Executive Intelligence Review


Xi Jinping Previews Senegal Visit with Projects and Proverbs

July 20, 2018 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in Senegal July 21-22, as the start of his multi-nation African visit, and attendance in South Africa at the July 25-27 BRICS Summit. As is his custom when making a visit, Xi wrote a signed article about his destination nation, in a major Dakar newspaper, Le Soleil. Published today, it is titled, “Su Nu Jappo (China and Senegal Are United as One)!” He takes note that Senegal is “a country with a time-honored and rich culture and home to many famous names,” and continues with the economic ties between China and Senegal.

“Today, China is Senegal’s second largest trading partner and top importer of Senegalese peanuts. Our trade volume has grown by 16 times in just over a decade. China is also Senegal’s major source of financing. The many China-funded projects, including the Foundiougne bridge and the Thies-Touba highway, will strongly boost Senegal’s economic growth. The rural water supply project that includes 251 wells and 1800 km pipelines funded by China, will benefit one-seventh of Senegal’s population.”

Plus, China has assisted financing the National Grand Theater and the Museum of Black Civilization, and other cultural and sports assets.

Xi recounts instances of Senegalese and Chinese cooperation in farming and other activities. He does not need to recount the fact that in the 47 years of relations between the two nations, Senegal twice recognized Taiwan, not China, and twice switched back to China (most recently in 2005). But Xi stated eloquently, “A Chinese proverb has it that, ‘Just as distance tests a horse’s strength, time will reveal a person’s sincerity.’ ”

Xi also quoted a Wolof proverb, “Man is the remedy of man (Nit, nit ay garabam),” and likened it to the Chinese saying, “One for all, and all for one.” He pledged China’s support for building “a stronger African community.”

Further, Xi stresses the importance of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in September, which he says, will “break new ground for China-Africa cooperation.”

Senegal is part of projects in West Africa for growing connectivity and productive potential throughout the immediate region and across the Sahel, backed by China: These include the Dakar-Djibouti Highway, and also the Dakar-Bamako railway improvements, an $8 billion project to rehabilitate a regional rail system, including modern connections to the Atlantic port of Conakry in Guinea. Dam projects totalling $7.5 billion are underway in Ivory Coast and Guinea.