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China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi To Visit Five African Nations Beginning on Jan. 7

Jan. 3, 2017 (EIRNS)—Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit five African countries—Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Republic of Congo, and Nigeria—Jan. 7-12, with the aim of speeding up the implantation of the consensus reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and the leaders of the five countries at a summit in 2015, said a spokesman of China’s Foreign Ministry today. CGTN (formerly CCTV) quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang telling the reporters in Beijing,

"The year 2017 will be a year when the China-Africa cooperation will advance and be upgraded in an all-round manner. The main purpose of Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s Africa visit is to speed [it] up, in the face of the new changes in the international political and economic situation and new challenges facing the African countries."

"Relations with developing countries, including in Africa, are 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,"

Xinhua quoted Geng as saying.

At the 2015 summit, China announced 10 major plans for China-Africa cooperation over three years, backed with a $60 billion package. As of July 2016, China and Africa had signed 245 various cooperation agreements worth a total of $50 billion.

"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.