President Uhuru leaves for China-Africa summit

Hannah Rogers
September 3, 2018

Themed "China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation", the summit is expected to be attended by leaders and officials from 53 African states except Swaziland, the tiny African kingdom which still remained allied with Taiwan, spurning Beijing's overtures.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the Chinese communist party to work more closely with the ANC.

The forum brings together 53 African countries that have diplomatic relations with China, the African Union Commission and China to make 55 members and Zimbabwe belongs to the grouping.

According to a statement issued by the President's spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President will deliver his remarks as the current chair of ECOWAS at the "High-level Dialogue between Chinese and African leaders, business representatives and African entrepreneurs".

Xi said China's trade with Belt and Road countries had exceeded $5 trillion, with outward direct investment surpassing United States dollars 60 billion.

Standard Bank represents the biggest Chinese investment in Africa to date, after state-owned Industrial and Commerce Bank of China Ltd. agreed in 2007 to buy 20 percent of the African lender for $5.5 billion.

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Much of the concern over Chinese debt stems from the different measures of "debt sustainability" used by Beijing and African nations versus Western governments and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, said Cheng Cheng, a researcher at the Chongyang Institute of Financial Studies at Beijing's Renmin University.

Djibouti has become heavily dependent on Chinese financing after China opened its first overseas military base in the Horn of Africa country a year ago, a powerful signal of the continent's strategic importance to Beijing.

He posted: "President Muhammadu Buhari arrives in Beijing, the People's Republic of China to participate in the 7th Summit of the Forum on China - Africa Cooperation (FOCAC2018)".

"Applications for attendance significantly surpassed our expectations", Jiang Zengwei, head of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said Friday at a press briefing. The first summit was held in November 2006 in Beijing, PRC.

The summit will conclude with the signing of a declaration and an action plan, providing guidelines for China-Africa cooperation for the next three years. South Africa is the top destination of Chinese investment in Africa, with investments of more than $25bn in accumulative terms having accrued by June 2017.

"I would expect African leaders to put on the table the opportunity that arises from building the African continent's manufacturing capability in a way that is in the best interests of the African continent but benefits china as well", Tshabalala said Saturday. African leaders already in Beijing have held different levels of talks with their Chinese counterparts signing deals and also meeting investors. In addition, South Africa hosts the largest number of Chinese tourists in Africa, with about 100 000 citizens having visited the country in 2017.

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