BEIJING, May 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2015, China and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) established a strategic partnership of win-win cooperation, which provided a strategic direction for the further development of bilateral relations.
By upgrading ties into a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership on Friday in Beijing, the two countries are eyeing mature, stable and groundbreaking China-DRC relations that will benefit the two peoples.
During a meeting with DRC President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, who is in China for a state visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed the fruitful cooperation achieved by the two countries, adding the two sides have forged a close community of shared interests and shared future.
Strategic partners walking side by side
Over the years, through the signing of a series of agreements and memorandums of understanding covering agriculture, health, trade, infrastructure and other fields, the friendly cooperation between China and the DRC has continued to deepen.
China has been the DRC's largest trading partner and source of foreign investment for many years in a row. In 2022, the bilateral trade volume reached $21.898 billion, a year on year increase of 51.7 percent.
Infrastructure cooperation between the two countries has also yielded fruitful results.
China has aided the construction of projects such as the People's Palace, home to the National Assembly and the Senate, the Martyrs Stadium and the Central African Cultural and Arts Center, which will be completed by the end of this year.
China-DRC Friendship Hospital is a landmark project of bilateral medical and health cooperation. Since its completion, the hospital has treated a large number of patients, effectively improving the medical conditions of the Congolese people.
In Friday's meeting, Xi told Tshisekedi that China will work with the DRC to support each other, seek cooperation, promote development and make progress together on the road of development and revitalization.
China's high-quality development will provide more cooperation opportunities and a broader market for the DRC and promote greater development of bilateral relations, Xi said, adding China will, as always, help the DRC in its economic and social development.
Appreciating China for its long-term help and valuable support for the economic and social development of the DRC, Tshisekedi said the friendly cooperation between the two countries has withstood the test of time and achieved fruitful results, which are worth cherishing by both sides.
A China-Africa community with a shared future
Amid the current international situation, China and Africa need to strengthen solidarity and cooperation more than ever, Xi pointed out.
Calling for jointly safeguarding the common interests of developing countries, Xi said China firmly supports Africa in pursuing an independent development path, and in becoming an important pole of world politics, economy and civilization.
Under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), China announced the 10 major China-Africa cooperation plans at the FOCAC's Johannesburg Summit in 2015 and the eight major initiatives at the Beijing Summit in 2018, raising China-Africa relations to a new level.
When addressing the opening ceremony of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC held in Dakar in 2021, Tshisekedi said "Africans and Chinese are side by side today as old friends," calling on the two sides to realize "the common ambition of sharing destiny, solidarity, justice and being exemplary in relations between the two peoples."
Pledging to implement the nine programs of China-Africa cooperation announced in Dakar, Xi called for joint efforts to promote the joint construction of the Belt and Road to support Africa to achieve sustainable development, and build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.