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Wang Yi: China Welcomes African Countries to Join the "Belt and Road" Construction

On January 7, 2017, when jointly meeting the press with Foreign Minister Beatrice Attalah of Madagascar in Antananarivo, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China welcomes African countries to join the "Belt and Road" construction.

Wang Yi said that proposed by President Xi Jinping, the initiative of jointly building the "Belt and Road" seeks to realize common development and common prosperity in the principles of joint consultation, joint construction and sharing with countries that identify themselves with this proposal. This initiative is the most important cooperative concept China has offered to the world, as well as the most widely welcomed international public good so far. At present, joint construction of the "Belt and Road" initiative has seen a good start and is undergoing smooth progress. It has won positive feedbacks from over 100 countries and regions, and has achieved a large number of early harvest results.

Wang Yi said that the African continent was part of the ancient Maritime Silk Road in history and the farthest and most important destination of the Maritime Silk Road in the west. If African countries are willing to join the "Belt and Road" construction, China surely welcomes that. As a matter of fact, China has already discussed and dovetailed with a number of African countries, especially those on the east coast of Africa and has achieved positive progress in this regard. It is believed that with the deepening of cooperation, the African continent will get more development benefits from it.

Wang Yi said that as Africa's largest island and an important country in east Africa, Madagascar is geographically the nearest African country to China. It also had direct links with the ancient Maritime Silk Road in history. Madagascar is in fact a natural extension of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. During the visit, the two countries have discussed Madagascar's participation in the "Belt and Road" construction and reached important consensus. In the future, both sides will strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields including infrastructure and production capacity and fully tap as well as give play to Madagascar's unique advantages in geography and resources, so as to build Madagascar into an important bridge and bond between the African continent and the "Belt and Road" initiative.

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