AU hails Sino-African cooperation

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The African Union (AU) has commended China for its commitment to driving the Sino-African partnership further through its dedicated mission to the pan-Africa bloc.

This came on Wednesday during a farewell reception on the premises of the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, for the Head of the Chinese Mission to AU, Kuang Weilin, who has completed his three-year tenure as the first ambassador of China to AU.

The first mission was inaugurated on May 7, 2015 aimed at scaling up the existing good relations between China and Africa, benefiting comprehensive cooperation and exchange between China and AU.

Speaking during the farewell reception, Quartey Kwesi, Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, noted that several achievements have been recorded since the establishment of the mission, strengthening the cooperation between Africa, the African Union (AU), and China.

"[The establishment of the Chinese Mission to African Union] allows us to effect the implementation of our cooperation which include in infrastructure development, construction of railways, airways, highways, and development of industrialization to accelerate Africa's integration within the framework of Agenda 2063," Kwesi said.

Reiterating that the Sino-African relationship is based on mutual understanding and respect, the deputy chairperson said: "In the past years, Africa and China have engaged in pragmatic and close cooperation with the spirit of South-South cooperation across sectors that help health, education, infrastructure development, trading and capacity building."

The African continental free trade area, the protocol on free movement of persons, the single African air transport market, and enforcing domestic resource mobilization are among the key achievements gained here during Kuang's tenure, he noted.

He has further noted that AU and China have been cooperating on peace and security in Africa, whereby China supports the AU peace and security architecture, institutions such as the AU Peace and Security Council, and regional peace operations.

China has committed US$100 million to support African standby force and for Africa capacity building for immediate response to crisis, he said, adding that China also supports Africa's efforts in the fight against terrorism as well as in the area of peace keeping operation and conflict resolution.

Speaking on his part, Kuang hailed the achievements that AU has made in reform, integration, peace and security, and infrastructure development among others.

Kuang reiterated that China and Africa have witnessed dynamic relations over the past three years, whereby China and African countries have worked closely to expedite the implementation of the outcomes of the previous summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

"Over the past three years, together we have witnessed an ever-growing China-AU partnership," he said.

Kuang has also hailed the accomplishments during his tenure including frequent high-level visits and exchanges between China and AU as well as new development of practical cooperation between the two sides in infrastructure, public health, peace and security among others.

He has also expressed China's commitment to always standing with Africa and the international community at large to foster win-win cooperation and common development in a sustainable, steady, and efficient manner.

"China will continue to adhere to the principle of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith and uphold the values of friendship, justice, and shared interests, so as to further enrich China-Africa comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership," he said.

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