‘An Opportunity to Deepen Economic Cooperation’

Flashback: Minister Gbehzohngar Findley welcomes President Weah upon his arrival in Beijing, China -- one of many diplomatic memories for which the outgoing minister says he is "forever grateful".

-Chinese President to Meet with Pres. Weah on Sept. 1

The Chinese Government has said that the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) summit is an opportunity for China and Africa to deepen their friendship and strengthen economic cooperation.

The forum, which is in its third edition, is a platform established by China and friendly African countries for collective consultation and dialogue. A cooperation mechanism between the developing countries has also been dubbed as that Asian country’s largest home-field diplomatic activity.

FOCAC falls into the category of South-South cooperation, with the characteristics of pragmatic cooperation intended to strengthen consultation and expand cooperation, equality and mutual benefit, which are intended to promote both political dialogue, economic cooperation and trade, with a view to seeking mutual reinforcement and common development.

At a Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefing for Chinese and foreign media, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the summit, which is to be held from September 3-4, 2018, will be a gathering of Chinese leaders and their African counterparts for the renewal of friendship and discussion of cooperation in future.

The Beijing event, the Chinese Embassy quotes Minister Wang as saying, is another reunion of the big family of China and Africa and the largest home-field diplomatic activity attended by the most number of foreign leaders following the 2006 Beijing Summit and the 2015 Johannesburg Summit.

The summit is being held under the theme, “Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future Through Win-Win Cooperation.”

In addition to leaders of African countries, the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission is expected to be in attendance. Also expected to attend relevant activities of the Summit as a special guest is the UN Secretary General, while 27 international and African organizations will be present as observers.

President George Weah and a high-level delegation are already in China. The President, who departed the country on Monday, August 27, was met upon arrival by Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley, Defense Minister Daniel Ziankahn, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, Health Minister Wilhelmina Jallah, and the Minister of Agriculture Minister Dr. Mogana Flomo.

Others were Transport Minister Sam Wlue; State Without Portfolio Minister Trokon Kpui; and Liberia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China Dudley McKinley Thomas and staff at the Embassy.

On the morning of September 3, according to an itinerary released, President Xi Jinping and some African leaders will attend and address the opening ceremony of the High-level Dialogue of China-Africa Leaders as well as Business Representatives at the 6th China-Africa Business Forum.

The release indicates that the opening ceremony of the Summit will be held later in the afternoon at the Great Hall of the People.

“President Xi Jinping will deliver an important keynote speech, comprehensively expounding on China’s new ideas and proposals for enhancing its relations with Africa, announcing China’s new actions, and measures for its practical cooperation with Africa,” the release said.

The Chinese President and his wife, Peng Liyuan, will later hold a banquet for their guests.

An all-day round table meeting for Chinese and African leaders to be chaired by President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is the African co-chair of the Forum, will be convened on September 4. The pair will lead the morning and afternoon discussions, according to the release.

“Chinese and African leaders will exchange in-depth views on the development of China-Africa relations and international and regional issues of common concern,” it said.

The meeting is expected to adopt the Beijing Declaration on Building an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future between China and Africa, and the FOCAC-Beijing Action Plan (2019-2021).

After the round table meeting, Presidents Xi Jinping, Cyril Ramaphosa, and leader of the new African co-chair of the FOCAC will jointly meet the press and comprehensively introduce the outcomes of the Summit.

During the Summit, the Chinese President will also hold bilateral talks and meetings with foreign leaders.

He will hold bilateral discussions with President Weah on Saturday, September 1, 2018.

As part of his activities, President Weah will attend a high-level dialogue between African and Chinese leaders as well as business representatives.


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