A Long-term Stable China-Africa Relationship Of All-round Cooperation
In the 50 years or more since the founding of the People?s Republic, the relations between China and African countries have consolidated and developed, and have withstood the tests of time and international vicissitudes. They have thus developed between them a new-type state-to-state relationship of sharing weal and woe, equality and mutual benefit, sincere friendship and all-round cooperation.
This relationship had developed roughly in two stages between 1949 and 1999.
The first stage covered the period between 1949 and 1979.
During this period, China established diplomatic ties with a large number of African countries. China and African countries sympathized with and respected each other on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence and China?s Eight Principles for foreign aid. The China-Africa relationship grew dynamically on a solid foundation. This relationship at this stage mainly had following features.
The Chinese Government and people deeply sympathized with and vigorously supported the African countries and peoples in their just struggle against imperialism and colonialism and for national independence. China rendered forceful support to them both morally and materially.
China provided African countries with a wealth of selfless aid to help them to develop their economies and consolidate their independence, in spite of the fact that China itself was economically very difficult due to enormous imperialist pressure and embargo. In this way, China made important contribution to the national liberation and economic development of Africa. The aid project Tanzam Ralway is well known in the world.
African countries cooperated closely with China politically and supported China firmly in its great cause of national reunification and its efforts to get its lawful seat in the United Nations restored to it.
The second stage covered the period between 1979 and 1999.
This period featured the end of the Cold War and dramatic changes in international situation. Peace and development became two main streams of the world situation. China and Africa entered a new stage of going all out for economic development. And China-Africa relations became maturer and more substantial. First, high-level visits increased and the political relations between China and Africa deepened. Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, Zhu Rongji, Hu Jingtao and other Chinese Party and State leaders visited African countries on many occasions. During his 1996 African tour, President Jiang advanced a five-point proposal for the establishment of a 21st century-oriented long-term stable relationship of all-round cooperation between China and African countries. This opened a new chapter in the bilateral relations. In the last ten years, 46 presidents, one King and 17 Prime Ministers from African countries visited China. Second, China and Africa continued to sympathize with and support each other in international affairs, put up a joint struggle against hegemonism and power politics, and worked for the establishment of a fair and reasonable new international order. African countries stood with China and against the West over the human rights issue and the overwhelming majority of African countries unswervingly pursued a one-China policy. China spoke out from a sense of justice for African countries at the United Nations and other international organizations, supported them in their efforts to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests, drew the attention of the international community to Africa and actively participated in the UN-sponsored peacekeeping activities in Africa. Third, China-Africa trade and economic relations developed in forms from single channel of inter-governmental aid to multi-form mutually beneficial cooperation, such as joint ventures, contracted projects, and cooperation in labor and management. In 1995, the Chinese Government started to provide African countries with concessional loans with interests subsidized by the government to encourage Chinese enterprises to cooperate with African enterprises in foreign aid projects with joint equity. In 1999, the trade between China and Africa totaled 6.5 billion US dollars. Fourth, China and African countries increased cooperation in the cultural, educational, public health and other fields. China continued to provide African countries with training in the educational, public health, military, scientific and technical and other fields. In addition, it offered training in the economic management and diplomacy.