Mainland priority keeps infrastructure front and center, forum says
The results of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China are a victory not only for China but also for South Africa and the rest of the continent, a South African lawmaker has said.
Floyd Shivambu, a member of the national parliament, said the direction shown at the congress, held in Beijing last month, makes it clear that an even deeper friendship with China is in store.
“The CPC National Congress is one of the most important events in the world,” he said. “President Xi Jinping is prioritizing Africa and we must take advantage of our friendship with China to meet many of our challenges. In the next five years, we will have another chance to improve our infrastructure with the help from China.
Shivambu made the comments during a speech at a high-level symposium in Johannesburg that analyzed the Party congress. The event was hosted recently by the Consul General of China in Johannesburg, Tang Zhongdong.
Shivambu spoke of the benefits Africa has received as cooperation with China grows. He highlighted projects such as the TAZARA railway, which links Zambia and Tanzania; the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya; and the Maputo Bay Bridge linking South Africa to Mozambique. The Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway, linking the Ethiopian capital to Djibouti on the Red Sea, was also built by China, with the line helping to boost economic growth, he said.
The election of the new CPC leadership means that South Africa and other developing countries will continue to enjoy friendly relations with China, with further infrastructure improvements likely as a result, he said. declared.
“We want our government (of South Africa) to work with China and build a standard gauge railway line from Durban to Johannesburg,” he said. “We also want our friend China to connect Africa through more standard gauge railways.
“Agenda 2063 aims to connect the African continent and we should pursue the standard gauge railway to connect the whole continent,” Shivambu said, referring to a development plan announced by the African Union.
He said African countries should work with China to industrialize and produce goods for domestic and international markets, especially China with its vast population.
At the forum, Tang explained the CCP’s election processes and the results of the congress.
In later comments to China Daily, he said these Party congress results would touch people’s lives in many countries in Africa and the developing world.
He said China, under the leadership of the CPC, is willing to work with other countries to build a better world for everyone. Tang said the Party is ready to strengthen exchanges with all political parties and organizations and will respect their independence.
Emmanuel Matambo, research director at the Center for Africa-China Studies at the University of Johannesburg, is also among those who believe that African countries should work with China to improve infrastructure and boost efforts to achieve greater great integration in the region. Matambo said the Agenda 2063 development plan and the African Continental Free Trade Area can achieve the goals set for them with stronger cooperation from China.
Bongani Baloyi, a member of Action SA, a South African political party, said the CCP can provide pragmatic lessons to African nations with the achievements displayed in the five years since the previous Party Congress.
The CCP is “futuristic” with its long-term plans and committed leaders backed by a stable leadership, he said.
The writer is a freelance writer for China Daily.