Sisulu: China's growth due to 'planning, ingenuity, hard work'
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu has attributed the Chinese current global status to "meticulous planning, ingenuity and hard work".
Sisulu was speaking on Sunday in Beijing, at a luncheon hosted by her Chinese counterpart, Minister Wang Yi, ahead of the FOCAC summit this week.
She praised China's spectacular growth into the world's second largest economy, valued at approximately $14trn.
"All of this from a country that, less than a hundred years ago - specifically after the Second World War - was at the same economic development level as some of our African countries, and large parts of the country [were] colonised."
She said that as a continent on the rise, Africa had a lot to learn from the Chinese experience, and FOCAC provided a suitable platform for closer cooperation and shared experiences.
'Successes of the relationship'
"We have seen the successes of this relationship; with African countries becoming more integrated and connected through the continued assistance of the People’s Republic of China," said Sisulu.
She said the increase in exchanges of business people, students, academics and scientists between China and various African countries contributed towards skills development that would benefit the continent.
According to the World Bank, China's rapid growth into an upper middle-income country resulted from the a shift in central planning to a market-based economy in 1978.
The global financial agency placed China's GDP at 10% a year, and described it as "the fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history". In that period, more than 800 million Chinese had been lifted out of poverty.
Sisulu identified rising nationalistic ethos, populism, unilateralism, protectionism and the emergence of global trade wars as challenges that representatives of all 54 states gathering for FOCAC had to confront.
"The time has now come for us to make FOCAC a transformative tool to change the lives of our people and future generations for the better," she said.
The two-day summit will end on Tuesday.* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER