Kinshasa – It is an indisputable fact that African and Chinese people are sharing closer ties, Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said Monday via a video link at the opening ceremony of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) held in Dakar, Senegal.
Commending the new FOCAC conference held this year on the “continent of hope and opportunities for strategic cooperation,” he said that the China-Africa partnership is “exemplary in many respects.”
The conference serves as a constructive and sincere dialogue for Africa and China to “take a look at the progress made over 21 years and define the main directions of China-Africa cooperation for the next three years,” said Tshisekedi, who also serves as the African Union chairman.
Highlighting the historic summits between the two sides, the DRC president paid particular tribute to the outcomes of FOCAC’s Johannesburg Summit in 2015 and the Beijing Summit in 2018, which were marked respectively by the “10 major China-Africa cooperation plans” and the “eight major initiatives”.
A series of projects on railways, roads, airports, ports and power plants have been carried out with valuable assistance from China, and “significantly boosted the economic and social development of the African continent,” he said, lauding China’s support for the construction of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Speaking of the nine programmes of China-Africa co-operation announced in Dakar for the next three years, the DRC president said these projects will facilitate the fight against COVID-19, promote Chinese investment flow and support industrialization for the African continent.
“Africans and Chinese are side by side today as old friends,” President Tshisekedi said, calling on the two sides to realise “the common ambition of sharing destiny, solidarity, justice and exemplarity in relations between the two peoples.” – Xinhua