BEIJING -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who just concluded his visit to four African countries, has for three consecutive years chosen Africa as the destination for his first trip abroad
This year's trip took Wang to Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique and Namibia from Jan. 30 to Feb. 6. For 26 consecutive years, Chinese foreign ministers have visited Africa at the beginning of the year.
"Choosing Africa as the destination for the foreign minister's first trip each year is a fine tradition of China's diplomacy. It shows the importance attached to China-Africa ties," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said before the visit.
CHINA, FRIEND IN NEED FOR AFRICA
Wang's visit to Africa came at a critical moment against the backdrop of faltering global economic recovery, and the economic slowdown faced by African countries.
Indeed, China, the world's largest developing country, and Africa, a continent home to the largest number of developing countries, whose ties have been strengthened by shared historical experiences and struggles, had always been a community of common destiny.
"As a faithful friend of Africa, we insist that Africa must get out of its difficult situation through its own development," Wang said when meeting with his Malawian counterpart George T. Chaponda.
The international financial crisis, especially falling commodity prices, has adversely affected the African economy.
China, whose economy grew strongly for over 30 years and still registers a growth rate of 6.9 percent faced with the pressure of slowing global economic growth, remains the biggest driver of growth for the global economy, Wang said.
China is committed to African countries with their poverty alleviation efforts by helping improve their infrastructure, offering agricultural technology and equipment to support farmers and enhance their productivity, and supporting the industrial development of the continent.
China has provided African countries with loans worth over $20 billion since 2012 to support infrastructure, investment, small- and medium-sized enterprises, agriculture and manufacturing.