Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi wrapped up his visit to Africa after meeting a slew of leaders of Egypt, Tunisia, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire from January 13 to 18.
Continuing the fine tradition of the Chinese foreign minister’s first overseas trip to the African continent every year for 34 years, Wang hailed the firm mutual trust and deep friendship between China and the four African countries, pledged to enhance practical cooperation, and agreed to strengthen communication and coordination with all parties, aiming to build a closer partnership that benefits all.
In today’s volatile world, Africa faces new challenges to its peaceful development and needs China’s support and Africa-China cooperation more than ever, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe told Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, during their talks on Wednesday.
Upholding mutual respect, treating each other as equals
The most important experience for bilateral relations to withstand the test of ups and downs and maintain stable development is to uphold mutual respect and equal treatment and carry out mutually beneficial cooperation based on that, Wang noted during talks with Tunisian President Kais Saied.
Noting that Africa is a continent full of hope and an independent pole in a multi-polar world, Wang told Togolese Foreign Minister Robert Dussey that China supports African countries in adhering to independence, seeking unity and self-reliance, and taking Africa’s destiny into their own hands.
Commending China for upholding justice and opposing interference in Africa’s internal affairs in the international arena, Faure said the African people need a friend like China, who takes care of Africa’s realities, listens to Africa’s demands, and never imposes its will on others.
Regarding the Taiwan question, the four countries expressed their firm support for the one-China principle, and vowed to support China in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“True friends support each other at critical moments,” Wang thanked Dussey for supporting the Chinese government’s stance on the Taiwan question.
China will also support the four countries in safeguarding national sovereignty and security, and explore development paths that suit their own national conditions.
Promoting the upgrading of China-Africa cooperation
This year, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will meet again, and Egypt, Tunisia, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire are all China’s cooperation partners.
Wang stressed that the FOCAC has become an important platform for promoting Africa’s development, and a banner for China-Africa unity and cooperation, leading international cooperation with Africa.
President of Cote d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara called for promoting the implementation of more results of the FOCAC in his country to better benefit the two peoples.
In terms of practical cooperation, the Chinese foreign minister urged greater efforts to promote the upgrading of China-Africa cooperation to realize modernization for both sides.
China and Egypt agreed to jointly implement the eight major initiatives on China-Arab practical cooperation at the first China-Arab States Summit, and the “nine projects” proposed at the FOCAC.
Togo hopes to learn from China’s experience to strengthen cooperation in such fields as poverty alleviation, agriculture, industrial parks, interconnectivity, digital economy, personnel training and environmental protection, to create more jobs and achieve inclusive and sustainable growth, said Togolese Prime Minister Victoire Sidemeho Tomegah Dogbe, during a meeting with Wang.
The Tunisian president said his country will continue to participate in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Closer communication, coordination
On international issues, Wang called for efforts to promote the construction of an equal and orderly multi-polar world and inclusive economic globalization that benefits all.
Noting that the world today is full of uncertainty and instability with rampant unilateralism, power politics and hegemony, he and Saied both said they oppose unipolar hegemony and interference in other’s internal affairs.
Tunisia is willing to work with China and other developing countries to safeguard common values of mankind, safeguard international fairness and justice, and build a community with a shared future, the Tunisian president said.
During a meeting between Wang and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the two sides agreed to continue to strengthen communication and coordination under frameworks such as BRICS and the United Nations.
On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Wang and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry expressed their deep concern over the further spillover of the current conflict and stressing the need for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire.
In a joint statement issued by the two foreign ministers, they urged efforts of the international community and regional countries to ease tensions and turbulence in the region, ensuring the safety and security of navigation in the Red Sea, and promoting the implementation of the two-state solution to establish an independent State of Palestine.