Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


African Leaders Favor Continent Becoming Full, Integral Part of Belt and Road Initiative

Sept. 3, 2018 (EIRNS)—In his speech to the FOCAC Summit, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa categorically rejected the accusations made by the British Empire and its minions regarding China’s cooperation with Africa and the significance of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China-Africa cooperation, he said, was in the interests of the African nations.

“In the values that it promotes, in the manner that it operates, and in the impact that it has on African countries, FOCAC refutes the view that a new colonialism is taking hold in Africa, as our detractors would have us believe. It is premised on the African Union’s Agenda 2063, a vision that has been crafted in Africa, by Africans. It is a vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.”

Ramaphosa also referred to the beginning of the relationship when then Premier Zhou Enlai visited the continent in 1963-64.

“Why do we support the Belt and Road Initiative?” Ramaphosa asked.

“Because we are confident that this initiative, which effectively complements the work of FOCAC, will reduce the costs and increase the volume of trade between Africa and China. It will encourage the development of Africa’s infrastructure, a critical requirement for meaningful regional and continental integration,”

he said.

Ramaphosa was followed by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, the current rotating chairman of the African Union. “Africa wishes to be a full and integral part of the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said. “The gains will be enjoyed by everyone.” Kagame praised in particular the personal commitment of President Xi to this initiative. “He has visited every region of our continent, including my country Rwanda,” Kagame said. “China has proven to be a win-win partner and dear friend.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres gave support to the message expressed by the African leaders, who said that

“it is vital that current and future development cooperation contributes to peace, security and to building a ‘community of shared future for mankind,’ ”

reiterating what underlies President Xi’s conception of a new form of international relations. Guterres also expressed support for strengthening South-South cooperation.

The final speaker at the same keynote session was AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat. He announced that the AU has opened a representative office in Beijing as of Sept. 2. Faki said that the China-Africa “partnership can re-shape the world political relations.”

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