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CHINESE ENVOY CONSULTING ON NEW DIMENSIONS TO CHINA-AFRICA COOPERATION

China is consulting its partners in Africa about the potential for enriching the development partnership under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), with a view to adding new areas of cooperation, a Chinese special envoy said Monday.

Zhou Yuxiao, China’s Ambassador for Affairs of the FOCAC, said following up on the implementation of the 10-point plan issued at the summit of African and Chinese leaders in South Africa in 2015, Beijing is consulting African leaders on adding new areas of cooperation to enrich the partnership.

“Gratifying progress has been made in the implementation. We have worked very hard to implement the plan in all aspects,” Zhou said in a joint interview in Nairobi.

Zhou is visiting East African countries to meet with leaders, officials, locally-based Chinese entrepreneurs and think-tanks on how to improve the partnership with Africa.

“I have met the African leaders. They are all optimistic about our cooperation. I have not found anyone distancing themselves from this partnership,” said the special envoy.

Zhou said FOCAC is action-oriented and is planning to enhance its cooperation with Africa through new aspects, such as the Belt and Road Initiative.

Zhou said African countries would be asked to submit a list of projects that could qualify for funding under the initiative.

Zhou said the implementation of most aspects of the 10-point plan has been done, but some are of a long-term nature whose implementation must continue for several years.

Zhou said the extensive engagement between the Chinese and African leaders, including at least 20 visits by African heads of state and government to China and almost a similar number by Chinese leaders to Africa, have helped enhance mutual understanding.

He said in the infrastructure area, many projects have been completed, including railways, roads, ports and airports.

In people-to-people exchange, many visits were carried out between African and Chinese officials to improve the welfare of women and the youth, Zhou said.

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