Lusaka – China’s partnership with Africa has been mutually beneficial for both parties, and the Asian economic powerhouse is committed to broadening and deepening its relations with the continent, Beijing’s outgoing top diplomat in Zambia, Ambassador Li Jie has said.
In an interview with The Southern Times this week as he rounded up his tour of duty to the Southern African country, Ambassador Li said collaboration under the Forum for China-Africa Co-operation (Focac) had been commendable thus far.
He said, “Africa is now on a steadier growth path than it was before the continent agreed to collaborate with China on various developmental agendas under the Focac,” Ambassador Li said.
Under Focac, which was established 21 years ago, China has invested US$210 billion in Africa.
Ambassador Li highlighted China’s US$60 billion pledge at the 2018 Focac Summit, which comprised US$15 billion in grants, and interest-free and concessional loans; US$20 billion in credit lines; US$10 billion for development finance; US$5 billion for financing imports from Africa; and US$10 billion in incentives for Chinese companies to invest in Africa over three years.
He said, “I’m happy that most of the countries, including Zambia, have had over 90 percent of the projects carried out and completed on various conditions. This makes China Africa’s biggest economic partner. There is no other country with such depth and breadth of engagement across trade, investment and infrastructure financing in Africa.”Chinese President Xi Jinping initiated Focac in 2000, basing it on the principles of sincerity, results, amity, good faith and pursuing the greater good and shared interests.