Interview: « Africa has chosen China, » says Burkina Faso president

2018/08/29 – Burkina Faso will strengthen cooperation with China in all areas as Africa-China relations develop for mutual benefit, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said.Kabore, whose country resumed diplomatic ties with Beijing in late May, will pay a state visit to China from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, during which he will also attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

« For us, this trip is an important mission as it will help build up and consolidate the two countries’ relationship, which is founded on win-win, legal and transparency principles, » Kabore said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

It will also help the two sides select priorities and see how they can make headway together, the president added.

« We expect to reinforce cooperation with China in all areas, » he said, expecting a partnership « as broad as possible. »

As for China’s relations with all of Africa, Kabore said Africa-China cooperation is based on the principles of mutual benefit, equal opportunity and the need to develop international trade.

« We don’t have any regrets about this existing China-Africa cooperation, which is developing day by day in favor of our respective peoples, » he said. « Africa has chosen China … It is our choice and we stick to that. »

Africa can learn from China’s success in developing into the second largest economy in the world, and the China-championed notion of building a community with a shared future for mankind will promote Africa-China ties, he said.

Kabore called the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative a « sound initiative » intended to develop infrastructure links and boost trade between different countries.

« I think it is an initiative that should be supported, » he said, adding that it will probably take some time but is an initiative « which is necessary if we want to develop international trade. »

Regarding the rising protectionism and unilateralism in the world, the president said the upcoming China-Africa summit « shows the interest of multilateralism. »

« This is what we have always defended together because protectionism in our current times raises problems as it is a real threat to international and world peace, » he said. « Therefore, the holding of this summit is a real success as we tell supporters of protectionist policies that we have opted for multilateralism. »



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