Mon, 24 Jan 2022

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China and Africa share similar ideas and interests, and their cooperation has a solid foundation, great potential and a promising future, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday held an interview with the news media after concluding his recent trips to Eritrea, Kenya, the Comoros, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Noting the tradition of Chinese diplomacy that Chinese foreign ministers make their first overseas visit to Africa at the start of each year, Wang said that in spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he travelled to Africa as scheduled, which has demonstrated China's original commitment to promote China-Africa solidarity and cooperation.

Wang said Eritrea is a traditional friend of China, and the two countries share similar views on upholding independence, maintaining political and social stability, and exploring their own development paths.

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Kenya, he said, is China's comprehensive strategic and cooperative partner, and China-Kenya cooperation is playing an exemplary and leading role in the joint building of the Belt and Road between China and Africa.

China and the Comoros, though different in size and level of development, have become a model of equal treatment and win-win cooperation between countries, Wang said.

China and Africa share similar ideas and interests, and their cooperation has a solid foundation, great potential and a promising future, he added.

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During his visit to Kenya, Wang said that China stands ready to propose the "Initiative of Peaceful Development in the Horn of Africa."

In his interview with the media on Monday, Wang said that the core of the initiative is to support countries in the region to stay out of any geopolitical competition between major countries while keeping their fate in their own hands.

Wang said China has put forward three proposals. First, the Horn of Africa should strengthen intra-regional dialogue to overcome security challenges; secondly, the Horn of Africa should accelerate regional revitalization to overcome development challenges; third, the Horn of Africa should explore effective ways to overcome governance challenges.

The "Initiative," upon being put forward, has received positive responses from Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and other countries in the region, which believe that it meets the urgent needs of countries in the Horn of Africa, and that China's appointment of a special envoy for the Horn of Africa indicates that the Chinese side will play a more active and constructive role there.

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On the so-called "debt trap" allegation against China, Wang said that the so-called "trap" is in fact a narrative trap created by those who wish to forever plunge Africa into a "poverty trap" and "backwardness trap."

Wang said China has conducted practical and efficient investment and financing cooperation with African countries on a voluntary, equal and scientific basis according to the needs of the African side, which has benefited, not burdened, the people of Africa.

Noting that Africa's development needs have further expanded with its social and economic development in recent years, Wang said China is ready to work with Africa to consolidate and deepen traditional cooperation such as infrastructure construction, while pushing forward cooperation in other emerging areas.

China will also work with Africa to pay more attention to improving livelihoods and make greater contributions to Africa's industrialization and modernization, he added.

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As to the relationship between China and the Maldives, Wang said this year marks the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, adding that the two countries have become a model of friendly exchanges and mutual benefits between countries.

It is in the common interests of the two peoples that China and the Maldives jointly build the Maritime Silk Road, Wang added.

Wang said that the two countries should take a broader view and open up a new chapter of mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation.

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On China-Sri Lanka relations, Wang said that the sound political mutual trust between China and Sri Lanka provides a strong impetus for mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

Wang said this year also marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations, noting that Sri Lanka was the first country to respond to and participate in the Belt and Road Initiative following its announcement.

The Colombo Port City and Hambantota Port are flagship projects of the two sides, who are working closely together to build the Maritime Silk Road. Both projects have become two engines of Sri Lanka's economic development, bringing tangible benefits to the Sri Lankan people, Wang added.

On the proposal of holding a forum on the development of Indian Ocean island countries, Wang said that as the largest developing country in the world, China is ready to share development experience with Indian Ocean island countries and contribute to the common development of all countries.

Wang also said that China always gives priority to developing countries in vaccine cooperation. As long as developing countries have requests, Wang noted, China will respond and take action.

At present, the plan announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping to provide vaccines to Africa has been implemented, Wang said, noting that China will provide Kenya with an additional 10 million doses of vaccine and will continue to offer sufficient vaccines to the Comoros to help it achieve the goal of universal immunization.

The Chinese side will continue to provide vaccines and anti-pandemic supplies to South Asian countries, and cooperate with interested countries in the research and development of specific medicines, Wang added.

Chinese vaccines are now being sent to every corner of Asia, Africa and Latin America where vaccines are needed, he said, adding that China will continue to stand with other developing countries until the final victory against the pandemic is won.

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