KASUBA MULENGA, Beijing
CHINA will continue to help promote peace in Africa to foster economic development, inspector of the International Liaison Bureau of Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, Ding Xiaoming, said here yesterday.
Speaking when he officially opened a two-week seminar for information officers and journalists from English-speaking African countries, Mr Ding said there cannot be development in a country where there is no peace.
â€œPeace and development cannot be separated, and China feels that there cannot be development without peace,â€ Mr Ding said.
And Mr Ding said the south-east Asian country will not follow a colonial path of the Western nations in its cooperation with Africa.
He said China and Africa have a long history of cooperation based on solidarity and mutual respect.
â€œThat is why after becoming President of China, Mr Xi Jinping made his first visit to Africa to continue strengthening the relationship between China and Africa,â€ Mr Ding said.
Politically, Mr Ding said China operates towards protecting the interests of African countries especially in economic development.
He said as a result of the continued cordial relations between China and Africa, Chinaâ€™s trade volume with the continent has increased from US$10 billion in 2000 to over US$200 billion currently.
Mr Ding said the trade volume is envisaged to exceed US$400 billion by 2020.
Last year alone, Chinaâ€™s total investment in Africa stood at US$13 billion from US$5 billion recorded in 2000, which is a sign of the growing cooperation between China and African countries.
He also urged journalists attending the workshop to highlight the importance of the economic cooperation between China and Africa so that the world can understand that this relationship is purely based on mutual respect and benefits.
The seminar, organised by the International Cooperation Department of China International Publishing Group and sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the State Council Information Office, is being attended by 46 African journalists.
It has provided a platform for discussion with the aim of enhancing the traditional friendship and cooperation between China and developing countries and promoting human resource development as well as economic and social development.
The programme will also include a study tour of Wuhan City in Hubei Province, about 1,000km from Beijing, from July 30 to August 3.
KASUBA MULENGA, Beijing