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China-Africa friendship enhanced by diverse, growing cooperation

         Date: 2012-11-27

           Tag: China, Africa, friendship, cooperation

Summary: The friendship between the world's largest developing country and the continent home to mostly developing countries has lasted for over 60 years and touched the lives of over 2.3 billion people.

The friendship between the world's largest developing country and the continent home to mostly developing countries has lasted for over 60 years and touched the lives of over 2.3 billion people.

As a new monument of the long-standing friendship between China and Africa, the 20-story African Union (AU) Conference Center and Office Complex constructed with the aid of the Chinese government, was just inaugurated in Addis Ababa before the 18th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly Saturday.

ECONOMIC, TRADE COOPERATION ON FAST TRACK

The booming China-Africa economic and trade cooperation serves as a major driving force for overall cooperation between the two countries and is becoming increasingly important to both, especially when the developed countries, the main export destinations for both China and Africa, are suffering from global economic woes and the eurozone debt crisis.

China has become Africa's largest trading partner, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

At the same time, Africa has become one of China's top investment destinations. More than 2,000 Chinese enterprises are investing in the continent. Accumulated investment from China has surpassed 40 billion dollars.

China has imported African products worth 1.32 billion dollars under the zero-tariff terms from 2005 to June 2010, according to a government white paper on China-Africa economic and trade cooperation released in 2010.

Moreover, China is building economic and trade cooperation zones in Zambia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Egypt and Ethiopia, involving 250 million dollars in infrastructure construction.

Once completed, the cooperation zones will work as business incubators that help host countries attract foreign investment, create jobs, and improve local infrastructure and investment environment.

EDUCATIONAL, AGRICULTURAL, ENVIRONMENTAL EXCHANGES PROMOTE SUSTAINABILITY

China is not only Africa's trade partner, but also a dedicated participant in strengthening Africa's development sustainability by helping countries on the continent improve their education, agriculture and environment sectors.

According to China's Foreign Ministry, during the academic years of 2010 and 2011, China has provided 5,710 government scholarships to African countries, fulfilling the pledge of 5,500 scholarships announced by China at the 2009 FOCAC ministerial conference two years ahead of schedule.

Under the Program, 100 joint projects on scientific and technological research will be carried out in the forms of equipment donation, technique training courses and workshops, popularization of technology, and joint research. Besides that, 100 African postdoctoral fellows will conduct scientific research in China with financial assistance.

Agriculture is one of the main fields that have witnessed growing China-Africa cooperation. From 2007 to 2009, China has dispatched 104 senior agricultural experts to 33 African countries, established agricultural technology centers in 14 African countries and has decided to build 10 more, said Lu Shaye, director-general of the Department of African Affairs at the Foreign Ministry.

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