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Sealed in Midst of Hard Times, China-Africa Friendship to Last

         Date: 2012-03-01

           Tag: China-Africa, China-Africa Friendship

Summary: Since the 1950s, China has provided a great deal of assistance to Africa without any strings attached, despite its own tight budgets and lack of resources.

  In the past sixty years, African countries have always been the most forceful and reliable supporting “block” in each and every international struggle concerning China’s core interest or major interest. Whether it was 1971 when “African countries carried China into United Nations”, or the defeat of eleven Western draft resolutions against China on human rights and thirteen “Return to United Nations” attempts by Taiwan, or the bid to host 2008 Olympic Games and 2010 Word Expo, Africa has provided China with total support on each of the occasions.

  China-Africa friendship was sealed in the midst of hard times. It was conceived in the fight against foreign oppression and struggle for national independence and liberation, and cemented by the spirit of mutual help, self-reliance, solidarity and great endeavours.

  Since the 1950s, China has provided a great deal of assistance to Africa without any strings attached, despite its own tight budgets and lack of resources. By the end of 2010, China has delivered various types of aid worth a total of RMB 97.22 billion to Africa, and cancelled overdue debts for 35 countries worth a total of RMB 20.292 billion.

  China has donated over 900 complete projects, built 2,233 kilometers of railroads, 3,391 kilometers of highways, 42 sports stadiums, 54 hospitals, and 118 schools to 50 African countries. China has sent medical teams to 47 countries in a total of 18,000 medical visits, with 42 medical teams and over 1,000 medical staff still working in Africa today.

  China’s selfless assistance has not only helped with social and economic development in Africa, but also vigorously supported the African struggle for national independence and liberation, winning sincere friendship from Africans. African countries have also supported China in many ways, becoming a major pillar of modern China’s diplomatic initiatives and sustainable development.

  Following China’s reform and opening-up, China-Africa economic and trade cooperation has flourished following the principle of mutual benefit and traditional China-Africa friendship. Today, Africa is China’s second largest source of oil import, second largest contract engineering market and fourth largest investment destination.

   In 2010, China’s oil import from Africa accounted for 30% of its total oil imports. Africa is now an essential pillar overseas in China’s sustainable development strategy. In the meantime, China’s large scale investment in Africa has also created thousands of jobs for the African countries, providing a strong boost to African economic development.

  Whenever China is faced with difficulties, African countries have always lent a helping hand promptly. After the great earthquake of Wenchuan in 2009, African countries quickly sent in their condolences, with many of them giving donations in a total of RMB 64 million despite their own difficulties at home. Equatorial Guinea, a small country in West Africa with a population of one million, presented a donation of 1 million U.S. dollars.

  The friendship sealed in the shared struggle in the last sixty years has certainly stood the test of times. Today China might have a faster pace of development than Africa’s, yet the fact remains that China and Africa both belong to the developing world and their close ties from the very beginning remain intact. The adage of “If you prosper, do not forget your old friend” is one of the valued traditional Chinese virtues and it is our responsibility and obligation to carry this brotherhood forward.

  Moreover, we must recognize that the world is currently undergoing great developments, profound changes and dramatic adjustments and China, Africa and many developing countries now share the common need to combine their strengths to compensate for their weaknesses, seeking development together, and to jointly shape a new and fairer international economic and political order. In this new era, there is no need to have any doubt on the future of China-Africa cooperation.

   Rather, we should look far and wide, adapt to the changing landscape, do better in our work, and continue to reach new milestones in China-Africa cooperation. So we can promote and strengthen this precious friendship sealed in the midst of hard times, to build a brighter future for both China and Africa.

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