The President was a speaker at the seventh China-Africa Think Tanks forum gathered in the sumptuous Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing from 4th to 7th July 2018. Below is his opinion:
When the US fired the first salvo of the trade war with China, 380 scholars representing the China-Africa Think Tanks were gathered in the sumptuous Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing to discuss how to increase the African and Asian voices in the International Scene and how their institutions could be effective in enhancing co-operation between China and Africa.
By the exchanges, it was clear that the West has lost the hearts and minds of Africans. Expectations were high among the visitors; the Belt and Road Initiative is perceived as an Eldorado and not as predatory economics, that has already created magnificent infrastructures and industries that are propelling double digit rate of growth in a continent that despite the massive aid of the West, its McDonald outlets supported by McDonald Douglas, has seen their debts soaring to 100% of their GDP.
After a visit to the technology park, the participants shared the view that China, by targeting 5G networks, cyber-security, robotics, aerospace, ocean engineering, bullet trains, electric vehicles, new materials, AI and bio-medicine is a high-tech powerhouse on a par, or even surpassing, the US and the EU.
The Africans were not bothered by the hysteria of Donald Trump whom they saw as a drunk cowboy firing at every moving object. The July Beijing meeting is a prelude to the high level Foreign Ministers” gathering when China will sign with African Nations bilateral development deals. The Western dogs will bark and the China-African caravan will proceed unmoved.
WELCOME ADDRESS TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE PRC.
Re-Visit of Chinese President.
President Xi, the Champion of Poker is coming to visit tiny Mauritius, the second President in nine years. And our PM will meet him twice within two months. China never lets down its friends. We were among the first countries to recognize one China, the only one in Africa to declare Spring festival a public holiday, finance the teaching of Chinese in Government schools and so China reciprocated by being among the first nations to establish diplomatic relations with us and slowly has become our biggest trading partner and supplier of assistance.
This time the hands of our distinguished visitor are fuller with goodies. But the philosophy, known as the Xi philosophy, guiding the sharing of aid is more important. China does not consider Africa as a “shit hole” but treats each country with dignity. China has known the curse of occupation, the indignities of Imperialism and is presently being subjected to a game when four countries that should naturally be China’s friend are trying to “contain” her. As an adept of Marx, China is following the principle “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.
China will continue to support capacity building in Africa by the construction of “Jiao Tong” universities in Africa, like the prestigious Shanghai Jiao Tong University, known for its quality research across a number of disciplines, it will lay stress on a green approach to development, its financial aid will be grants, interest free or soft astronomical loans of $60 billion.
African nations are already enjoying the benefits of the massive infrastructure crisscrossing them: agricultural products are no longer rotting in the fields, raw materials are reaching the ports on time, people to people contact is increasing and tourism is blooming for the economic progress of the “dark continent”.
Our country is known for cheap politics. When we accept aid from Saudi Arabia, voices talk of a sell-out to Arabs, when Indian aids come in, Mauritius becomes India abroad and there is no shortage of detractors when China is offering help in any form. The world has been so used to tied aid that China becomes suspect when it proposes aid. The conditions of any offer from China is negotiable. Mahathir, with the agreement of China, is revising the MoU signed between former PM Najeeb and China. When there were squabbles among the different provinces of Pakistan who saw the package coming from China as favouring one state, China invited Governors of all provinces and made an offer no one would refuse. Today, Pakistan is boasting that the Karakorum road is the eighth wonder of the world.
Our PM will be well advised to disregard the petty quarrels and judiciously work with his economic team to propose a deal from our all-weather friend that will not only help us keep pace with fast growing Africa but maintain the lead we initially had.
Long Live China Mauritius friendship.
The President, on his way to China, stopped over in Malaysia to renew contacts with the Malaysian Universities which welcome our students.
The President met most of the Vice Chancellors and he also paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, H. E. Dr. Wan Aziza Wan Ismail in PutraJaya.