The pandemic was expected to threaten the 30-plus year tradition during which every Chinese foreign minister kicked off the New Year from his visit to Africa but the virus couldn't affect the unshakable friendship as Wang Yi successfully completed his first overseas tour in 2021 to Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Botswana, Tanzania and Seychelles.
In the throes of global pandemic, Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is maintaining its momentum as more than 1,100 cooperation projects are going on seamlessly in Africa with about 100,000 Chinese technicians and engineers constantly giving their valuable contributions to improve the economic and social well-being of African communities.
Between 2013 and 2018, the proportion of Chinese aid to Africa had increased to 47 percent from 36 percent in 2010-12. David Shinn, a professor at Elliot's School of International Affairs at George Washington University, reckoned that Africa is now receiving $3.3 billion a year from China on account of foreign aid as compared to $2.5 billion previously.
Green environmental protection, Blue Ocean and tourism are the three key areas China is willing to enhance collaboration with Seychelles. Beijing's support to cope with climate change, pledge to encourage Chinese tourists to visit the small African island and cooperation in the fields of seafood farming, maritime scientific research and shipping transportation will diversify the heavily tourism-reliant economy.
On debt relief, China has signed debt service suspension agreements with 12 African countries. While Beijing looks to widen the scope to other African countries to ease their debt crisis, the signing-up of the DRC and Botswana as 45th and 46th BRI partners will allow them to become part of a great clean-and-green development and modernization process.
The bottom line is that it's not just Chinese financing, infrastructure development, trade boosting and industrialization efforts, which have charmed and fascinated the African governments and people to fall in love with China. Beijing has earned this honor through its understanding of Africa's priorities, respect for African culture, care of the continent's environment and people's health and decades of untiring unwavering support for the continent.
———— From CGTN News