China Voice: China, Africa enter new chapter of closer cooperation

BEIJING, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The dreams of 2.4 billion people on this planet for a better life are connected more closely following a milestone meeting between China and African countries last week.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit in Johannesburg has pointed a new direction for China-Africa cooperation.

The theme of the two-day event, "Africa-China Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development," indicates that this is not a story of unrequited love.

Ballooning trade figures explain their mutual affection. When the forum was first established in 2000, the trade volume between China and Africa stood at 10 billion U.S. dollars.

Now China has become the continent's largest trading partner, with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce expecting trade to reach 300 billion dollars in the whole of 2015.

Both development and the improvement of people's livelihoods are the shared missions of China and the African nations.

Africa, which is rich in natural resources and blessed with a large labor force, is in the emerging stage of industrialization, while China has accumulated advantages in technology, equipment, skilled personnel and capital over the past three decades of reform and opening up.

Cooperation with China will help Africa break the three development bottlenecks of backward infrastructure, talent shortage and inadequate funds, accelerating its industrialization and agricultural modernization.

There is no time for empty talk of strengthening cooperation. China has promised to carry out 10 major projects in the next three years to boost its cooperation with Africa.

The package covers industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.

China will offer 60 billion U.S. dollars in support for the initiatives, including 5 billion dollars of grant and interest-free loans.

In addition to specific development measures with clear deadlines, China also proposed five other pillars, including political equality and mutual benefits in economic cooperation.

These moves will help translate their friendship into a driving force for common development, bringing tangible results to people on both sides.

China and Africa have stuck together through thick and thin in recent decades while upholding political equality, sincerity and win-win cooperation.

These principles will continue to define their partnership.

The summit and the consensus on deepening cooperation between the world's largest developing country and the continent with the biggest number of developing and underdeveloped countries have strengthened the solidarity of the developing nations.

Putting China-Africa ties in perspective, their common development will not only inject vitality into South-South cooperation, improve the profile of developing countries as a whole, but also make global governance fairer.

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