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China Will Integrate Belt and Road with African Development Plans

Sept. 4, 2018  — The second day of the FOCAC Summit in Beijing consisted of a round-table chaired jointly by  President Xi Jinping and President Cyril Ramaphosa, and a series of side forums dealing with individual issues. Speaking at the concluding press conference of the summit, President Xi Jinping underlined the motif: “We will synergize China’s Belt and Road Initiative with African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the national development strategies of African countries.”

Xi said, “Together we will better uphold the common interests of China and Africa, boost the strength of developing countries, and make the world a more balanced and better place for everyone to live in.”

Xi also had words of wisdom for other “international partners” of Africa. “We hope that Africa’s international cooperation partners could learn from each other, leverage their respective strength, build synergy, and jointly contribute to peace and development in Africa,” Xi said. He thanked President Ramaphosa for his close cooperation over the last few months in preparing for the summit, and welcomed President Macky Sall of Senegal as the new African co-chair of FOCAC. President Ramaphosa reiterated his strong support for the BRI: “…[t]he China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative provides the African continent with great opportunities. African countries all collectively accept and praise the initiative, hailing it a best way to address Africa’s challenges.” He pointed out that China and African countries agreed to work more closely together and share technologies and achievements, and listed a series of projects, including the China-Africa cooperation center for ocean science and blue economy, the China-Africa research center for the development of green agriculture, the China-Africa energy technological cooperation center, and the China-Africa geo-science cooperation center.

President Sall, in turn, expressed that he is “happy” over being able to co-chair FOCAC, and said he saw “great prospects” in coming years with more engagements with the private sector. “We will push our relationship to a higher level,” he said, calling the present period of China-Africa relations, a “golden age.”