International Development

Chinese foreign minister to visit five African countries

Media: Courtesy of Xinhua News (China)

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will follow a two-decade-long diplomatic tradition to make Africa his first overseas destination in 2017, a spokesperson said Tuesday.

Wang will pay an official visit to Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Republic of Congo and Nigeria from Jan. 7 to 12, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang announced at a news briefing.

“Relations with developing countries, including in Africa, is the bedrock of Chinese diplomacy,” Geng said.

“Chinese foreign ministers have visited Africa during their first foreign trips each year over the past two decades. The practice has become a much-treasured diplomatic tradition for China.”

Wang will discuss the implementation of President Xi Jinping’s consensus with African leaders and the outcome of the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg, to help the revival of Africa and enhance solidarity and common development among developing countries, Geng said.

“China hopes to comprehensively upgrade cooperation with Africa in 2017,” the spokesperson said. At the 2015 summit, China announced 10 major plans for China-Africa cooperation over three years, backed with a 60 billion U.S. dollar package.

 As of last July, China and Africa had signed 245 various cooperation agreements worth a total of 50 billion U.S. dollars. A batch of early successes related to the summit were achieved in 2016, including the opening of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway and progress on the Mombasa-Nairobi line, as well as development of industrial parks and special economic zones, Geng said.

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Ben Mabande

Ben Mabande is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.

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