South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks in parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham Reuters
BEIJING - 3 September 2018: President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa stressed on Monday that China and Africa enjoy a long history of profound friendship, cooperation and solidarity.
Addressing the 2018 summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on Monday, the South African president lauded the landmark visit paid by Chinese President Xi Jinping to South Africa lately and his commitment to principles of cooperation with the African continent.
The forum was founded on these basic principles to take decisions aiming at strengthening cooperation between China and Africa, he said.
The South African president refuted claims that China was becoming Africa’s new colonial power.
“In the values that it promotes, in the manner that it operates and in the impact that it has on African countries, FOCAC refutes the view that a new colonialism is taking hold in Africa, as our detractors would have us believe,” Ramaphosa said in his address at FOCAC forum.
Ramaphosa said FOCAC was premised on the African people’s right to determine their own future.
“It is premised on the African Union’s Agenda 2063, a vision that has been crafted in Africa, by Africans. It is a vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.
“It is a vision of a continent where commerce, trade, investment, skills and knowledge move freely across the borders that were imposed on us by our colonial rulers,” he said.
Through FOCAC, Africa was looking at China as a partner to achieve the goals set out in Agenda 2063.
Ramaphosa said Africa embraced China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”, an ambitious plan by China to boost trade and stimulate economic growth across Asia and beyond.
“We are confident that this initiative, which effectively compliments the work of FOCAC, will reduce the costs and increase the volume of trade between Africa and China,” he said.
“It will encourage the development of Africa’s infrastructure, a critical requirement for meaningful regional and continental integration.”
At the end of his address, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed happiness over the Chinese President's constant encouragement for further balanced cooperation with Africa.
China will have huge investments in Africa, he said, adding that new investments in Africa are much welcomed as they open new spheres of development.
He underlined the importance of benefiting from this important gathering in strengthening economic cooperation with China.
In his address at the summit, President Xi Jinping told African leaders that China's investments on the continent have "no political strings attached", pledging $60 billion in new development financing.