Monday, 15 October 2012 12:44

Newsletter 20

In this newsletter:

  • China-Africa Think Tanks Forum held in Ethiopia
  • China Wants Peace in Africa
  • China’s leadership transition and the fate of Africa.

China-Africa Think Tanks Forum held in Ethiopia

Afro-China Scholars met on Oct. 12 to13 in Ethiopia to open the 2nd China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF II) to discuss issues of common interest, especially good governance, peace, security and current affairs between Africa and China.

Study papers were presented including good governance, improving peace and security and development alternatives provided by China to Africa, among others, during the two-day forum, helping scholars contribute share towards enhancing peace and security in Africa and strengthen Afro-China ties.

The forum was held under the theme "Chinese and African Common Interests: Current Issues and Future Perspectives on Governance, Peace and Security" as a follow-up event of its previous forum, which emphasized and acknowledged the need to advance the security situation in Africa.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen said Africa places great emphasis on governance, peace and security which are relevant and timely both for Africa and for China-Africa cooperation.

He said the forum was "pivotal to promote mutual understanding, to consolidate friendship, to present recommendations which may have a positive bearing and enhance the comprehensive cooperative relations between China and Africa".

Lu Shaye, director of the Department of African Affairs at China's Foreign Ministry, said China firmly supports African countries in building legal systems and increases experience-sharing on governance with African countries. He believed China and Africa have become important forces in safeguarding world peace and stability as they are working in closer coordination and collaboration.

He said: "Some people accuse China of seeking economic benefit from Africa while caring nothing about peace and security affairs of Africa...But, in reality, China's commitment to the principle of non-interference can by no means be interpreted as China's indifference to Africa's peace and security."

The CATTF is an initiative launched by Zhejiang Normal University (ZNU) in 2011 to create a shared platform for dialogue and exchanges between Chinese and African think tanks.


China Wants Peace in Africa

China could soon expand its involvement in peace and security issues in Africa, according to government officials at the second china – Africa think tanks forum in Ethiopia from Oct 12 to 13, said china’s non-interference policy should not be interpreted as indifference to the continent's peace and security.

Director-General Lu Shaye from the Department of African Affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that they oppose some countries that in the excuse of care for another interfere with African internal affairs.

Director of the Institute of Peace and Security Studies in Ethiopia that organized the forum, Ato Mulugeta Gebrehiwot, said that it should not come as a surprise that China is interested in peace and security on the African continent.

Director-General Lu Shaye from the Department of African Affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry He said their involvement would be to merely support regional organizations and institutions on the continent.

China's approach of non-interference has provided Africa with much needed funding without the strings that some western powers attach to loans for Africa.

China's President Hu Jintao announced two months ago that his country would invest 20 billion dollars more in Africa. But the investment would take new measures to support the cause for peace and development in Africa. Policies are already being drafted to indicate how China will improve is participation.

China already is the largest contributor of peacekeepers to Africa among permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

But the role of China in Africa is often seen as controversial one. Western countries have warned on frequent occasions that China's participation in Africa has colonial tendencies.

However, While China's improved role in peace and security in Africa could be beneficial for the continent, it could also be rewarding for China.

"China's cooperation with Africa will become a problem in the future if civil wars continue to exist," said Professor Liu Hongwu, the director of the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University.

Chinese government is not only focused on maintaining peace by training soldiers: but also by improving the ability to keep security by training countries in sectors such as finance, education and technology.

China currently trains more than 6,000 African personnel in various sectors and provides over 5,500 government scholarships to African countries.


China's leadership transition and the fate of Africa

The ruling party in china is preparing for a one in a decade leadership handover on November 8, 2days after the U.S presidential election. Chinas government officials led by the president and party secretary general hujintao are expected to give way to the next generation led by Xi Jinpiny

China, the nation with the world’s second largest economy is at a state of political transition, yet the path that its future leaders wish to take is still a mystery.

Though much of the world is focused on the Nov. 6 U.S presidential election what will start to transpire in china 2 days later is perhaps more important.

The fate of the global economy especially Africa’s economy hangs in part on how china’s leaders play their financial and political cards.

Most westerners believe that Xi will follow in the footsteps of hujintao and the parties’ principle of social and finical stability.

They recall that its been 6 decades since the Chinese ruling party came to power and despite the change of leadership, the party still hasn’t made significant changes towards its principles and overall policies.

And while the westerners are buying into the hype of a coming of glorious china most Chinese predict an altogether more complicated future.

But the simple fact is the Chinese ruling party has over seen the greatest economic expansion in world history, it has helped lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and has created a means for the livelihood of billions of people mainly in China and now in Africa.

\ in 2009 China surpassed the United States to become Africa’s largest trading partner, The two-way exchange was valued at $160 billion last year, compared to just $10.6 billion a decade earlier .
2,000 Chinese companies now have dealings in Africa, with investments totaling $14.7 billion and with an increase of 60 percent in two years.

And all is a result of the policies of China’s ruling party and whatever the future leaders of china decide to do, it will affect the global economy and politics tremendously especially Africa’s.


  •  Time vol.180, No. 17 | 2012 - art. The next leader of the unfree world.
Last modified on Wednesday, 05 December 2012 13:10