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Wang: China committed to promoting ties with Africa

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi gives an exclusive interview to Xinhua on China-US ties in Beijing, capital of China, Aug 5, 2020. (ZHAI JIANLAN/XINHUA)

BEIJING – Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday had an interview with the media after concluding his recent trips to Eritrea, Kenya, the Comoros, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Noting that it is a tradition of Chinese diplomacy that Chinese foreign ministers make their first visit to Africa at the beginning of each year, Wang said that in spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he traveled to Africa as scheduled, which has demonstrated China's original aspiration of and commitment to promoting China-Africa solidarity and cooperation.

During his visit to Kenya, Wang once said that China stands ready to propose the "Initiative of Peaceful Development in the Horn of Africa."

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In his interview with media on Monday, Wang said that the core of the initiative is to support countries in the region in staying out of the geological competition between major countries and holding their fate in their own hands.

On the proposal of holding a forum on the development of Indian Ocean island countries at an appropriate time, Wang said that as the largest developing country in the world, China is ready to share development experience with Indian Ocean island countries and contribute to the common development of all countries

Wang said China has put forward three proposals. First, the Horn of Africa should strengthen intra-regional dialogue to overcome security challenges; secondly, the Horn of Africa should accelerate regional revitalization to overcome development challenges; third, the Horn of Africa should explore effective ways to overcome governance challenges.

On the so-called "debt trap" allegation in China-Africa cooperation, Wang said that the so-called "debt trap" is in fact a narrative trap created by forces which attempt to plunge Africa into "poverty trap" and "backwardness trap" forever.

Noting that Africa's development needs have further expanded with its social and economic development in recent years, Wang said China is ready to work with Africa to consolidate and deepen traditional cooperation such as infrastructure construction, while pushing forward cooperation in other emerging areas.

China will also work with Africa to pay more attention to improving people's livelihood and make greater contribution to Africa's industrialization and modernization, he added.

As to the relationship between China and the Maldives, Wang said that the two countries should take a broader view and open up a new chapter of mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation.

On China-Sri Lanka relations, Wang said that the sound political mutual trust between China and Sri Lanka provides strong impetus for mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

On the proposal of holding a forum on the development of Indian Ocean island countries at an appropriate time, Wang said that as the largest developing country in the world, China is ready to share development experience with Indian Ocean island countries and contribute to the common development of all countries.

Wang also said that China always gives priority to developing countries in vaccine cooperation. As long as developing countries have requests, Wang noted, China will respond and take actions.

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A large number of Chinese vaccines are now being sent to every corner of Asia, Africa and Latin America where vaccines are needed, he said, adding that China will continue to stand with other developing countries until the final victory against the pandemic is won.