BRAZZAVILLE, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- China hopes to deepen political mutual trust with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in order to promote better and faster development of practical cooperation and ensure that the fruits of cooperation benefit the two peoples, said Zhu Jing, Chinese ambassador to the DRC.
China-Africa cooperation was rooted in traditional friendship, broad common interests and the common pursuit of peace, development, equity and justice. It has withstood the test of history and international changes and is in line with the common expectations of the Chinese and African people, Zhu told Xinhua.
Zhu noted that although the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has affected movement of personnel and some cooperation projects, it has not stopped the progress of China-Africa cooperation, said Zhu.
"On the contrary, a friend in need is a friend indeed, China-Africa cooperation has shown vitality and resilience, which created new opportunities in the crisis," said Zhu.
At the most difficult time in China's fight against the virus, African countries have provided valuable support to China in various ways. The DRC President Felix Tshisekedi sent twice his messages of condolence to China. When the epidemic spread to Africa, China also took the lead in providing sanitary and antivirus equipment to African countries and sending teams of medical experts.
Zhu noted that China and African countries jointly launched the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 and reached a series of important consensuses. China signed debt service suspension agreements with 12 African countries and reduced or waived the interest-free loans of 15 African nations due at the end of 2020.
The Chinese ambassador said China and Africa have worked together to ensure that major cooperation projects continue to move forward steadily.
The China-funded construction of the Cultural and Artistic Center for Central Africa in Kinshasa is progressing smoothly. Chinese companies have overcome many difficulties to ensure that major infrastructure projects under construction and production of the mining industry is proceeding as planned, which has helped mitigate the epidemic's impact on the Congolese economy, he said.
In terms of bilateral trade, the volume of trade between China and the DRC in the first 10 months of 2020 reached 6.978 billions U.S. dollars, up 34.4 percent year on year, said Zhu.
He said the joint fight against COVID-19 has also promoted medical and health cooperation between Africa and China. Construction of the future headquarters of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention started earlier than initially planned and China has set up pairing cooperation mechanisms with 46 hospitals in 42 African countries. At the same time, the epidemic has also unveiled the huge potential in China-Africa cooperation in the fields of digital economy, clean energy and vocational training.
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation just celebrated its 20th anniversary and the DRC once again assumes the rotating presidency of the African Union (AU).
"China is convinced that the DRC will unite and lead African countries to take greater measures and achieve better results in the peaceful resolution of regional problems, in the construction of African free trade area and in the joint fight against COVID-19 ", said Zhu.
Calling the DRC an important partner of China in Africa, Zhu stressed that the strategic partnership of win-win cooperation between the two countries continues to develop in a healthy and stable manner since the last presidential election.
He said that the two countries have maintained close political dialogue and communication, mutual understanding and trust has been continuously enhanced, adding that practical cooperation in various fields has been further consolidated and deepened, as well as cultural exchanges. Enditem