China, African countries vow to enhance cooperation

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Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) meets with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor in Beijing, capital of China, June 24, 2019. Naledi Pandor was here to attend the Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on the China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). (Xinhua/Zhai Jianlan)

BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held respective meetings with foreign ministers from nine African countries on Monday, and they pledged efforts to strengthen cooperation and uphold multilateralism.

The foreign ministers are Naledi Pandor from South Africa, Palamagamba Kabudi from Tanzania, Ezechiel Nibigira from Burundi, Aurelien Agbenonci from Benin, Nhial Deng Nhial from South Sudan, Mamadou Tangara from Gambia, Joseph Malanji from Zambia, Luis Filipe Tavares from Cape Verde, and Gbehzohngar Findley from Liberia.

The African foreign ministers are in Beijing to attend the Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on the China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), with the aim of better implementing the outcomes of Beijing Summit in 2018.

While holding talks with Pandor, Wang hailed the solid mutual trust and deep-rooted traditional friendship between China and South Africa.

Wang said China and South Africa, both as major representatives of emerging markets and developing countries, should jointly safeguard the missions and principles of the United Nations Charter, champion multilateralism, uphold basic norms governing international relations, and oppose any form of unilateralism and bullying, to promote world peace, development and prosperity.

Pandor said South Africa and the whole African continent, as China's partners for jointly resisting unilateralism and bullying practice, would stand together with China in safeguarding multilateralism and an open, inclusive global trade system.

In the meeting with Kabudi, Wang expressed China's readiness to work with Tanzania to keep high-level exchanges, and avail the opportunity of jointly building the Belt and Road and the Coordinators' Meeting to ensure better outcomes in bilateral cooperation.

Calling the Beijing Summit of the FOCAC a milestone, Kabudi said Tanzania is willing to facilitate cooperation in infrastructure construction, industrial capacity, and in cultural, educational sectors and other areas.

In respective meetings with Nibigira, Agbenonci, Nhial and Tangara, Wang said the current international situation is complex but China's determination to strengthen its solidarity and friendship with African countries remains unchanged.

Nibigira said Burundi agreed with the Belt and Road Initiative and would continue to support China on issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns.

Agbenonci said multilateralism was now the only correct choice. Only through multilateralism can the voice of small and medium-sized countries, especially African nations, be heard, he said.

Nhial said South Sudan thanked China for its help in various fields, especially its support and contributions to the peace process in South Sudan.

Tangara said since the resumption of diplomatic relations between China and Gambia, bilateral cooperation in various fields had developed fast, and Gambia can be trusted as a sincere partner of China.

When holding separate meetings with Malanji, Tavares and Findley, Wang said China would continue to uphold justice and pursue the shared principles of sincerity, results, affinity and good faith.

China's cooperation with Africa is sincere and selfless, and has no geopolitical purposes, said Wang, adding that China had always followed the principle of non-interference, provided aid as Africa needed, carried out South-South cooperation, and helped achieve common development.

He said China-Africa cooperation was conducive to Africa's infrastructure construction, economic and social benefits, and self-development.

"Africa offers a grand stage of cooperation between different countries, not an arena of major powers' game," said Wang, adding that "African friends will get a right conclusion on who truly attaches importance to, respect, and support Africa."

Malanji said claims that Zambia-China cooperation had led to Zambia's debt problem were inconsistent with the facts and China's loans were used on the infrastructure that Zambia needs most, to promote Zambia's economic development and bring social welfare.

Tavares said Cape Verde cherished relations with China and upheld the one-China principle. He said Cape Verde stood ready to fully implement consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, enhance strategic dialogue, and deepen cooperation, particularly marine economy cooperation, to push bilateral relations into a new era.

Findley said China is Liberia's true friend which has helped fight Ebola alongside Liberia and played an important role in post-epidemic reconstruction. He said Liberia is ready to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation with China.

Also on Monday, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, met with all delegation heads here to attend the coordinators' meeting.

The meeting will formally open Tuesday morning.