By Eric Biegon, Beijing, China
The Chinese government through the country’s ministry of foreign affairs’ Public Diplomacy Office and the China Public Diplomacy Association is hosting the 4th edition of China Africa Press Centre (CAPC), where another bunch of 29 journalists from across 29 African countries have been enrolled in a 10 month visit of China.
Diplomats drawn from President Xi Jinping’s regime emphasized the profound attachment the Asian giant has on the continent even as they outlined strategies for increased cooperation to help break development bottlenecks across developing nations.
Speaking during the formal opening of the China Africa Press Centre initiative in capital Beijing, President of China Public Diplomacy Association Mr. Li Zhaoxing disclosed that China is fully cognizant of the role Africa is playing in its economic and political strides terming it a mutual relationship.
“In 1971, 26 African states supported China to resume its seat at the UN against an onslaught by a section of European countries. We will never forget that.” Said Mr. Li, a diplomat, and a one-time staff member and Attaché to Chinese Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
Bone out of this gesture, Mr. Li stated that Beijing made a firm resolution to remain friendly to African states noting that “to move forward, we must learn from history”.
During the tour Mr. Liu Yutong, a director of Public Diplomacy Office in Beijing said the journalists will have an opportunity to travel to various provinces in China as well as attend Chinese institutions such as the Renmin University (RUC) and the Beijing International Chinese College – BICC, to learn its social, political and economic values.
The program which was launched in 2014 has so far airlifted more than 100 African journalists to visit China.
But the program is not only targeting African countries. Journalists from South Asia and South East Asia have been assimilated into the program. 15 have been enlisted this year.
Both sets of journalists according to Mr. Liu will “learn lessons on the functioning of the ruling Communist Party of China – CPC, and the country’s rise as a major world power.”
The program is a brainchild of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation – FOCAC, where Chinese President Xi Jinping earmarked areas of cooperation between China and African states.