The chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr Jean Ping, has commended China for its development assistance to Africa and support in international affairs, and expressed the hope that the AU and China will continue to work together to expand cooperation.
This comes after Ping concluded a four-day visit to Shanghai, China on the occasion of the 3rd China-AU Strategic Dialogue in which both sides exchanged views on a broad range of issues of mutual concern.
According to an AUC communiqué, Ping seized “this opportunity to reiterated the commitment and availability of the African Union to work with the Chinese Government to ensure the coordination and development of our common ideals, including the promotion and strengthening of our friendship in a spirit of equality, mutual respect and trust, founded on the solidarity built during Africa’s struggle for independence and our common fight against poverty, injustice and instability for a win-win cooperation.”
Ping commended China for continuing to honor its commitments to Africa.
He said that in spite of the global financial crisis, China’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa increased by 81 percent to US$552 million in the first quarter of 2010.
Ping said that this translates into concrete action the pledge – to increase Chinese investments in the continent – made by Chinese President Hu Jintao during his last visit to Africa in February 2009.
Despite a decrease of 30.5 percent in trade between China and Africa in the first quarter of 2009 due to the global recession, Africa has become China’s 3rd biggest commercial partner, with annual trade of US$37.7 billion.
China has offered to construct the AU conference centre in Addis Ababa, which is expected to be completed in 2012.
Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr. Yang Jiechi, said that China attaches great importance to its friendly ties with the AU and that there is much potential to expand bilateral cooperation.