Africa: China calls for mutual understanding and negotiated solutions to global conflicts

By Elias Mhegera, Beijing – China has called for mutual understanding and negotiated solutions to global conflicts. This stance was reiterated in two different occasions.

Yingli Solar: one of the major producers of solar systems, Africa has benefited from this transfer of technology to its soil

Chinese Premier Li Kegiang

The most recent statement was by Premier Li Kegiang when he opened the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference. The Premier went on to condemn a series of recent terrorist attacks which have claimed several innocent lives.

But prior to that was Mr. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is responsible for Chinese Foreign Policy and Foreign Relations when he met international and domestic media in Beijing, on recently.

He declared that his country has been irked by recent nuclear provocations by its neighbour and close ally the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and that it stands with ‘the international community’ and the United Nations in support of sanctions in this matter.

African journalists attending one of the conferences that are vital for gaining knowledge, they are hosted by the China Africa Press Centre

African journalists attending one of the conferences that are vital for gaining knowledge, they are hosted by the China Africa Press Centre

Mr Wang said DPRK will remain a strong ally and friend in ties which are historical, but current events in Korea are contradictory to the Chinese Foreign Policy of maintaining harmonious relations all over the world.

He went further and declared that his country will soon surprise the world as it intends to ensure that all the nations that have been sidelined in the globe economy enjoy its recent achievements in the economic sphere.

To demonstrate this Chinese Government has released a report on its foreign aid for the past three years which is rather convincing. For instance, in supporting development of transport system China assisted the construction of over 70 transport projects, including roads, bridges, airports and ports.

For example, China helped build the third section of the Sika Highway that connects Kenya’s capital Nairobi to its economic hub Sika, thus making a contribution to the road network that links up Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

Moreover, the optical cable transmission networks assisted by China in Cameroon and Tanzania have effectively promoted the application of fiber cables in African nations.

Some African plantations are now found at the Xinglong Tropical Botanical Garden for research purposes and preservation

Some African plantations are now found at the Xinglong Tropical Botanical Garden for research purposes and preservation

China carried out technical cooperation with countries like Ethiopia, Burundi and Sudan, and helped these countries improve their utilization and management of solar power, hydro power and other clean energy

From 2010 to 2012, China established 14 agricultural technology demonstration centers, and launched the planning or construction of another eight centers, it also sent a large number of agricultural experts to Africa to carry out technical cooperation.

This programme was accompanied by training of over   5,000 agricultural technicians. In July 2012, at the Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the FOCAC, the Chinese government promised to provide assistance in building more agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa.

This promise will also entail strengthening of technical training, demonstration and popularization, and help African countries improve their ability in food production, processing, storage and marketing.

The minister claimed that it has resolved to deal more with development projects rather than support wars. “All the wars which have been fought in recent times in the name of institutionalizing democracy have just caused more problems than good,” he remarked.

Implicitly he was referring to events in Egypt, Libya, Iraq and now what is happening in Syria.

A photograph that speak for itself showing the friendship between Africa and China

A photograph that speak for itself showing the friendship between Africa and China

“Our foreign policy is clear, we cannot withstand whoever aggravates war be it North Korea or anyone else, peace is at the best when it is enjoyed by everyone in this globe, whoever infiltrates conflicts anywhere or incite for violence is our enemy, for that matter,” he stressed.

He further argued that Chinese interest is to maintain the philosophy of championing peaceful development through a balanced approach of maintaining friendship before economic interest.

He mentioned a few of them as being the contribution in funding the evacuation of people who are affected by earthquakes, to refugees, peacekeeping forces and even providing escort ships in deterring attacks by pirates from Somalia.

“China does not have any interest to dominate the world they way others are trying to do, and those who are judging us that way it is because they lack the knowledge of our history which extends 5,000 years back,” he boasted.

He did not hesitate to criticize some friendlier nations like Japan which he claim at times are double dealing when it comes into defending the Chinese position in international affairs.

Moreover the minister warned that China will not be tolerant with any people who have bad intentions with its citizens that are now living in foreign countries. “To this end we will bring them back or even fight to get abductees if such things happen,” he re-assured.

But the relationship between China and the US appears to dominate several international media coverage in which a distinguished lecturer in international affairs Prof. Jin Canrong assured that these are ‘mere media propaganda’ which will never escalate into a war anyhow.

He revisits past events to justify his stance by reminding that the cold relations between the US and China was even once more severe but these never escalated into war. He reminded that since 1949 after the Chinese Revolution the US remained hostile to his country, he was presenting a paper on China-US relations to the 20 contingent of journalists from Africa.

“But the situation turned even worse after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963 when Fidel Castro former Cuban leader turned for China as a new ally after the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) removed its missiles without consulting him, the US now counted China as their worst enemy,” he recounts.

However three years later the USSR started confrontations with China which to a large extent were fueled by its alliance with Cuba. It was at this juncture that these two nations, China and the USSR evacuated soldiers closer to their borders; the US was watching these developments with a keen interest.

He reveals that four years later, in 1970 the USSR had already reached a military parity with the USA a situation which forced it now to reconcile with China in the fear of having two strong enemies sharing the same ideology.

This threat prompted an unexpected visit to China by then US President Richard Nixon in 1972 even though there was no formal diplomatic relations. It was a coincidence that at that particular moment even China was threatened by the USSR’s military strength.

“Since then the US and USSR kept a big secret between them, in fact the US knows better than anyone else that China was a best ally towards the crumble of the USSR, this is a history that the US cannot forget that easily” he disclose consequently causing a big laughter in the hall.

He warns that military expenditure is the major cause of the USSR’s collapse and if the US is to learn it should stop its aggressive nature which have caused or spread wars all over the world.

He reveals that the recent wave of media propaganda was a product of the global economic downturn which left the US economy in bad shape. Moreover, one major setback is the fact that the US used to take China for granted as an agent for stabilizing the market and peace for its Asian market.

He boasts that in this way the US never expected that China could ‘hijack’ this market which it depended on so heavily. “This is the source of commotions that the US will never mention openly anywhere!” he discloses.

But another reason is the fact that the US was smart enough to invite brains and relax immigration laws as long as whoever came would enlarge its tax base.

He admits that China took advantage of this lesson and copied the same, no wonder today modern China is a civilization of different cultures, quite different to European nations which insisted on ‘identity nationalism’ based on who is indigenous and who is not.

He even assures those who are worried over the recent bitter exchange of words between China and the US to know that behind the scenes these people are eating together ‘the Chinese food’.

The hidden truth being many of the Chinese big wigs have sent their children in the US some of them have chosen to remain there. Therefore while there are such commotions in the media, investors from the US are negotiating for good deals so that they can invest and gain their share from “The Chinese Miracle”.

He acknowledges that the current developments were visualized by Deng Xiaoping who counseled that China should shift from confrontational politics and concentrate more with selling of its products.

Moreover he admits that before these developments there were some resistances that is why China decided to sideline some conservatives as compounded in the ‘Gang of Four’ namely; Jiang Qing, Zhang Chunqiao, Yao Wenyuan, and Wang Hongwen.

He also cherish the fact that through job creation his government has resolved problems of youngsters where in many countries have been the main causes of calling for toppling of governing systems if their demands are not met.

A seasoned diplomat, who has spent six years in China and prefers anonymity, admits that it is tricky to understand the modern China because of the nature of its divided policy stances.

He discloses within the same team of the power fabric there are fervent supporters of the US and its ‘individualistic’ propagations, but at the same time there are socialists wanting to maintain the ‘status quo’.

He further reveals that he came for the first time in China before the Olympic Games which were hosted in this country in 2008. But after those games things changed drastically, he discloses that it is since then that this country appreciated the power of the media which previously it had ignored quite easily.

The games brought with them several blessings apart from the positive image which never existed before. He elaborates that since then big investors started to flock in to the extent that many of the native Chinese are evacuating ‘voluntarily’ from the places which they used to dwell in the major cities.

He however lauds the decision by this government for allowing foreign capital and investments but on conditions that the employment opportunities must be provided first to the native population.