Tanzania: Trading With China - Working Together Towards Common Dream
Source:allafrica.com Updated: 2013/08/08
IN a period of more than 10 years, the volume of trade between Africa and China rose from 10 bn US Dollars to 200 bn US Dollars in 2012. Since 2009, making China the largest trade partner of Africa.
"We all know about the American Dream, yet it is not enough, there should be the Chinese Dream and African Dream as well," says the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Lu Youqing while addressing the Forum on China-Africa Ties at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) in the city recently. According to Ambassador Youqing, the notion of Chinese Dream and African Dream linking each other means to achieve common development of China and Africa through comprehensive cooperation at all levels.
"By joining hands with each other, China and Africa may inject driving force to their economic development and make their common dream become reality through stronger China-Africa solidarity and cooperation," he says. He points out that the China-Africa community of shared destines carries the common dream of Chinese and African people and reveals the comprehensive cooperation enjoying complementary advantages and mutual benefit.
"With common ideals, similar historical experiences and a shared need for development, China and Africa both pursue stability and peace in their dreams. We are both committed to safeguarding and promoting world peace," he says. Development and prosperity are the common aspiration and historical mission of China and Africa. China has grown into the world's second largest economy.
Yet its capita GDP ranks just around 90th in the world. There are still more than 100 million people in the country living below poverty line. Ambassador Lu Shaye, the Director of African Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China, says since the beginning of the 21st century, Africa has made impressive economic and social achievements.
But he says the continent still was confronted with structural problems of weak economic foundation, unitary economic structure, and unbalanced development and that to reduce poverty remains the urgent task for the African continent. "China and Africa are highly complementary in economy, presenting important development opportunities to each other.
Cooperation will continue to advance common development and prosperity of our two sides," says Ambassador Lu Shaye while presenting a keynote address at the Forum on China-Africa Ties at the famous Nkrumah Hall of the UDSM recently. He says one basic lesson China has learned through revolutionary struggles and national development is independence and self reliance, saying China opposes others' interference in internal affairs.
During his visit to Tanzania in March, President Xi Jinping, talked about the dream of over 1.3 billion Chinese people for great renewal and the dream of over 1 billion African people for gaining strength from unity and achieving development and rejuvenation. "The Chinese and African people should enhance solidarity, cooperation, mutual support and assistance to realise our dreams.
We should also work with the rest of the world to realise the dream of a world of enduring peace and common prosperity," says the leader of China. President Xi says under the new environment, China-Africa relations have become more important with greater common interest, instead of less important and fewer common interests.
The Chinese civilisation, one of the four ancient civilisations in the world, has made significant contribution to the progress of human civilisation throughout its 5000 years of interrupted history. Africa is also one of the birthplaces of human civilisation. The ancient Egyptian civilisation, Axum civilisation, Songhai civilisation and Great Zimbabwean civilisation make up the splendid African civilisation and stand as Africa's contribution to mankind.
However, China and Africa both fell behind capitalist production and modern industries emerged. The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and Africa ultimately relies on the respective civilisations in all fields, materially, culturally, politically, socially and ecologically. Increasing mutual understanding and affinity between Chinese and African civilisation and strengthening mutual learning in the process of rejuvenation will offer an inexhaustible source of dynamism and inspiration.
UDSM Vice Chancellor, Prof Rwekaza Mukandala, says history between China and Africa which goes back in time for over 500 years, has in recent decades acquired new dynamics, saying the manifestations of these transformations range from artifacts of medieval Chinese trade goods dug out by archeologists from various sites in East Africa.
"The Uhuru Railway and other economic infrastructures created in Tanzania during the 1970s and 1980s are manifestations of the China and Africa ties," he says. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Mr Bernard Membe, says China has become a true business partner of Africa because of heavy investment despite of challenges facing the continent.
He said Tanzania would keep on doing business with China despite efforts by some developed countries to discourage African countries doing business with the Asian country because the country benefited from the trade cooperation. "Surprisingly those who discourage Africa doing business with China are the ones doing business with China," said the minister while opening a two-day conference under the theme "Chinese Dream-Africa: Achieving Common Development through common Efforts."