President Xi Jinping called on Thursday for media outlets in China and African countries to become facilitators of people-to-people exchanges and guardians of equity and justice to jointly advocate global development.
Xi made the remark in a congratulatory message sent to the fifth Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation. The two-day event, which opened on Thursday in Beijing, was attended by more than 240 representatives from China and 42 African countries, including media workers and diplomats.
Noting that China and African countries are a community with a shared future, Xi said in his message that media outlets of both sides shoulder a significant responsibility in areas such as enhancing mutual trust and cooperation and maintaining world peace.
Since the forum was established 10 years ago, it has provided a major platform for advancing dialogue and cooperation between Chinese and African media outlets and played a positive role in deepening the China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi said.
He expressed his hope that the media outlets in China and African countries will carry forward China-Africa friendship and cooperation and join hands in telling well the stories of both sides, thus making contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Since China and Senegal now co-chair the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Senegalese President Macky Sall also sent a congratulatory message to the forum.
Sall said the event, held amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is a sign of Chinese and African countries’ collective resilience and determination to move forward in implementing their common agenda.
He also praised the long-term tradition of Sino-African cooperation in culture, art and media through exchanges of various programs that promote reciprocal cooperation and mutual understanding between the peoples.
Over the past decade, the two sides have jointly undertaken a series of media cooperation projects for the benefit of people, including “The 10,000 Villages” project.
Aimed at providing 10,000 villages in Africa with digital satellite TV, this people-to-people exchange project was one of the 10 major cooperation plans proposed by Xi at the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the forum, Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, said China is willing to work with African countries to actively build a global media environment that focuses on development and cooperation.
He also urged the two sides to enhance communication and share opportunities in such fields as digital technology and digital economy to help bridge the digital divide.
Gregoire Ndjaka, CEO of the African Union of Broadcasting, said in a video speech that the forum “is by far one of the most beneficial for Africa. This benefit is particularly evident in the training programs that China offered to African media practitioners.”
So far, China has provided training for more than 3,000 media workers from African countries.
The People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasizes that “the question of Taiwan is the most important, the most extremely important, and the most sensitive issue in Sino-American relations” and recalls Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, visiting the Taiwan region on August 2 “in defiance of strong opposition and protests from China.” According to the Chinese government, this visit significantly violates the three Sino-American joint communiqués’ provisions, the one-China principle, and the political foundation of Sino-American ties.
Li Changlin, the Chinese ambassador to Morocco, reaffirmed his country’s position on the issue. According to the diplomat, this “controversial” visit “betrays American pledges to China.” In order to prevent the return of the law of the jungle, he added, “We have no choice but to protect our sovereignty, our integrity, and we argue that the principle of non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states cannot be disregarded or abandoned.” He stated that “until now, we have counted 181 countries with which we have established diplomatic relations following the one-China principle,” adding that “the one-China principle is the object of consensus of the international community and also constitutes a fundamental norm governing relations between China and foreign countries.”
The Chinese ambassador to Morocco remembers how important the Taiwan issue was to China. This issue immediately affects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to Chinese perceptions, he said. The ambassador said in his statement that this crucial issue for China is also important for all nations that value peace and recalled the sacredness of the rule of not interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign States.
The ambassador reviewed the measures Beijing has taken to protect its integrity and recalled the military actions conducted in a “transparent and reasonable approach to oppose any aspirations at independence from Taiwan.” The Chinese ambassador also used this occasion to praise Morocco for its “continuous support for all topics of fundamental significance to China, including the Chinese position on Taiwan,” and to congratulate Rabat and Beijing on their “excellence” in diplomatic relations. Recall that Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, is the first senior US official to travel to Taiwan since the visit of Newt Gingrich, the previous Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the island in 1997. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed at a press conference following Pelosi’s visit that “the US one-China policy really hasn’t altered.” The head of American diplomacy was clear to state, “We do not favor Taiwan’s independence.”
Ambassador of Morocco to China Reiterates Country’s Adherence to One China Policy
Aziz Mekouar, Morocco’s ambassador to China, reaffirmed his country’s devotion to the one-China policy as the cornerstone of relations between the two brotherly nations. His Excellency the Ambassador emphasized that this membership is founded on the Kingdom’s core values, which are respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other UN members. These values include consistency, responsibility, credibility, and dependability. He added, “Morocco renews its positions expressed many times, at different levels, both bilaterally and within international organizations, and continues to support the People’s Republic of China on this issue. The ambassador highlighted that the two countries are committed to strengthening their multi – faceted cooperation through the establishment of an institutionalized strategic partnership in order to intensify trade, promote investment, and open up new avenues for bilateral ties in all areas. The ambassador recalled that the Kingdom of Morocco attaches great importance to these relations.
Author: Hanane Thamik is currently a Ph.D. scholar at the School of Information Management, Wuhan University, simultaneously a member of the Morocco-China Friendship Exchange Association, the author of China Today ,the former author of CGTN Africa, Africa-China Review, and the Canadian magazine ( Etats de splendeur ). She was chosen as Morocco’s youth representative for the Belt and Road initiative by the Moroccan embassy in China, the Arab youth participant in the 9th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum 2020, and the Ambassador of Wuhan City to the world by Changjiang Weekly Magazine, and the Moroccan Youth Representative 2020 (FOCAC, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs). She also won the awards of the Belt and Road Tourism ambassador 2019, the Outstanding African Student in China 2018, the Cultural Achievement Award by UNESCO, the Wuhan University Outstanding International Students award 2019 and 2021, the Maotai scholarship “Excellent academic performance and outstanding overall performance 2019 and 2021,” the outstanding individual among international students fighting novel coronavirus pneumonia 2020, the only Moroccan winner of the essay contest named “experience China -our anti-epidemic story” 2020 (China Scholarship Council), the Chinese Government Outstanding International Student in China 2020 ( China Scholarship Council ), the winner of the 5th “My Beautiful Encounter with China” essay contest for international students in China, and recently the first prize of the competition of the 37th Chu Cai Composition Competition. She was one of the successful 54 young people worldwide who has been selected to participate in a training program organized by the United Nations in Switzerland in 2019. She has also more than 20 publications among them the United Nations Geneva 2019 report, Peking University 5000-mile reports 2020 and 2021 which were handed to high-ranking officials at the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Beijing, and her most recent SCI paper, “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Sustainable Development in Electronic Markets,” which received attention from many experts across the world and was posted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on its official website.
When he was still a 9th grader, Brice Nogou, from Cameroon, already knew that he wanted to create opportunities for others. He often jotted down his ideas in a notebook that he still keeps today.
A few years later, Brice embarked on a journey to China to pursue his studies in Computer engineering. He spent a total of five years in the Asian country, from 2015 to 2020. He first lived in Beijing for a year to complete his Chinese language program at Beihang University. Then he moved to southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality to join a bachelor of Computer Engineering program at Southwest University.
As he was immersed in his China experience, Brice started refining some of his early entrepreneurial ideas and brought them to life through AFeshop, the main project of his startup NogouTech.
The project aims at designing an electronic platform to support local manufacturers in promoting their products. It entails, on the one hand, helping them improve the visual presentation of their products through better packaging, marketing, and communication. And on the other hand, creating an e-commerce platform where they can easily carry out their various transactions.
Brice and his team worked on the AFeshop project part-time for the last three years and officially launched it this year on March 26 in Cameroon’s capital city Yaoundé.
In these edited excerpts from my conversation with Brice, we discuss how his experience in China has contributed to shaping the AFeshop project. He also tells me about the challenges he has faced and his plans for the future.
What is the story behind AFeshop?
Well. The story is a bit long, but I will try to summarize it.
So, I like to say that regardless of the challenges I encountered in China, it is a country that allowed me to discover myself.
Since I was a little kid, I have always loved traveling. It’s a passion passed on to me by my father. I knew the names of almost all the capitals of the countries in Asia, Europe, and others. However, I knew very little about African countries.
When I arrived in Beijing, I saw how important everything Chinese was. The people, the culture, the history, and so on. After my Chinese language year in Beijing, I moved to Chongqing. There, I enrolled in a Chinese-taught engineering course. However, in addition to courses relevant to my field, we also had to take Chinese culture and philosophy courses. And we had to pass those courses to graduate.
I could see that what makes the strength of the Chinese people is their interest in their own culture and their daily consumption of the products they manufacture themselves. I then wondered why we, as Africans, do not do the same. Why can’t we promote what we do locally? Why can’t we be the architects behind our daily tools, entertainment, and so on? And that’s how the idea for AFeshop came about.
Screenshot of the home page of AFeshop e-commerce platform.
We know that e-commerce in China is very advanced. Did Chinese e-commerce platforms influence you in any way as you developed the AFeshop project?
Definitively. When you have a dream, and you see that something similar is being implemented and having a significant impact on society already, a bit like in China with Alibaba and Taobao, it feels like you are taking a trip to the future.
Alibaba’s operational model for its platform inspired me significantly. However, Chinese society has its own reality and culture. So there are things that I have learned from them that I could not apply here in Cameroon.
What are the three main lessons you’ve learned from your time in China?
The first thing is working for the common good. When you work for the common good, it has a greater impact on each person. Working towards a shared vision is the first thing.
The second thing is to let the priority, the center, be ourselves. It’s crucial to design an educational system and a society that puts forward our culture and our way of seeing things. Then we can start thinking about including what comes from outside.
The third lesson is to try to build a stronger work ethic because I think the Chinese are people who value hard work and a job well done.
Soft launch of the AFeshop platform. Photo credit: AFeshop Facebook page
What challenges have you faced so far?
The technical challenges were related to the fact that I studied in China. So our program was more designed for Chinese engineers and to meet the challenges of Chinese society. As a result, I was more familiar with technologies and ways of doing things that did not necessarily correspond to those used by the engineers with whom I was going to work in Cameroon. For example, the backend of applications here [in Cameroon] is done in PHP, whereas there [in China], it is Node.js and other frameworks that we used. So, I had to adapt.
Another major challenge concerns human resources because some employees do not always have the appropriate professional attitude.
It has also been challenging to convince target users to put extra effort into using the platform. It is true that the penetration rate of smartphones in Africa is considerable and that more people are on social networks. However, people are not yet familiar with the electronic operations of e-commerce. They do not know, for example, how to create a delivery address, select an item and add it to their cart, check out, and so on. They are more familiar with the existing e-commerce model, which consists in posting photos on social media and receiving orders via messages.
The last challenge is a problem that is common to all entrepreneurs, which is the problem of funding. Things are not as quickly profitable as we would like.
AFeshop and PEJECIR Group signing a partnership. Photo credit: AFeshop Facebook page
Where do you see AFeshop in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see AFeshop ideally becoming the go-to platform for Made in Africa products. A platform that has supported African entrepreneurs to automate their production and move from artisanal to semi-industrial or downright industrial. A platform that has allowed Made in Africa products to reassess themselves and aspire to something better.
We hope to be a platform available in several countries, with millions of users who can easily choose to consume locally-made products. We want Africans to be proud about primarily using what they manufacture by themselves. And also, when they consume Made in Africa products, they must be confident that these are quality products.
Our first mission is to convince ourselves that we can be better and achieve something extraordinary. After that, we will be able to convince the world.
About the author:
Gaelle Ayamou is a journalist, a communications specialist, and a researcher. She writes about startups and Africa-China relations. She also enjoys creating visual content about communication, education, as well as women and youth empowerment in Africa. Her research has mainly focused on media representations of Africa, Africa-China media relations, as well as the use of AI in journalism and communication and its ethical implications.
This year, Altini Natacha Goumbri, a student from Burkina Faso studying at Wuhan University in Wuhan, Hubei province, had a birthday to remember
She was moved to tears when more than 30 employees of the expressway construction project where Goumbri is receiving a month of training celebrated her 23rd birthday with her on Wednesday.
At the university’s School of Civil Engineering, Goumbri is a junior majoring in engineering management. During the construction of the expressway, two additional African students are receiving training to do tasks including quality control and daily record keeping.
Every day at eight in the morning, they depart for the project site while wearing red safety helmets and reflective vests. The international students put in a lot of effort measuring the distance between concrete bars and becoming acquainted with contemporary construction equipment and scaffolds.
Ouedraogo Franck Aristide K from Burkina Faso said, “I have learned to grasp several words that I didn’t understand in class by practicing on the website.
According to Wu Huizhong, the project’s technology leader, special training programmes for the kids have been created, and seasoned engineers have been chosen to serve as their mentors.
Goumbri has always wanted to be a building engineer.
“After I graduate in a year, I’ll apply what I learn in China to developing my home nation. And I’ll do everything I can to foster goodwill between China and Africa “She spoke.
Wuhan University’s three African students receive training while working on an expressway in Hubei province.
During the construction of an expressway in Wuhan, three African students from Wuhan University receive training.
The first batch of fresh avocados from Kenya, the largest avocado exporter in Africa, is set to arrive in China late this month. The export will increase Kenya’s foreign exchange earnings and benefit the country’s farmers.
It will also set a good example of closer agricultural cooperation between China and Africa under the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035.
On Tuesday local time, four containers of fresh avocados were packed in Kenya.
They will be shipped by sea and arrive at Shanghai Port in late August, reporters learned from Shanghai-based Greenchain Information Science and Technology. The company plans to ship 150 containers of Kenyan avocados to China in 2022.
The first batch of Kenyan avocados will be sold at Shanghai’s fresh markets, as well as supermarkets and online channels in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in South China’s Guangdong Province, Ji Dongping, general manager of Greenchain, told the reporters on Thursday.
Export of avocados to China is expected to increase Kenya’s foreign exchange earnings, boost local economy, said Ji.
▲Kenya is ready to export the first batch of fresh avocado to China, it is set to arrive in late August, 2022 | Photo: courtesy of Shanghai Greenchain Information Science and Technology
Kenya is the sixth-largest exporter of avocados in the world and the largest on the African continent. Its avocado exports have risen steadily over the past three years but account for only 10 percent of its total production, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
“It is estimated that exports to the Chinese market will account for 40 percent of Kenya’s total avocado output, which will greatly improve the incomes of local farmers,” Ji said.
Avocados are still a niche product in China, where they are mainly sold in large cities. With Chinese consumption keeping growing, sales of avocados have great potential, Ji said.
Kenya became the first African country to export fresh avocados to China.
During the eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2021, China and its African partners released the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035, taking a solid step forward in building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
Under the Vision, China-Africa annual trade is expected to reach $300 billion in 2035. China is committed to supporting Africa in increasing its export capacity. It is strengthening cooperation with African countries in the areas of inspection and quarantine of agricultural produce.
As an early harvest of the Vision, China and Kenya signed an export agreement for fresh avocado shipment in January.
With joint cooperation and coordination between China and Kenya, it only took half a year from the signing of the agreement to actual exports. On July 27, a sample of 72 kilograms of fresh Kenyan avocados arrived in China.
“The whole [customs] process has been smooth and as a trader, we feel it is becoming more convenient in terms of food inspection and customs clearance. It used to take two to three days to clear customs, but now it only takes one day,” Lü Cuifeng, chairman of Greenchain, told reporters on Thursday.
In addition to helping Africa export agricultural products, more Chinese companies are investing and building factories in Africa for food processing, helping create more local jobs, Lü said.
▲Kenya is ready to export first batch of fresh avocado to China, it is set to arrive in late August, 2022 | Photo: courtesy of Shanghai Greenchain Information Science and Technology
China has been Africa’s largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years.
According to China’s General Administration of Customs, total trade between China and Africa in 2021 reached $254.3 billion, up 35.3 percent year-on-year. Africa exported $105.9 billion of goods to China, up 43.7 percent year-on-year.
Over the past 10 years, China created 18,562 jobs a year on average in Africa, according to a Swiss-African Business Circle report.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday issued a statement on Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s visit to China’s Taiwan region. Following is the full text of the statement:
On 2 August, in disregard of China’s strong opposition and serious representations, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi visited China’s Taiwan region. This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués. It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for “Taiwan independence”. China firmly opposes and sternly condemns this, and has made serious démarche and strong protest to the United States.
There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. This has been clearly recognized by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 of 1971. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, 181 countries have established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle. The one-China principle is a universal consensus of the international community and a basic norm in international relations.
In 1979, the United States made a clear commitment in the China-U.S. Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations — “The United States of America recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. Within this context, the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan.” Congress, as a part of the U.S. Government, is inherently obliged to strictly observe the one-China policy of the U.S. Government and refrain from having any official exchanges with China’s Taiwan region. China is all along opposed to the visit to Taiwan by U.S. congressional members, and the U.S. executive branch has the responsibility to stop such visit. Since Speaker Pelosi is the incumbent leader of the U.S. Congress, her visit to and activities in Taiwan, in whatever form and for whatever reason, is a major political provocation to upgrade U.S. official exchanges with Taiwan. China absolutely does not accept this, and the Chinese people absolutely reject this.
The Taiwan question is the most important and most sensitive issue at the very heart of China-U.S. relations. The Taiwan Strait is facing a new round of tensions and severe challenges, and the fundamental cause is the repeated moves by the Taiwan authorities and the United States to change the status quo. The Taiwan authorities have kept seeking U.S. support for their independence agenda. They refuse to recognize the 1992 Consensus, go all out to push forward “de-sinicization”, and promote “incremental independence”. The United States, for its part, has been attempting to use Taiwan to contain China. It constantly distorts, obscures and hollows out the one-China principle, steps up its official exchanges with Taiwan, and emboldens “Taiwan independence” separatist activities. These moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish by it.
The position of the Chinese Government and people on the Taiwan question has been consistent. It is the firm commitment of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people to resolutely safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is the common aspiration and sacred responsibility of all Chinese sons and daughters to realize the complete reunification of the motherland. The will of the people is not to be defied, and the trend of the times cannot be reversed. No country, no forces and no individual should ever misestimate the firm resolve, strong will and great capability of the Chinese Government and people to defend state sovereignty and territorial integrity and to achieve national reunification and rejuvenation. China will definitely take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the U.S. Speaker’s visit. All the consequences arising therefrom must be borne by the U.S. side and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces.
China and the United States are two major countries. The right way for them to deal with each other lies only in mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, no-confrontation and win-win cooperation. The Taiwan question is purely an internal affair of China, and no other country is entitled to act as a judge on the Taiwan question. China strongly urges the United States to stop playing the “Taiwan card” and using Taiwan to contain China. It should stop meddling on Taiwan and interfering in China’s internal affairs. It should stop supporting and conniving at “Taiwan independence” separatist forces in any form. It should stop its acts of saying one thing but doing the opposite on the Taiwan question. It should stop distorting, obscuring and hollowing out the one-China principle. It must take credible actions to observe strictly the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, deliver on the “five noes” commitment made by the U.S. leadership (i.e. not seek a “new Cold War”; not seek to change China’s system; the revitalization of its alliances is not against China; not support “Taiwan independence”; not look for conflict with China), and not go further down the wrong and dangerous path.
In disregard of China’s solemn representations, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brazenly went ahead with her visit to China’s Taiwan region, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
This move seriously violates the one-China principle, maliciously infringes on China’s sovereignty and blatantly engages in political provocations, which has aroused strong indignation among the Chinese people and widespread opposition from the international community.
It proves once again that some U.S. politicians have become “troublemakers” of China-U.S. relations, and that the United States has become the “biggest destroyer” of peace across the Taiwan Strait and for regional stability.
The United States should not dream of obstructing China’s reunification. Taiwan is a part of China. The complete reunification of China is the trend of the times and an inevitability of history. We will leave no room for the “Taiwan independence” forces and external interference.
No matter how the United States supports or connives at the “Taiwan independence” forces, it will be all in vain. The United States will only leave more ugly records of gross meddling in other countries’ internal affairs in history. The Taiwan question arose when the country was weak and chaotic at the time, and will surely end with national rejuvenation.
The United States should not fantasize about undermining China’s development and revitalization. China has found a correct development path in line with its own national conditions. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, 1.4 billion Chinese people are striding towards the Chinese-style modernization.
We put the development of our country and nation on the basis of our own strength, and are willing to coexist peacefully and develop together with other countries. But we will never allow any country to undermine China’s stability and development.
Provoking trouble on the Taiwan question in an attempt to delay China’s development and undermine China’s peaceful rise will be totally futile and will surely lead to total failure.
The United States should not fantasize about manipulating geopolitical games. Seeking peace, stability, development and win-win cooperation are the common aspirations of regional countries.
The introduction of the Taiwan question into the regional strategy by the United States, which inflates tensions and stokes confrontation, is against the trend of regional development and goes against the expectations of the people in the Asia-Pacific. This is very dangerous and stupid.
The one-China principle has become a basic norm governing international relations and an integral part of the post-Second World War international order.
What the United States should do is to immediately stop violating the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and stop playing the “Taiwan card” to disrupt the Asia-Pacific region.
The United States should not fantasize about distorting facts at will. The U.S. side claimed that China is escalating the situation, but the basic facts are that the United States first provoked China on the Taiwan question and blatantly violated China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The U.S. side claimed that there was a precedent of the U.S. House speaker visiting Taiwan. Yet the basic truth is that past mistakes cannot be used as an excuse to repeat them today.
The U.S. side claimed that it cannot restrain the Congress due to the separation of powers. But the basic norm of international law is that the United States must fulfill its international obligations, and key politicians should not misbehave.
It also claimed that China’s pursuit of reunification is a “threat” to Taiwan, but the basic logic is that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory and the Taiwan question is purely an internal affair of China. It is lawful and justified that China upholds territorial integrity and opposes secession.
I want to stress that the one-China principle is the key stabilizing force for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and the three China-U.S. joint communiques are the real “guardrails” for peaceful coexistence between China and the United States.
Clinging to the United States to seek “independence” is a dead end, and attempts to use the Taiwan question to contain China are doomed to failure.
In the face of the great cause of national unification, the Chinese people have the gut not to be misled by fallacies or scared by evils, the ambition to never be intimidated or crushed, the determination to unite as one, and the ability to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and national dignity.