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Belt and Road cooperation reaches heart of Africa

By OTIATO OPALI in Nairobi, Kenya | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-11-24 09:21

The Central African Republic has signed a Belt and Road cooperation agreement with China, bringing the number of countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to 141.

Chen Dong, the Chinese ambassador to the Central African Republic, joined the country's Foreign Minister Sylvie Baipo-Temon to sign a memorandum of understanding for Belt and Road cooperation during an event at the African country's Presidential Palace on Friday, said the Chinese embassy at the Central African Republic in a statement.

The Central African Republic is the latest country to join the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, and this will drive economic cooperation between the two countries.

In a statement on Tuesday, the National Development and Reform Commission said China has signed BRI cooperation agreements with 141 countries and 32 international organizations.

Also during the signing ceremony, Chen presented face masks, ventilators, oxygen generators and antimalarial drugs to President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

Chen then bestowed medals to 21 diplomatic staffers from the Chinese and Central African Republic governments, commending them for their contributions to promoting the development of bilateral relations and cooperation in recent years.

Teachers and students of the Confucius Institute at the University of Bangui sang the traditional Chinese song Jasmine, performed tai chi and traditional Chinese and African dances during the ceremony.

Substantial aid

The Confucius Institute at the university was established in May and is seen as instrumental in the harmonious blending of cultures of the two countries. Chen also accompanied Touadera on a visit to an exhibition displaying the achievements in poverty alleviation for the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China.

"I agree with the Communist Party of China's concept of governance, and sincerely express my appreciation for the current fruitful cooperation in various fields between our two countries. With the signing of today's memorandum of understanding, I believe that the cooperation between China and our country will be closer," Touadera said.

Over the years, China has provided substantial aid to the republic and has undertaken numerous projects in the country such as the Poyali agricultural technological station, extension work of the Pingpo Radio transmitting station, a clinic in the presidential house and the Bangui hospital and agricultural project.

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