By C.Y. Kwanue from Beijing, China
Li Hengtian, Deputy Director of China International Publishing Group (CIPG) Training Center in Beijing, the country’s political capital, said in spite of Africa and China being far apart from each other, journalists in China and their counterparts in Africa are obliged to report the true happenings on either side of their continents especially sustainable development issues associated with China’s engagement in Africa.
Dr. Li is a former professor of Political Science at Beijing Normal University.
The traditional friendship and relations of good cooperation between China and African countries have stood the test of time and have gone through the trial of international (turbulent) events, Dr. Li said.
“This relationship, being a good example to the developing countries has been further consolidated and developed under China’s newly introduced “Belt and Road Initiatives (B&R),” Li said.
The B&R initiatives is a development strategy proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, primarily the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and the oceangoing “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR). The strategy underlines China’s push to take a larger role in global affairs, and the desire to coordinate manufacturing capacity with other countries including Africa in areas such as steel manufacturing. It was unveiled in September and October 2013 in announcements revealing the SREB and MSR respectively.
Dr. Li spoke at a ceremony recently marking the end of a two-week seminar for 35 Journalists from 10 African countries, among them two participants from the Daily Observer newspaper, the Deputy Editor, C.Y. Kwanue and political reporter, William Q. Harmon.
The seminar courses were organized by the country’s Ministry of Commerce and its foreign aid training programs initiated by Chinese leadership.
Besides, Dr. Li said, China maintains close political relations with African countries through frequent exchanges of high-level visits with the aim to establish a long-term and stable relationship of full cooperation between China and African in the 21st century.
Dr. Li believes African journalists have the might of their pen to write about development initiatives in every part of China, because Chinese journalists rarely report from Africa. As a result, the Chinese public knows little about the African continent –and even less about the environmental and development challenges associated with investment and consumption decisions in the country.
In previous forums, China made joint efforts to maintain the lawful rights of developing countries and push forward the creation of a new, fair and just political and economic order.