Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says 2018 will bring more cooperation with African nations, and investments in both African initiatives and the diplomatic relationships that support them.
Wang, speaking in Beijing at this weekend’s opening ceremony of the Symposium on International Developments and China’s Diplomacy in 2017, gave a comprehensive review of the foreign policy achievements and challenges of the past year while looking toward the horizon of the new one.
“The human society has once again come to a crossroads of history. Should one opt for openness or isolation, cooperation or confrontation, win-win or zero-sum game? These are questions we are all thinking hard about,” said Wang, pointedly reflecting on the shift to a protective nationalism in the United States, UK and parts of Europe.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative continues its progress, he said, with cooperation agreements signed in 80 countries and organizations, and 75 overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in 24 countries built within the framework. “Chinese businesses have invested over US$50 billion and created near-200,000 local jobs in the countries along the Belt and Road,” Wang said.
Beijing remains focused on South-South cooperation, as evidenced in the Xiamen Summit attended by Egypt and other emerging market countries, and South Africa’s ongoing role in BRICS participation.
China will host the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation next year. “At the forum, we will discuss plans for future development with our African brothers and sisters,” Wang said. “In particular, in meeting the aspiration of African countries, we will work to further synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with the Agenda 2063, making the Belt and Road cooperation a new, strong driver for China-Africa all-dimensional cooperation.”
To review Wang’s entire speech, see China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
Image: MFA China file