NIGERIA CHINA TIMES: China-Africa Institute and Seminar on the China-African Relations and the Belt and Road Initiative
By Dr. Adetoro Olaniyi Banwo
The Executive Vice-President of the China-Africa Institute, Professor Li Xinfeng and Executive Research Director of the institute of West Asian and African Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Science, Professor Wu Chuanhua hosted African delegates to a comprehensive discourse about Sino-African relations. Highlights of their discourses were:
First, China-Africa relations are closely linked to the Belt and Road Initiative. Africa is one of the important directions of the Belt and Road Development.
Second, China-Africa cooperation has seen a lot of upgrade and transformation. “Belt and Road” constructions is fruitful after Zheng He went to Africa. Direct exchanges between China and Africa were blocked by the west, it was further reopened. In 1956, New China and Egypt officially established diplomatic relations, opening a new era in China-Africa relations.
Since the reform and opening up, China-Africa relations have developed in an exemplary manner wither through investment, construction and direct exchange of their citizenry.
China has been engaging on numerous contracts and engagements in Africa, from the construction of various projects to the dispatch of medical personnel and peacekeeping officers and soldiers. China has also offered training of all kinds of personnel, this has reflected the friendship of the Chinese people to the African people.
The common interests of China and Africa are expanding, and the development of China-Africa relations is of great significance. The Forum of China-Africa Cooperation is an important platform for the development of China-Africa relations.
China-Africa trade has jumped form $10.6 billion in 2000 to $204.19 billion in 2018, and China has maintained its position as Africa’s largest trading partner for many years.
The Scholars concurred that Chinese support for Africa is pragmatic and it must be understood within the framework of Sino-Africa relations and engagements.