Development is best way to evaluate China’s achievements in last decade: African Union ambassador

The Chinese-built Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, Kenya’s biggest infrastructure project since independence, was inaugurated on May 30, 2017. Photo: VCG

editor’s Note:

As the world grapples with unilateralism-induced crises that threaten global peace, China remains a shining example on the international stage, injecting a steady, developmental and cooperative momentum. Over the past decade, China has achieved great success under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). This month, the CPC will hold its 20th National Congress, an important political event that attracts worldwide attention. In this series, Global Times will interview diplomats from various countries, who will share their views on China’s development and what it means for the world, as well as their expectations for the upcoming 20th CPC National Congress.

In an exclusive interview with Global Times reporter Hu Youwei (GT), Rahmatallah M. Osman (Osman), Permanent Representative of the African Union (AU) to China, expressed his expectations for the future of relations with China and his understanding of the CPC. shared. Efforts to lead the Chinese people to prosperity.

GT: The 20th National Congress of the CPC is scheduled to begin on October 16. The momentous event will attract global attention as it lays out the CPC’s roadmap for future development. What kind of expectations do you have for the event?

Osman: The 20th National Congress of the CPC will have a profound impact on China’s trajectory over the coming five to 10 years as the party pursues its 2035 goals. With regard to Africa, it is hoped that China-Africa relations will continue to maintain momentum and the plans made by Chinese President Xi Jinping will continue and be fully implemented.

Over the past two decades, China-Africa partnership has made significant footprints in the struggle for sustainable development and improving people’s living conditions in Africa. In many areas, through Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) commitments, this partnership has produced concrete results that are beneficial to both China and Africa in areas including investment, trade, health, agriculture Are. , energy, environment, education, culture and people-to-people exchanges, among others.

In particular, 2021 was an important year for China-Africa relations, as it witnessed the holding of the 8th FOCAC meeting in Senegal, an important and far-reaching event that promoted win-win cooperation and common development between China and Africa. reached a point. higher level.

The 9th FOCAC, to be held in Beijing in 2024, with all African leaders, will help deepen ties built from previous ministerial engagements, where China showed bolder and more targeted commitment to Africa’s development.

Rahmatalla M. Osman Photo: Courtesy of Osman

Rahmatalla M. Osman Photo: Courtesy of Osman

GT: How do you rate the achievements that China has realized over the past decade? In your opinion, what was the most prominent contribution made by China on the international stage during this period?

Osman: Growth is the best way to evaluate China’s achievements over the past decade under President Xi, and the BRI is a timeless example. By the end of 2021, there were 52 African countries that have joined the BRI. Since the BRI is not limited to bilateral relations between China and African countries, but aims to connect Asia, Europe and Africa, African countries joining the BRI can also benefit from the new connections and maritime silk routes to the south. Cooperation with countries can be expanded. and Southeast Asia.

Africa, being part of the historical and natural extension of the Belt and Road, is an important participant in the BRI and cooperation within that framework has generated more resources and expanded the market and space for African development. Africa and China agree on the need to build a stronger synergy between the BRI and the AU Agenda 2063 as well as the development strategies of individual African countries. This is what African countries want – a race to the top, not a race to the bottom.

GT: What impressed you most about the CPC’s rule? Does this offer any governing lessons for the Africa Union?

Osman: As Africans – with a similar population and a landmass more than three times the size of China – we are interested in how China was able to deliver infrastructure, to transform its small agricultural sector , to become an industrial powerhouse, to move from being an importer to self-sufficient in pharmaceuticals, and so on. This is not a simple question of democracy, it is a question of how society is organized, and given the consequences, we cannot leave China in our thoughts as we adapt our societies.

African students join a volunteer team at Yuanmingyuan Park in Beijing in August 2018.  Photo: VCG

African students join a volunteer team at Yuanmingyuan Park in Beijing in August 2018. Photo: VCG

GT: In mid-August, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China supports the AU to join the G20. How do you view China’s support for the AU to participate in more multilateral schemes? How can cooperation between China and the African Union contribute to world peace and stability?

Osman: We strongly welcome China’s support of the African position, which is being promoted by the current AU Chair, Macky Sall. At the time of its creation in 1999, both the African and European regions were among the 20 largest economies globally. But only the European Union was invited to join the G20. It’s an anomaly that we’re glad China and some others are beginning to recognize. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 sees Africa as the world’s third largest economy and the world’s manufacturing hub.

We will only deliver this by ensuring that the G20 makes the right decisions with adequate African representation at its table. China is listening to us carefully and we are grateful. China can help us encourage others to do the same.

GT: On September 9, 2022, President Xi exchanged congratulatory messages with the African Union Chair and President Macky Sall of Senegal on the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the African Union and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and China Did. African Union. How do you see the importance of such a celebration? What will be the most anticipated areas for China-AU cooperation in the future?

Osman: This year marks 20 years since the AU was founded in 2002, when it replaced its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity, which was founded in 1963. Proximity since the turn of the century – launch of Agenda 2063 and launch of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

China has shown commitment to directly support Africa’s ongoing development plans at the continental and regional levels. Overall, we hope we can build on the progress of the BRI and the results of FOCAC 2021 to generate long-term, sustainable growth to support the continent in achieving Agenda 2063.

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