President Xi's speech at China-Africa summit hailed

Wednesday 5th September, 2018
2018 Beijing summit

BEIJING, Sept. 05, (Xinhua) - Political observers, policy researchers and experts on international affairs spoke highly of President Xi Jinping's speech at a high-level meeting between Chinese and African leaders.

They believe that the speech has pointed out the direction for African countries' participation in building the Belt and Road jointly and joining hands with China to build a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.

In the keynote speech themed "walk together towards prosperity", President Xi said that China stood ready to strengthen comprehensive cooperation with African countries to build a road of high-quality development that was suited to national conditions, inclusive and beneficial to all.

Constantinos Berhe Tesfu, professor of public policy at the Addis Ababa University, said Ethiopia was a beneficiary of China-Africa cooperation.

The building of industrial parks in Ethiopia and the expansion work on the Bole International Airport in the capital city all benefit from the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, he said.

Gedion Jalata, CEO of the Centre for Excellence International Consult in Ethiopia, said the Belt and Road Initiative offered African countries diversified choices on their paths of development, provided more opportunities to relevant countries in the aspects of capital and experience, and strengthened linkage between Africa and China in the fields of trade and investment.

Blandina Kilama, a senior researcher at the Policy Research for Development in Tanzania, said more and more Chinese entrepreneurs had come to invest in Tanzania in recent years, which created many jobs for the locals.

Historical experience shows that it is in the interests of Tanzania to consolidate cooperation with China, she said.

Tanzanian lawmaker Dalaly Kafumu said that the key to the deepening of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation was that China did not attach political strings to assistance to Africa.

He believes that the increasingly close trade between China and Africa will inevitably bring more opportunities to African countries.

The building of interconnectivity helps African countries to alleviate poverty and move toward modernization, while it also encourages Chinese companies to go abroad, said Denise Kodhe, executive director of the Institute for Democracy and Leadership in Africa, a Kenyan think tank.

China understands the fact that each country has its own national conditions and adopts its own political system; and it is even more aware that one cannot impose its own political system and development path upon others - something that Western countries lack, said Pedzisai Ruhanya, director of Zimbabwe Democracy Institute.

The way China invests in and cooperates with Africa is appreciated by African countries and is a better way to help improve African countries' economy and benefit the African people, said Ruhanya.

Charles Onunaiju, director of the Centre for China Studies in Nigeria's capital Abuja, said that Xi encouraged two-way investment between Chinese and African enterprises, which was exciting.

It is foreseeable that as more Chinese companies invest in Africa and introduce technology and management experience to local companies, the latter will achieve great benefits and development, Onunaiju said, adding that it will also allow more "made in Africa" products to enter the international market.