China-Africa relationship to grow, says Zambian ex-diplomat

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 13, 2018
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LUSAKA, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- The China-Africa relationship, founded on mutual respect and a shared future, is going to continue to grow, a veteran Zambian diplomat and politician said Wednesday.

Vernon Mwaanga has served as Zambia's first representative to the United Nations (UN) as well as the foreign affairs minister under the governments of former Presidents Kenneth Kaunda and Frederick Chiluba.

"So, whether Western countries like it or not, it is going to be a long and enduring relationship which will be mutually beneficial not only to the people of Africa, but also to the people of China," he told Xinhua in an interview following the conclusion of the 2018 Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Africa values its relationship with China, judging by the number of leaders from the continent who attended the FOCAC summit, he said.

"This is a relationship which we value as Africa and which we must nurse, which we must protect, and which we must guard jealously going forward so that we can build on it and learn from China's way of how they have developed their country so that we can lift our countries out of poverty into prosperity," he added.

He said China's approach of not interfering in the internal affairs of African countries and not imposing conditions was what has endeared the Asian nation to the continent, adding that the approach of Western countries to impose conditions on Africa had brought untold hardships to the continent.

He said Western countries had missed an opportunity to build solid mutual cooperation with the African continent because of their insistence on making demands on Africa.

Mwaanga, who has visited China 19 times during his career in government, said there was a need to ensure that the two parties work on the development of people-to-people relations so that the peoples of the two countries could know each other better.

On the need of having a shared vision, the veteran politician said it was gratifying that both China and Africa strongly emphasize the importance of having a shared vision, saying there could be no meaningful cooperation if there was no shared vision. Enditem

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