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PRESS RELEASE


China’s Foreign Minister: Belt and Road Initiative Is Vehicle for Industrializing Africa

May 24, 2017 (EIRNS)—In the course of his four-nation tour of Africa—Mauritania, Cape Verde, Mali, and Côte d’Ivoire—Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is emphasizing that China seeks to strengthen cooperation with African nations, within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Xinhua reported.

At a May 22 press conference in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Wang stressed that Africa and China "can combine the 10 major China-Africa cooperation plans proposed by president Xi Jinping with the Belt and Road Initiative," and make them complement each other. Xinhua emphasized that Africa is anxious to leave behind the "single growth mode" of exporting raw materials, and achieve economic independence through industrialization. China is viewed as the most reliable partner to achieve this goal.

In his remarks, Wang emphasized that Africa’s growth is also key to the growth of the overall strength of developing countries, and that this is in the common interest of both Africa and China. He pointed to the long history of China’s friendship with Africa and the importance of infrastructure projects which it helped build, going back decades—Mauritania’s "port of friendship" built in the 1980s is a case in point—and which are still going strong. What used to be known as the "triangle of poverty" in southern Mauritania is now known as the "triangle of hope," thanks to roads and other infrastructure that China helped to build.

Yesterday, in Addis Ababa, at the headquarters of the African Union, the Chinese Director General at Policy Planning of the Foreign Ministry, Wang Yajun, presented a book on the building of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA), titled "A Monument to China-Africa Friendship," which was inaugurated in 1976. A report on the website of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, notes that the TAZARA project covers 1,860 kilometers from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania in the east to New Kapiri Mposhi in central Zambia to the west. It is known as the "Railway of Freedom" and the "Railway of Friendship"—completed in five years and eight months.