xi's moments

Experts laud initiatives

By Cao Desheng | China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-04 09:00

President Xi Jinping on Monday said China will implement eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years and beyond, covering fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, and green development. [Photo/Xinhua]

Eight-point plan stresses mutual development, industry promotion

The eight major initiatives to be implemented with Africa, announced by President Xi Jinping on Monday, constitute a road map for China and the continent to build an even stronger community with a shared future, analysts said.

The substantial initiatives represent a forward-looking arrangement with a view to promoting peace and development on the continent, they said.

Xi announced the initiatives, which cover such fields as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, peace and security, and green development, during the keynote speech he delivered at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on Monday.

Li Dan, head of the African Studies Center at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, said the new initiatives are "an extension and also an upgrading" of the 10 major China-Africa cooperation plans proposed by Xi at the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit in 2015, but are "broader and more targeted".

"President Xi elaborated on the essence and goal of the China-Africa community with a shared future as well as how to build the community from a comprehensive and strategic perspective," Li told China Daily.

Xi's speech addressed the ways in which China will deal with its Africa relations, thus laying a solid foundation for the future partnership, Li said, adding he was impressed by Xi's attention to young people as they are the future of Sino-African relations.

The initiatives, to be implemented in the coming three years or beyond, are proactive and supported by specific projects that suit the needs of African countries, said Liu Hongwu, director of the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University.

Development is a key issue for Africa, Liu said, adding the initiatives aim for high-quality development while promoting peace on the continent.

Shu Zhan, former Chinese ambassador to Eritrea and Rwanda, said the eight initiatives are pragmatic and focus largely on the well-being of Africans.

"Some African leaders agree with President Xi that implementation of the initiatives requires joint efforts by China and African countries as both sides should assume joint responsibility for carrying out specific projects," Shu said.

The veteran diplomat said he was impressed by Xi's explicit commitment that China follow a "five-no" approach in its relations with Africa, which won a big round of applause from African representatives attending the summit.

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