Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will pay official visits to Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya on May 4-11 in a significant bid to further foster the time-tested China-Africa relations.
During his stay in Ethiopia, Li will also visit the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Ababa on May 5. While visiting Nigeria, the premier will attend the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa to be held in Abuja, capital of Nigeria.
It will be Li's first Africa tour since he assumed office and comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping's historic visit to Africa in March last year, aiming to push forward China-Africa ties and enhance their mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation.
Within the context of globalization, rapidly-developing China and emerging Africa have been striving to cement their ties on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment.
The fact that the two sides hold their hands together tightly and stand side by side holds great significance not only for their own development, but also for deepening South-South cooperation and building a multi-polarized world.
CHINA'S CONCEPTION OF AFRICA
During his visit, Premier Li will meet leaders of the four African countries and the AU, and have broad engagement with peoples from all walks of life. He is also scheduled to deliver a speech when he visits the AU headquarters to expound on China's Africa policy.
This will provide another opportunity for African countries and people to deeply understand the conception of Africa held by China's new leadership.
Ever since late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai's maiden trip to Africa half a century ago, Africa has become increasingly important for China's foreign policy, and both sides have continuously created mutually beneficial and win-win prospects.
China's conception of Africa is in a sharp contrast with that of the colonialist West in the past.
Historically, China and Africa shared common historical experiences and supported each other on key issues. On October 25, 1971, China resumed its legal status in the United Nations largely due to support from the developing world, including many African countries. Late Chinese leader Mao Zedong said with a humor: "It's our African brothers that have carried us into the U.N."
In actuality, China always views Africa as an equal cooperation partner.
"The biggest characteristic of China-Africa cooperation is equality and mutual benefit. China never regards itself as a donor to Africa, but a partner," said Liu Guijin, a former Chinese special representative on African affairs.
Liu sees Africa as the "most basic base" of China's overall diplomacy which occupies an increasingly important position in China's diplomacy in the complicated and fast-changing international situation.
An old African proverb goes that "With a source, a river runs deep." The mutual support shared by China and Africa and their joint efforts to seek common development in the past more than half a century constitute the historical source of China's present view of Africa.
Through Premier Li's visit, more and more African countries and people will profoundly realize that China respects Africa's history, culture and civilization, deems Africa as a continent of hope and development, and believes that Africa is an important pole of the current changing and multi-polarized world. 1 2