BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- China and Africa celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing Monday, outlining future efforts for greater development of the new type of strategic partnership.
Addressing a reception marking the anniversary, Jia Qinglin, top Chinese political advisor, thanked all those who have contributed to the development of FOCAC, a platform for dialogue and pragmatic cooperation between China and Africa launched in October 2000.
Hailing the establishment of the forum as a strategic decision by Chinese and African leaders, Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the mechanism of the forum has gradually improved and borne growing significance over the last decade.
China and Africa have enjoyed increasingly frequent high-level exchanges, mutual political trust and trade relations. "China and Africa have come closer together. Our links have become stronger and our friendship has grown deeper. The relationship is now at a new historical starting point," said Jia.
Jia mentioned the recently concluded fifth plenary session of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which reviewed and adopted the proposal for formulating the 12th five-year plan on national economic and social development.
The meeting also gives direction to China's relations with Africa, Jia said.
To further the relationship, Jia proposed the two sides take a long-term and strategic perspective in planning for and growing China-Africa relations, explore new channels for cooperation, build on the successful relationship and ensure continuous dynamics of the forum, and enhance coordination and jointly uphold the interests of developing countries.
Nolana Ta Ama, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in China and Togo's ambassador to China, said the forum, established against the backdrop of growing divide of North and South, rich and poor, demonstrated people's real aspiration of developing countries.
He applauded the fruitful results of the forum and hoped China would continue its successful policies to boost cooperation of all areas with Africa.
The forum has held four ministerial meetings so far and a summit in November 2006 in Beijing, when Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a package of proposals to provide assistance, increase investment to build a new type of strategic partnership with Africa.
In November 2009, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended the fourth ministerial conference of FOCAC in Egypt and announced eight new measures, including debt cancellation.
Trade between China and African nations has increased over the past decade, rising from 10.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 to 106.8 billion dollars in 2008, China's Commerce Minister Chen Deming said.
More than 1,600 Chinese firms have invested in Africa, boosting local economic growth and creating thousands of jobs, according to Chen.