China-Africa cooperation poised for ‘even brighter future’ – ambassador

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

The cooperation between China and Africa is already in a new era and it will see even a brighter future with more prospects based on mutual benefit, the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia has said.

Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, Ambassador Zhang Jiming said his country’s cooperation with Africa is based on common development but mainly to help developing countries bridge the development gap. 

The press conference at the Chinese embassy in Bijilo was held to brief the local media about the Communist Party of China (CPC), the founding and ruling political party of the People’s Republic of China.

Thanks to the strong commitment from both sides, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was launched in 2000. It has become an important platform for collective dialogue and effective mechanism for practical cooperation between China and Africa, and has greatly helped advance China-Africa relations.

Through the forum, China and Africa have established a new type of strategic partnership featuring mutual trust, win-win economic cooperation and cultural exchanges.

The Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia said his host country is already benefiting from the China-Africa relations. 

Ambassador Jiming said China-Gambia relations have entered a new stage of strong development within the framework of China-Africa and South-South cooperation. 

Bilateral relations between the two countries have yielded a lot in recent months.  China has offered duty-free treatment to Gambians goods exported to China, extended debt cancellation, donated two consignments of rice, sent in a new Chinese medical team and commenced the construction of Gambia International Conference Centre.

Knowledge of CPC is crucial

The Chinese ambassador said having an understanding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the founding and ruling political party of China, is crucial if one is to understand the operational policies and programmes of the country.

“One cannot understand China without understanding the CPC,” he said.  “If one does not understand CPC one cannot effectively deal with China.” 

The CPC, formed in 1921, is the sole governing party of China; it forms a multiparty government system with eight other political parties.

With only 50 members in the beginning of 1921, the CPC grew tremendously to over 89 million members.

“Many more are applying,” Ambassador Jiming said.  “It is the biggest party in the world.”

Poverty eradication

In the last 40 years, 700 million Chinese were lifted out of poverty, the Chinese diplomat said, adding that by 2020, the remaining 40 million poor Chinese will be lifted out of poverty, household by household.

He said China’s development is people centred-development, adding: “Our development is always centred on people, collectively and individually.”

China’s has three basic social security systems for everyone: pension, medical care and education.

“This is what we called people-centred approach to development,” the ambassador said.

The GDP per capita of China has increased from less than US$200 in 1975 to more than US$8,000 in 2016 and it is projected to be more than US$8,800 by the end of this year. 

“So we are already on the way to eradicate poverty,” the Chinese diplomat said, adding that in spite of its rapid development and growth, China still considers itself a developing country in cognizance of the challenges ahead.