China’s newly appointed special representative for African affairs Liu Yuxigave an interview on China-Africa relations.
Following is the full text of the interview:
Question: We noticed that this is your first visit to Africa after you assumed the post of Special Representative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs and Kenya is your first stop. What is your comment on the present China-Kenya relations?
Liu Yuxi: I am invited to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new president of Kenya on behalf of China. I met with President Ruto to convey Chinese leader’s warm congratulations and best wishes and exchanged opinions on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest. China and Kenya both believe that the two sides need to continue to deepen political mutual trust and work as each other’s trustworthy and sincere friends in politics as well as reliable and close partners in development. The two countries should enhance the synergy of development strategies in Belt and Road cooperation and under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to make China-Kenya cooperation a leading and demonstrative example, and strengthen multilateral coordination and cooperation to jointly address global challenges.
In recent years, China-Kenya relations have been developing rapidly and become a shining example of solidarity, cooperation, and common development between China and Africa. Over the years, China has been the largest investor, trading partner, and project contractor of Kenya, making positive contributions to economic and social development in Kenya. Kenya is an important partner of China in Africa and a major participant in China-Africa Belt and Road cooperation. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and Kenya have acted in solidarity against COVID-19 and written a new chapter of friendly cooperation. China will continue to encourage more Chinese enterprises to increase investment in Kenya, support Kenya in increasing industrial value-added, and accelerate post-pandemic economic recovery.
Not long ago, the first batch of 40 tons of avocados arrived in Chinese market and sold out very shortly. We welcome more products of Kenyan specialty into the Chinese market to help Kenya’s employment in relevant industries and increase export profits. China-Kenya relations have solid political and public opinion foundation.
Our cooperation is complementary and has a bright future. China is full of confidence in the development of the relations between the two countries. We believe that, under the common guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Ruto, China-Kenya Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership will reach higher level and benefit the peoples of the two countries.
Question: As you will visit other African countries afterwards, what is your comment on China-Africa relations?
Liu Yuxi: China is the largest developing country and Africa is the continent with the most developing countries. As the two sides share similar ideas and culture and interwined interests, we are good friends, partners, and brothers that go through weal and woe and fight shoulder by shoulder. China and Africa have forged an unbreakable brotherly bond in the struggle against imperialism and colonialism, enjoyed close cooperation in the path towards development and reinvigoration, and offered mutual support in issues of each other’s core interests and major concerns.
Last November, President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation via video link and delivered the keynote speech. In his speech, President Xi Jinping summarized the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, elaborated on the four proposals on building a China-Africa community with a shared future, and announced nine programs of China-Africa practical cooperation, injecting strong impetus to the development of China-Africa relations.
Last month, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and reviewed the latest outcomes of China-Africa cooperation, which received attention and positive feedback from all sides of the international community.
In recent years, despite the impact of the pandemic, the pratical and efficient cooperation in many areas between China and Africa has made substantial contributions to the acceleration of infrastructure building, upgrade of industrialization, and improvement of economic and social development in African countries, bringing real sense of happiness to African people.
Trade volume between China and Africa reached 164.2 billion US dollars between January and July this year, up by 17.4% year on year. China has been Africa’s largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years. The Nairobi Expressway in Kenya, the Lower Kafue Gorge Hydropower Station in Zambia and many other projects have been completed or put into operation. China has been actively providing emergency food assistance and COVID-19 vaccines for African countries in need to help Africa develop economy and improve livelihood and we have been actively promoting the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa to resolve the root causes of conflicts. The content of China-Africa cooperation has been expanding. Chinese astronauts had a “Tiangong Dialogue” with African teenagers and the Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation was successfully held, which all helped form a closer bond between the people of China and Africa. The two sides have expressed their support for each other in international and regional affairs and China has spoken out for the legitimate rights of African countries in the UN Security Council and other occasions to jointly uphold international fairness and justice.
My visit this time covers countries in different regions of Africa. It demonstrates Chinese government’s firm commitment to enhancing mutual trust and expanding cooperation with all friendly countries in Africa under the new circumstances. China is ready to work with African countries to strengthen solidarity, seek common development, and carry forward the traditional friendship to achieve common prosperity and reinvigoration.
Question: You worked as the Ambassador to Togo and the Head of Mission of China to the African Union. As you assume the post of Special Reprensentative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs, what are your expectations for your future work?
Liu Yuxi: I am honored to take up the baton from Ambassador Xu Jinghu to be the fourth Special Representative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs. Africa is my second home and I have a special bond with Africa. I spent 18 years of my diplomatic career in Africa working in Ethiopia, Togo, Cameroon, Mali, the Republic of Congo, and Gabon. For years, I have witnessed the development and growth of China-Africa relations and had first-hand experience of many highlights of major cooperation in China-Africa friendship. I have full confidence in the future of China-Africa friendly cooperation.
President Xi Jinping reiterated that China and Africa have always been a community with a shared future. The description that “China and Africa are as close as families” is the most vivid comment on the China-Africa relations today. We have similar development experiences and share the same goals of jointly advancing greater democracy in international relations as well as international and regional affairs, opposing hegemony and power politics, and upholding true multilateralism. Despite the changing international landscape, I have firm belief that China-Africa traditional friendship will be as solid as rocks and withstand the test of time.
As the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs, I will redouble my efforts to carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, deepen exchanges and cooperation between China and African countries and regional organizations, and stay in close touch with all sides in Africa-related issues to make my contributions to Africa’s peaceful development and China-Africa friendship.