Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Buhari Lands In China for FOCAC Summit

S Buhari arrives Beijing for China Africa summit Xi Jinping to showcase BRI at China-Africa summit in Beijing
Lloyd Bates | 03 September, 2018, 21:25

African and other Asian leaders have welcomed "Belt and Road" but some projects have prompted complaints about debt and other problems.

Chinese People's Liberation Army honour guard stands in formation.

He furthered that Liberia supports China's hosting the Beijing Summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and is willing to make whatever contribution that would enhance friendship between the two countries and peoples.

"The progress that has been made in the last 18 years clearly demonstrated the tangible and lasting benefits of FOCAC to the people of Africa and indeed to the people of the People's Republic of China as well". China will carry out 50 agricultural assistance programs, provide emergency humanitarian food aid amounting to 1 billion yuan (147 million USA dollars) to African countries affected by natural disasters, and send 500 senior agricultural experts to Africa.

"China does not interfere in Africa's internal affairs and does not impose its own will on Africa", he said.

To build the China-Africa Comprehensive Strategic and Cooperative Partnership, China committed itself to implementing 10 cooperation plans - in the areas of industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.

The least developed African countries will be exempted from paying exhibition stand fees, he said.

"China dreams of national renewal, and Africa of unity and invigoration; and a day will come when both aspirations will be achieved", said Xi.

Over the past 18 years, FOCAC has become a significant platform for collective dialogue between China and African countries and a leading mechanism for global ties with Africa and also South-South cooperation.

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The goal of the 2018 FOCAC meeting is the promotion of economic and trade cooperation between China and African economies.

The country meant to bring 200 young Africans to China for a skills exchange programme.

Every African country is represented at the business forum apart from eSwatini, self-ruled Taiwan's last African ally that has so far rejected China's overtures to ditch Taipei and recognise Beijing.

Buhari arrived Beijing yesterday to attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) taking place tomorrow and Tuesday. The talks will focus on trade, infrastructure, investments, education and technology.

Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, who served as an economic advisor to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, told Xinhua that "more than any other nation in Africa, Ethiopia is the first beneficiary of the initiative through the Addis Ababa-Djibouti rail link".

At the Johannesburg summit, Xi announced Dollars 60 billion in funding support for infrastructure development in Africa.

Liberian President George Weah has said that his country is ready to align its "pro-poor agenda" with the China-proposed initiative. Since independence, no country has helped our country on infrastructural development like the Chinese. They will be joined by 27 worldwide and African groups as observers.

"As the RMB (yuan) becomes weaker, and China is perceived internationally as a more ambiguous partner, it's more likely that the countries will take a more jaundiced eye on these projects". "More than 2,400 Kenyan students are now studying in China".

Governments in the region have "fiscal discipline", said Tshabalala. At that event, China pledged support to Africa's development. China's investments in Africa have also grown significantly. Morocco and Tunisia have already eased visa restrictions. In some projects, the Chinese help us with 85 per cent payment, and soft loans that span 20 years.

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