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Why did Chinese foreign ministers choose this place for their first visit at the beginning of the year for 33 consecutive years? – Chinanews video

Why did Chinese foreign ministers choose this place for their first visit at the beginning of the year for 33 consecutive years?

Release time: 08:27, January 11, 2023 Source: China News Network

[Explanation]On January 9, the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Foreign Minister Qin Gang was invited to visit Ethiopia, Gabon, Angola, Benin, Egypt, the headquarters of the African Union, and the headquarters of the Arab League from January 9 to 16, 2023.

[Explanation]Since Qian Qichen, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited Africa at the beginning of the year in 1991, this tradition has continued for 33 years. Why in the past 33 years, successive Chinese foreign ministers have made their first visits to Africa? In the past 33 years, what stages of progress have China-Africa relations achieved? To this end, the reporter interviewed Zhou Yongsheng, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University.

[Concurrent]Professor Zhou Yongsheng, Institute of International Relations, China Foreign Affairs University

China’s diplomatic strategy regards developing countries as the foundation of China’s foreign relations, and almost all African countries are developing countries. In addition, the number of countries in Africa is very large. As far as the overall political framework of the United Nations is concerned, it is sometimes called “quantitative politics”. It is increasingly showing its unique status in the international political community, and we cannot ignore African countries. We have a long history of exchanges with African countries, traditional friendship and mutual trust. So it is not surprising that Foreign Minister Qin Gang continued his first visit to Africa this year.

[Explanation]Looking back on the history of more than 30 years of visits, experts believe that China-Africa relations have ushered in new developments in stages during the visits of the Chinese foreign minister.

[Concurrent]Professor Zhou Yongsheng, Institute of International Relations, China Foreign Affairs University

The first stage, the first ten years, is a stage in which China-Africa relations have laid a solid foundation on the basis of China’s economic recovery and development. At that time in 1991, China had accumulated economic strength through reform and opening up, and our ties with Africa were getting closer and closer.

In the second decade, China-Africa relations have entered into a stage of comprehensive mutual benefit and comprehensive development. During this period, China has joined the World Trade Organization, and China’s economy has entered the fast lane of rapid growth. African countries have also entered the stage of economic growth and development at this time, so this makes us more likely to connect with Africa .

The third stage can be understood as vigorously deepening China-Africa relations, and it is also a stage of rapid development of China-Africa relations. Our large-scale investment has poured into Africa, helping Africa build infrastructure, develop mineral deposits, and promote economic development in Africa.

[Explanation]It is worth noting that in recent years, some Western powers have refocused their attention on Africa and pointed their finger at China, hyping up the so-called “new colonialism” and “China’s debt trap” in an attempt to drive a wedge between China and African countries. In this regard, experts said that China has never squeezed the blood and sweat of the people of African countries like some Western countries, and the cooperation between China and African countries is mutually beneficial and win-win.

[Concurrent]Professor Zhou Yongsheng, Institute of International Relations, China Foreign Affairs University

The cooperation between China and Africa is mutually beneficial. We give African countries about 60 billion U.S. dollars in economic cooperation every year, and we also cancel a large amount of debts of African countries every year. From this point of view, China has gained something, but China’s contribution is also very huge. The “colonialism model” that the West refers to, the “colonialism model” is mainly to obtain, but not to pay much. They mainly extract the economic interests of African countries and the blood and sweat of the people of African countries, and we have never had this kind of experience. Extraction, we are all mutually beneficial and win-win.

Liu Shijiong reports from Beijing

Responsible editor:[Liu Pai]

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