China has made great progress since the Reform and Opening-up in the past three decades. During this period, China’s GDP grew at an average annual rate of 9.9 percent annually.
The world has been also greatly impressed by China’s development. The primary cause, I believe, is that China has unswervingly followed the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, a way perfectly fitting China’s real situation.
To adhere to this path and develop the country, the following things must be done. Firstly, the people must be hard working and pragmatic. Secondly, the ruling party must have a long-term advisable development strategy. Thirdly, the government must be innovative and explorative and have the courage to break old ideas and rules, which maybe constraints on development. Fourthly, the country must be open to the world and learn successful experiences of other countries. Last but not least, the government must take measures to build a stable and harmonious society.
The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) concluded not too long ago. The Congress set up a new goal of complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2021, the centenary year of the founding of the CPC, and to complete the building of a prosperous, strong, democratic and culturally advanced modern socialist country by 2049, centenary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. These bring Chinese people more clear objectives and everyone goes at it with a determined will.
China and Africa have always enjoyed good relations and cooperation. Africa is important to China in its efforts to safeguard sovereignty, security and development. Africa is also China’s strategic partner in achieving peaceful development and building a harmonious world.
At the same time, a China in progress will offer important opportunities and broad space for the development of Africa, including Namibia. It is the Chinese government’s unwavering foreign policy to strengthen the new type of strategic partnership with Africa. As Chinese President Hu Jintao reiterated in his report at the 18th CPC Congress, China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development and win-win cooperation.
China will unswervingly take a path of peaceful development, adhere to an independent foreign policy of peace, pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up, and develop friendly cooperation with all countries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We will continue to strengthen unity and cooperation with the developing countries, safeguard their common rights and interests, support their participation and commitment in international affairs, and remain a reliable friend and sincere partner of other developing countries forever.
China has adhered to its African policy for several decades, which is developing sincere friendship, equality and mutual benefit, solidarity and cooperation, and mutual development with African countries. China respects African countries choosing their own paths independently, and abides by rule of non-interference in each other's internal affairs. With respect of African countries’ sovereignty and independence of Africa countries, the assistance provided by China has no strings attached.
China supports the unity of African countries and self-reliance, to solve the internal challenges faced by the continent by using their own strength, and against external interference in African affairs. China also supports the ongoing efforts of integration by African countries by positively involving in trans-national and trans- regional infrastructure projects, and African peace and security issues. In short, China will always be a reliable friend and sincere partner of Africa.
China and Africa have made great progress in trade and investment in recent years, which has drawn worldwide attention. But there are also some negative criticisms on the mutual cooperation between China and Africa, including the prejudice that China is pursuing so-called “neocolonialism” in Africa, which is the same in nature to western colonists. I completely disagree on this opinion. I don’t want to avoid some problems existing in business between China and Africa. But the problems are miniscule compared to the great benefits in China-African cooperation. In fact, China-Africa cooperation is a model of the unity and mutual assistance of South-South cooperation, which is fundamentally different the relations between African colonies and their colonists.
Well, what does China do, then? I would like answer this question in relation to two aspects. From economic point of view, China-African cooperation is mutually beneficial and a win-win solution. There is an old Chinese saying that “it would be better to teach the people the way of fishing than to give them fish”. China supports Africa to have the ability of self-development. We help African countries to build their own industry system, while we develop natural resources in Africa.
For instance, China helped some African countries to build their oil industries from up steam to down steam, which made them capable of producing refined oil products, rather than mere crude oil producers. China also contributes a lot to African infrastructure development, including the construction of roads, schools, hospital and water and power supply systems, which are very closely linked with the people’s daily lives and livelihoods.
From political point of view, as I stated previously, China wishes to develop friendship with African countries by respecting their sovereignty and independence, and never interfering in their internal affairs. Generally speaking, I am confident that with the joint efforts by China and Africa, the path of China-African cooperation will become wider and broader. The future of China-Africa cooperation is bright!
·The author is H.E.Mr Xin Shunkang, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Namibia.