International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has attributed China’s current global status to “meticulous planning, ingenuity and hard work”.
Speaking on Sunday in Beijing at the luncheon hosted by her Chinese counterpart Minister Wang Yi ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit this week, Sisulu praised China’s spectacular growth into the world’s second largest economy valued at approximately $14 trillion.
“All of this from a country that less than 100 years ago, specifically after the Second World War, was at the same economic development level as some of our African countries and large parts of the country was colonised.”
She said that, as a continent on the rise, Africa had a lot to learn from China and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation provided a suitable platform for closer cooperation and shared experiences.
“We have seen the successes of this relationship; with African countries becoming more integrated and connected through the continued assistance of the People’s Republic of China,” said Sisulu.
She said the increase in exchanges of business people, students, academics and scientists between China and various African countries contributed towards the necessary skills development that would benefit the continent.
According to the World Bank, China’s rapid growth into an upper middle-income country resulted from the a shift in central planning to a market-based economy.
The global financial agency placed China’s GDP at 10% a year and described it as “the fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history”. In that period More than 800 million Chinese had been lifted out of poverty.
Sisulu identified rising nationalistic ethos, populism, unilateralism, protectionism and the emergence of global trade wars among the current challenges that representatives of all 54 states gathering for Forum on China-Africa Cooperation had to confront during the two-day summit that would end on Tuesday.
“The time has now come for us to make the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation a transformative tool to change the lives of our people and future generations for the better,” she said