Inter-party relations promote Sino-African strategic partnership

By Zhong Weiyun
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 28, 2012
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Practical cooperation

Chinese customers look for handicrafts at a stall from Uganda at an exhibition in Yiwu, Zhejiang province On Oct 25, 2010. [China Daily]

Chinese customers look for handicrafts at a stall from Uganda at an exhibition in Yiwu, Zhejiang province On Oct 25, 2010. [China Daily] 

Talks between Chinese and African parties cover both political and economic topics and are used to enhance economic and trade cooperation. Under the multi-party system in African countries, the ruling parties strive to win support from their people by performing well, and practical and fruitful cooperation with China through inter-party exchanges is to their advantage. The CPC also wants to strengthen Sino-African ties through promoting economic cooperation and trade.

The CPC leaders that head delegations to Africa contribute towards major cooperation programs. For example, Wu Guanzheng, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, led the CPC delegation to visit Gabon in 2006 and brought about cooperation in the exploitation of iron reserves in Gabon. The total estimated investment of the project reached billions of US dollars. During his visit to Madagascar, he helped solve problems in Sino-Madagascan economic cooperation and trade. In January 2012Li Yuanchao led a CPC delegation to visit Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan and Sudan, resulting in the signing of many cooperation agreements.

Economic and trade delegations are usually arranged to coincide with the CPC delegations' arrivals and, with advance investigations and preparation, economic and trade delegations generally achieve concrete cooperation on their trips. For example, Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Politburo and then secretary of CPC Hubei provincial committee, led a CPC delegation to visit Mozambique in 2005 and brought about cooperation on agriculture between Hubei Province and Mozambique. Now cooperation between Hubei and Mozambique has been expanded to other sectors such as mining and manufacturing. Zhang Dejiang, a member of the Politburo and then secretary of the CPC Guangdong provincial committee, led a CPC delegation and a large-scale economic and trade delegation to visit Africa in October 2004 and June 2007, and enterprises from Guangdong and Africa signed contracts worth US $2.4 billion and US $3.4 billion respectively.

Economic and trade cooperation is also promoted through multilateral forums that facilitate communication between Chinese and African enterprises. In recent years, the CPC has brought together many Chinese and African government officials and entrepreneurs at such forums. For example, in August 2010, the CPC held the China-Africa Agriculture Cooperation Forum in Beijing. Over 130 representatives from political parties, enterprises and international institutes from 18 different African countries participated in talks about opportunities and challenges of Sino-African agriculture cooperation during which they reached extensive strategic consensus.

Political foundation of Sino-African relations

The late Ethiopian president Meles Zenawi said that the three pillars of Ethiopia-China relationship are the relationships between governments, between political parties, and between the peoples of the two countries. He is not alone among African leaders in this view. This shows the importance of inter-party relations between China and Africa.

China and African countries belong to the same developing world, and the relations between their political parties are full of potency and promise. Inter-party interactions play to the practical needs of both sides as they lead their respective nations towards prosperity. Through inter-party communication, the CPC can form a greater understanding of Africa and improve its general communication with Africa, while the African political parties can learn from China's development experience and build a better world themselves.

The author is vice director of Bureau IV (African Affairs) of the International Department, the CPC Central Committee.


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