African leaders trooping to Beijing for 2018 FOCAC summit

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PRESIDENTS and heads of government across Africa are already in or arriving in the Chinese capital of Beijing for a high-level summit hosted by the Chinese government.

The Forum for Africa-China Cooperation (FOCAC), is a summit between the two partners largely premised on ways to increase diplomatic, economic and bilateral ties.

It officially kicks off on September 3 through to September 4. This year’s edition is themed China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation.

The summit is seen largely as key diplomatic event hosted by China this year and attended by the largest number of foreign leaders to date. African leaders already in Beijing have held different levels of talks with their Chinese counterparts signing deals and also meeting investors.

This year is the third time the summit has convened, following the inaugural 2006 summit in Beijing and the 2015 summit in Johannesburg, said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

African leaders and the chairman of the African Union (AU) will be in attendance, and the UN Secretary-General will be the esteemed guest, joined by 27 international and African groups as observers.

The interest in the forum is a result of China’s growing influence on the African continent and proves the FOCAC has been pragmatic and efficient, analysts said.

‘Established 18 years ago, FOCAC has led international cooperation with Africa and has become a significant marker of South-South cooperation,’ said Li Dan, director of Africa Studies Centre of China Foreign Affairs University.

 

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