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China and Africa seeking to boost cooperation at ministerial meeting

China and Africa seeking to boost cooperation at ministerial meeting

Beijing, Nov 26 (Prensa Latina) China announced today that on Monday it will hold the eighth ministerial meeting of the forum for cooperation with Africa (Focac) in order to analyze the progress made so far and project a future of stronger exchanges.
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Ministers Wang Yi (Foreign Affairs) and Wang Wentao (Trade) will travel to Senegal’s capital, Dakar, to attend the event, while President Xi Jinping will deliver a video-linked speech.

As a preamble to the meeting, this Friday the State Council Information Office (Cabinet) issued a text detailing how the exchanges with the African continent are going.

According to the document, relations are much closer, the development of solidarity and cooperation is a cornerstone of China’s foreign policy, and the Focac meeting is expected to produce plans to further consolidate the results achieved, promote recovery and progress after overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic.

The text revealed that between 2016 and 2020, total investment in infrastructure projects in Africa reached nearly $200 billion and saw the construction of railroads, roads, bridges, ports, and power transmission and distribution networks.

On the other hand, Wu Peng, director of the Department of African Affairs of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, rejected accusations about Beijing’s alleged “debt traps” for nations in that region and referred to the difficulties they face.

According to him, China considers the continent’s financing needs, pays great attention to its debt sustainability and supports the idea of debt relief.

In fact, it cancelled the debts of 15 states in the form of interest-free government loans, which expired at the end of 2020.

This year China pledged to assist Africa in coping with Covid-19 by supplying more vaccines and also to boost economic recovery through new cooperation projects and investments.

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