Beijing felt the magical warmth of Africa over the past two days even though the city was hit by a cold spell.
China and Africa announced two blueprints yesterday to move their bilateral relations to a higher level.
The Beijing Declaration delivered by the China-Africa Forum has charted a new political roadmap for the relationship. The action plan will deliver tangible outcomes over the next three years.
China and Africa have made a long step toward solidifying their strategic partnership. The nature of diversified channels of cooperation between the two sides is fascinating.
China offered its promise of assistance to Africa in the two documents, to help the continent implement its new partnership program, realize its millennium goals and restart the Doha round of the World Trade Organization talks.
The two-day Beijing Summit reviewed the 50 years of the China-Africa relations. It not only represented a watershed but also inspired new ambitious benchmarks in the relationship.
The two sides have been working out action plans to find out more dynamics within China-Africa cooperation.
Political and economic ties between China and Africa are growing at a rate that has the rest of the world sitting up and taking notice. However, China's blossoming relationship with Africa has become a source of fear and anxiety for some Western media.
The contacts between China and Africa are aimed at fostering friendship, cooperation and economic links, yet some media commentators see it as further evidence of China positioning itself in Africa at the expense of Western powers.
China stands ready to offer assistance within its capacity to developing countries in need. The aid is provided sincerely without conditions attached.
The trade between the two sides, oil and other natural resources included, is conducted publicly and transparently for mutual benefit. It has offered Africans affordable goods.
The China-Africa cooperation has given Africa more expansive room to diversify its contact with the world. Also, it has inherent mechanisms to reinforce mutual respect for one another.
China has never promoted its mode of economic development on African soil. It keeps its hands off African countries' internal affairs and respects their choice of development approaches. The "please-don't-copy-our-model" advice the then paramount leader Deng Xiaoping gave the visiting President of Ghana Jerry Rawlings in September 1985 is an explicit statement of China's purpose. China has always taken national conditions as the top priority when formulating policies.
The China-Africa Forum has served as a successful platform for the two sides for collective consultation and dialogue. It is a cooperation mechanism between developing countries, which falls in the category of the South-South cooperation.
China proposed the initiative in the context of the challenges of the 21st century and the new circumstances it has thrown up, especially that of economic globalization. As part of the South-South cooperation, China and Africa should work together to effectively tackle the challenges of globalization and speak as one on international matters affecting developing nations.
The political commitments China and Africa have made in the two important documents are a vivid illustration of the importance the two sides attach to the growing links.
(China Daily November 6, 2006)