BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), scheduled for Sept. 3 and 4, is expected to set a new path for a higher level of China-Africa cooperation.
Since 2000 when the FOCAC was formally founded, especially since the 2006 Beijing summit and the 2015 Johannesburg summit of FOCAC, China and Africa have seen closer ties in various respects, producing win-win results toward the goal of building an even stronger community with a shared future.
Here are key facts and figures worth knowing to better understand the China-Africa cooperation:
COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGIC AND COOPERATIVE PARTNERSHIP
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the Johannesburg summit that he and African leaders had reached a unanimous consensus on lifting China-Africa relations to a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership.
Earlier in 2013, during his first visit to Africa since taking office as Chinese president, Xi expounded on China's Africa policy, noting that China adheres to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith and upholds the values of friendship, justice and shared interests.
TRADE & INVESTMENT
China's trade with Africa has registered fast growth. From 2000 to 2017, the total trade volume between China and Africa increased by 17 times.
China has been Africa's largest trading partner for nine consecutive years. In 2017, China's trade with Africa surged 14 percent year on year to 170 billion U.S. dollars. The fast growth continued into the first half of 2018 when the trade volume jumped 16 percent to nearly 200 billion dollars.
China's investments into Africa surged by more than 200 times from 2000 to 2017.
In the past three years, annual Chinese direct investment into Africa was about 3 billion dollars on average. By the end of 2017, China's investments of all kinds into Africa totaled 200 billion dollars, covering almost every country on the continent.
TEN COOPERATION PLANS
In 2015, China announced 10 cooperation plans for the next three years to boost its cooperation with Africa and offered 200 billion U.S. dollars of funding support to ensure the implementation of the initiatives.
The big package covers areas of industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges and peace and security.
According to preliminary estimates, Chinese projects completed and underway under these cooperation plans are expected to bring the continent 200,000 km of highways, 85 million tonnes per year of harbor capacity, over 9 million tonnes per day of water-cleaning capacity and about 20,000-megawatt power generating capacity while creating some 900,000 local jobs.
Infrastructure construction has been one of the priorities in China-Africa cooperation. Last year, a 4200 km China-funded railway opened to connect Nairobi and Mombasa, reducing traveling time between Kenya's two biggest cities by half and creating 46,000 jobs.
China also helped construct Africa's first transnational electrified rail, which provides landlocked Ethiopia quicker access to seaport in Djibouti.
In July, the China-built International Free Trade Zone in Djibouti was inaugurated, which is estimated to handle over 7 billion dollars worth of trade in the next two years.
China has established diplomatic relations with 53 African countries.
Xi has attached great importance to China-Africa relations. After he was elected Chinese president in 2013 and in 2018, he both chose Africa as the destination of his first foreign visit.
Since the 2015 Johannesburg summit, Xi has visited Africa three times. Nearly 200 heads of state or government from Africa have visited or attended meetings in China.
The past few years have witnessed an increase in cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two sides. There are more than 1200 pairs of sister cities between China and Africa. Africa receives over 1 million Chinese travelers every year.
At the end of 2017, there were 54 Confucius Institutes in 39 African countries.
By the end of 2018, China is expected to train over 200,000 African professionals in various fields via programs in Africa and is expected to train over 40,000 African officials and technicians in China.
Themed "China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation," the upcoming Beijing summit is the third FOCAC summit. Various African leaders and the chairperson of the African Union Commission will attend the summit, as well as the United Nations Secretary-General as the special guest and 27 international and African regional organizations as observers.
This summit will be a significant diplomatic event hosted by China this year, attended by the largest number of foreign leaders, according to State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
The FOCAC summit in Johannesburg was themed "Africa-China Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development." The first summit of FOCAC took place in Beijing in 2006, with the theme of "Friendship, Peace, Cooperation and Development."