Kigali: China's diplomatic tradition of foreign ministers visiting Africa first in the New Year indicates that Africa is always a priority in China's diplomacy, Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.
The tradition has been kept for 28 years till now, Wang addressed media after meeting Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Kigali on Saturday, adding China is always the most reliable friend and partner of its African brothers, Xinhua reported.
The Chinese minister also introduced his country's expectations of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit to be held in Beijing this year, an official forum established in 2000 to strengthen friendly cooperation between the two sides. Wang noted the FOCAC is an important channel for conducting collective dialogue and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Africa, as this is the largest and the most productive platform for the 29 member countries of the South-South cooperation.
The 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit achieved great success, said Wang, adding China is willing to strengthen communication and consultation with African friends to take this year's Beijing Summit to new heights. Many African countries appreciate and support the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, and China hopes to inject new impetus into cooperation with Africa through jointly building the initiative, he said. As a natural and historical extension of the Belt and Road, Africa should not be absent in the co-building process, nor should it be left behind in the mutual development of China and the world, he added. Wang, who is in Africa for his first New Year trip, is scheduled to visit Angola, Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe after Rwanda. (IANS)