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China-Africa Think Tanks Forum boosts cooperation

Author  :  Zhang Junrong     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2019-09-06

The Eighth Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum convened in Beijing in late August. Photo: PEOPLE.CN

At the Eighth Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum in late August, Chinese and African experts gathered in Beijing for discussion on how to fully implement the follow-up actions of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

The success of the FOCAC Beijing Summit last September has ushered in a new era of the China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership, said Chen Xiaodong, China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs. Over the past year, China and Africa have addressed difficulties and worked together to promote the implementation of the FOCAC Beijing Summit. China-Africa high-level exchanges and political mutual trust have reached new heights, the quality and efficiency of pragmatic economic cooperation has improved, people-to-people exchanges have been renewed, and peace and security cooperation has presented new highlights.

Rahmatullah Mohamed Osman, permanent representative of the African Union to China, said that China-Africa cooperation is based on a consensus of equality, respect and mutual benefit. Looking back at the achievements of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit, we can see that cooperation between China and the African Union and African countries involves infrastructure construction, industrial development, economic and trade development, industrial capacity cooperation, medicine and healthcare, and people-to-people exchanges.

Under the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, Africa and China can participate in the global economy, tackle global challenges and achieve common development, Osman continued. B&R cooperation should not be limited to cooperation between governments but extended to more research centers and universities.

Think tanks in China and Africa should strengthen joint research on major international and regional issues, give voice to developing countries, and serve the needs of the B&R and the common development of China and Africa, said Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the China Institute of International Studies.

Jean-Paul Kimonyo, a policy advisor in the Office of the President of Rwanda, said that cooperation between Africa and China has promoted economic development and benefited people in Africa. Through cooperation, Africa should understand and learn from China’s history and its unique development path. China-Africa cooperation has created more development opportunities, more choices and more freedom for Africa. This is the most powerful link between China and Africa.

Now it is a new period of opportunity for China-Africa cooperation in dustrial capacity, said Han Hongmei, executive director of the China-Africa Industrial Capacity Cooperation Fund. It is necessary to continuously promote the effective integration of China’s equipment, technology and management with African labor and resources, meet the funding needs of African countries, and enhance African countries’ ability to earn foreign exchange through exports, sharing long-term economic dividends, demographic dividends and market dividends.

The forum was hosted by the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and organized by the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University in collaboration with the China-Africa Institute and the China Institute of International Studies.

Editor: Li Yujie

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