BEIJING, April 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — As next year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Gabon, the two heads of state have decided to elevate the two countries’ relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
Following a flurry of diplomatic activities by Asian, European and Latin American leaders in Beijing, Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s four-day visit to China was hailed by Chinese President Xi Jinping as a demonstration of the importance and high level of China–Gabon relations.
China–Gabon friendship has stayed rock-firm as ever.
President Ali Bongo is the first African head of state hosted by President Xi Jinping after Xi’s election as Chinese president in March, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The friendship between China and Gabon has stayed rock-firm since the establishment of diplomatic relations 49 years ago. In December 2016, the two countries upgraded their relationship to a comprehensive cooperative partnership.
The two countries have been firmly supporting each other over issues related to their core interests and working closely on international affairs.
President Ali Bongo has voiced Gabon’s adherence to the one-China principle on different occasions.
China has been Gabon’s largest trade partner for nine consecutive years. In 2022, bilateral trade reached $4.55 billion, a year-on-year increase of 50.8 percent.
During the meeting, the two presidents vowed to beef up cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, and cooperation in other fields including digital economy, infrastructure, agriculture and tourism, as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges. After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents in investment, agriculture, urban construction and some other areas.
China–Africa cooperation in the new era
China is the largest developing country in the world, and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. Shared past experiences and similar aims and goals have brought China and Africa closer together.
At the FOCAC Beijing Summit held in September 2018, the two sides decided to build an even stronger China–Africa community with a shared future and lead China–Africa relations and cooperation into a new era.
China has been Africa’s largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years by 2021, and the trade volume between China and Africa reached a record high of $254.29 billion in 2021, up 35.3 percent year-on-year, according to the latest data from China’s Ministry of Commerce.
In November 2021, the Chinese government issued a white paper to document the successes of all-round China–Africa cooperation and offer a perspective on future cooperation between the two sides. China and Africa have stood together in success and adversity, setting an example for building a global community with a shared future.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the principles of China’s Africa policy, which features sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. During Wednesday’s meeting with Ali Bongo, Xi said China and Africa need to strengthen solidarity and cooperation more than ever before as the world is intertwined with challenges and crises.
He urged both sides to adhere to the spirit of China–Africa friendship and cooperation, and said that China firmly supports Africa’s unique and independent development path, and is willing to provide new opportunities for Africa based on China’s own new development, so as to make China–Africa cooperation a model of South-South cooperation and international cooperation with Africa.