Daily after finishing his visit to African countries.
The Chinese foreign minister was on a five-nation tour in Africa, his first overseas trip this year, from January 4 to 9. During his trip, he visited Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Botswana, Tanzania and Seychelles.
Following the 30-year tradition of choosing Africa for the first overseas visit every year, Wang said this year's visit conveys a clear signal on strengthening ties between China and African countries.
China is using concrete actions to show its special attention to China-Africa ties, Wang noted, reiterating that China firmly supports the development and rejuvenation of African countries and will always stand with all the developing countries.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) meets with Tanzanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Palamagamba Kabudi in Chato, Tanzania, January 8, 2021. /Xinhua
Wang acknowledged the global outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic as a pressing challenge faced by both China and African countries.
He assured that China will continue providing badly-needed medical supplies, experts teams to its African friends and pledged that China will keep its commitment of striving to make COVID-19 vaccine a public product accessible and affordable to people around the world.
During Wang's visit, China signed Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with Botswana and DRC separately, making the two countries the 45th and the 46th partner countries in Africa in BRI cooperation.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) and his Botswana counterpart Lemogang Kwape attend a signing ceremony in Gaborone, Botswana, January 7, 2021. /Xinhua
Speaking of the major progress in China's diplomacy, Wang said that the BRI is spreading to the whole continent despite the pandemic and other external influences. It is surely to have a brighter future.
Noting that this year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Wang believes, under joint efforts from the two sides, the forum will make a greater contribution to building an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) speaks to Seychellois Foreign Minister Sylvestre Radegonde in Victoria, capital of Seychelles, January 9, 2021. /Chinese Foreign Ministry
China and Africa will never stop joint efforts to consolidate their sound ties and push forward cooperation in key areas for economic recovery, noted Wang.
Nevertheless, the Chinese foreign minister stressed that such cooperation is never exclusive. In his opinion, instead of viewing Africa as chessboard for power politics, the continent should be a stage for international cooperation.
"We welcome joint efforts from the international community and all countries should cooperate with Africa on the premise of respecting Africa's sovereignty and listening to Africa's voices," said Wang, indicating that the international community has a shared responsibility to support Africa's development.
Wang said that both China and African countries cherish the traditional friendship between the two sides and are committed to justice, multilateralism and non-interference in internal affairs. In the future, the two parties are going to enhance strategic coordination and inject more impetus in their bilateral relationship.