Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi commenced his multi-nation trip to Africa with a first stop in Rwanda where he told President Paul Kagame China stands ready to help the country in its development agenda.
The move was not happenstance, it is rather the continuation and sustenance of the 20-year-old diplomatic culture of China where it starts its annual diplomacy tour with Africa. The tradition started two years before the creation of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in year 2000.
The two countries also agreed to increase political consultation on issues affecting the continent as reported by CGTN’s Vauldi Carelse from Kigali.
“Honoring a twenty-year tradition, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has an annual African appointment. His first foreign visit of the year, Wang wants to strengthen ties with the continent.
On his first stop, he met with President Paul Kagame. Kagame will be taking over as the Chairperson of the African Union at the end of this month,: said CGTN.
While talks focused on continental issues, Rwanda put its development agenda on the table. China’s been a partner in infrastructure development and industrialization.
This year’s China Africa early annual diplomatic shuttle is somehow peculiar as 2018 is a year the FOCAC triennial summit will hold in China as earlier announced by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Beijing on January 1.
The last FOCAC summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015 with far-reaching decisions on better and stronger cooperation between the two sides.
Discussions between China and Rwanda focused on the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to be held in Beijing later this year. Rwanda called on China for more support and more expertise as it aims to become a middle-income country by 2020.
“Rwanda has its vision 2020 and its 2050 development plan and these plans dovetail with China’s development plans in many areas. China stands ready to be a longtime and trustworthy partner for Rwanda in its development plan,” said China’s foreign minister.
“China is a very special partner for Rwanda, we have worked together very well in many aspects in the development of this country, many people in this country are aware what China is doing in terms of its cooperation with Rwanda in the areas of infrastructure, mainly,” explained Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwandan Foreign Minister.
The Chinese foreign minister is scheduled to fly out to Angola on Sunday. He will conclude his African tour in Sao Tome and Principe.
Source: cgtn.com with additions by Ikenna Emewu, ACPRC of this platform