China-Africa relations mutually beneficial: Minister

China-Africa relations mutually beneficial: Minister

The relationship between African countries and China is mutually beneficial, unlike wrong perceptions which portray otherwise, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Thursday.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane_gallo
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“We need to show that going forward, FOCAC continues to be an effective cooperative partnership that serves the core interests of all its members. We look at the People’s Republic of China as a trustworthy development partner with a long term strategic commitment to the African continent which equally supports Africa’s needs while looking to its own,” she told the FOCAC ministerial meeting in Pretoria.

The ministerial meeting precedes the FOCAC summit, which will be attended by representatives of 50 African countries, mainly heads of state, and the Chinese president Xi Jinping, who is already in South Africa.

Nkoana-Mashabane said a clear message should be sent out that the relations between Africa and China were mutually beneficial, to counter the “misconstrued perception that this is a one-sided, self-serving relationship”.

“Ours is a true partnership which has stood the test of time”.

She said the vast resources of the African countries, particularly minerals, must be used to benefit and transform the lives of the continent’s citizens.

Nkoana-Mashabane said the upcoming FOCAC summit must ensure that African countries and China reap economic rewards.

“We have gathered here today to reflect on how FOCAC forum can be used to advance common growth and development that is mutually beneficiary to the people of the Republic of China and our African continent. We hope that through our engagement today, we can forge closer cooperation, share experiences and best practices to assist our respective regions to move another step forward.

She said programmes to ensure that Africans benefit from their natural resources need acceleration.

“We would want to say to our friends, the Chinese, you have chosen a good friend in us. We are a continent on the move. In this room is a convergence of leadership that represents 2,5 billion people of the globe. You are here at the right time when Africa is on the rise.”

“Africa has a population of more than 60 percent still below 35 years. The investment in us, is an investment for the future,” said Nkoana-Mashabane.

The FOCAC summit will be held in Johannesburg on Friday and Saturday.

Xi and his Chinese delegation were welcomed at the Union Buildings in Pretoria by President Jacob Zuma. The two presidents briefed media after a closed-door meeting on Wednesday. - ANA

(File photo: Gallo Images)

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