State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to five African countries at the beginning of this year continued the diplomatic tradition passed down for 31 years that China’s top diplomat starts his first trip abroad in a year with an African destination. This not only demonstrates the friendship between the two sides but also reflects the important position of Africa in China’s diplomacy.
The countries visited by the foreign minister were very representative: Nigeria in West Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in central Africa, Botswana in the south, Tanzania in the east, and the island nation of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Nigeria has a population of more than 200 million, the largest in Africa. The largest economy on the continent, it is also a very important strategic partner of China. In contrast, Seychelles has a population of only 100,000. This shows that China treats all African countries equally.
A closer community
Wang said his tour was aimed at conveying clear messages about the joint efforts of China and Africa to build a closer community with a shared future: China supports Africa in combating COVID-19; in accelerating the latter’s economic recovery; and in enhancing its international influence. China also seeks to improve the quality of its cooperation with African countries.
He held talks with his counterparts in these five countries, reaching consensus on strengthening bilateral cooperation, expanding the areas of cooperation and improving its quality, and advancing multilateralism. They pledged joint efforts to safeguard the common interests of developing countries, oppose external interference, uphold fairness and justice, and promote a fairer and more reasonable international order.
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