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China will remain a reliable friend of Africa-Xi
February 17, 2013, 1:00 pm

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, AU chairperson meets Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Sunday. (Xinhua)

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, AU chairperson meets Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Sunday. [Xinhua]

China’s Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping said that the common development of China and Africa would be a model of democratic international relations.

“Africa’s development creates opportunities for China as China’s development creates opportunities for Africa,” Xi said.

He added that the common development of China and Africa is of significance for the growth of developing countries as a whole.

The Chinese leader met with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union (AU) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on Sunday.

New estimates from China’s ministry of commerce note that Africa will surpass the European Union and the United States as China’s largest trading partners in the near future.

Trade between China and African countries in the first 10 months of 2012 rose by one-fifth from a year earlier to $163.9 billion.

Xi reflected that Africa’s development conforms to the historical trend of the times and helps to safeguard world peace and stability.

“Africa is a continent of hope,” said Xi.

Suspicion from western media over increasing Chinese investment in Africa has led to such labels as “neo-colonisers” criticising China’s presence in Africa.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that 10 of the 20 fastest-growing economies during the next five years will be in sub-Saharan Africa and two will be in north Africa.

The Economist had called Africa “The hopeless Continent” in a 2000 issue.

South African President Jacob Zuma has recently called for countering the same, saying, “Africa must systematically share its positive stories and deal with these negative perceptions and stereotyping.”

In Sunday’s meet between the African union chief and Xi Jinping, China pledged support for the ‘self-determined development’ of African countries as well as their pursuit of progressive paths suitable for their own national conditions.

“No matter how situations change, China will attach importance to ties with Africa, remain a reliable friend and faithful partner of African nations and always regard the AU as a reliable strategic partner,” said the Chinese leader.

Dlamini-Zuma is in Beijing to attend the 5th China-AU Strategic Dialogue.

The AU chairperson said China is an important strategic partner in Africa’s push for modernisation and sustainable development.

Dlamini-Zuma said that African countries hope to learn from China and expand cooperation with the country in development planning, agriculture, manufacturing, science and technology, infrastructure and human resources as well as major regional and international issues.

With inputs from Agencies

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