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Top Chinese official in charge of African affairs chats with netizens [TRANSLATION]

Top Chinese official in charge of African affairs chats with netizens [TRANSLATION]

Lu Shaye, director-general of African affairs at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recently had an online chat with Chinese netizens in which he addressed a wide-range of questions on China’s relations with Africa, including RMB settlement, fake drugs, pirates, soft power and debt relief. The translated version of that discussion is below.

… How should we regard the current relationship between China and Africa and the future development of the ties between these two countries [sic]? What is the current state of China’s relations with African countries? On February 27 at 2 o’clock pm, China Daily.com will host the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of African Affairs Lu Shaye for an online exchange with netizens. Feel free to ask questions.

Host: Hello netizens. We welcome you to this edition of the Let’s Talk Diplomacy interview program. We are very honored to have the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of African Affairs Lu Shaye as a guest here at China Daily.com to have an online exchange with netizens on the cooperation between China and Africa and other questions. We welcome you to ask questions.

Welcome Mr Lu. Africa is a strange and mysterious place to many netizens. First, please give us a brief introduction to the overall situation in Africa and the condition of China-Africa relations.

Lu Shaye: Hello netizens! I’m pleased to have this online exchange with everyone at China Daily.com. Many Chinese people have become interested in Africa and China’s cooperation with Africa following the development of China-Africa relations. We have received many questions from netizens on various issues, and I will use this opportunity today to answer everyone’s questions.

First, let me give a brief introduction to China-Africa relations. China established relations with Africa in the mid-1950s. At that time, not many African countries were independent. In 1956, China and Egypt established diplomatic relations, marking the beginning of diplomatic relations between China and African countries. From then on, China-Africa relations entered a period of very fast development.

In the 1960s and 70s, China vigorously supported African liberation and independence movements, and also gave African countries all the help it could to support their economic construction. In the 1980s and 90s, China-Africa relations expanded to other areas, and grew from just simple aid to encompassing trade, investment, project contracting and other endeavors.

Entering the new century, China and Africa established the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation, which led to the rapid development of friendly relations between China and Africa, and attracted widespread attention from the international community. Today, the scope of China-Africa cooperation has far exceeded what it was when China and Africa first established relations. The volume of trade between China and Africa is now at nearly $200 billion and China’s accumulated investment in Africa is almost $17 billion. Personnel exchanges between China and Africa are also increasing.

More than 100,000 Chinese tourists visit South Africa each year. Even though Seychelles is a small African country with a population of only 100,000 people, almost 4000 Chinese tourists visit the country each year, and this number is rapidly increasing. There are very good prospects for the development of China-Africa relations. We hope that everyone will continue to pay close attention to Africa, work to preserve China-Africa relations and work together to promote the development of China-Africa relations.

Host: Thank you Mr Lu for giving us that introduction. A netizen named “白色2013″ wants to ask the following questions: People usually associate Africa with poverty and turmoil. This netizen wants to know the real Africa: what is the economic situation there, how do ordinary people there live, what do they do for entertainment and what is their attitude towards China?

Lu Shaye: Of course African countries are not just poor and embroiled in turmoil and warfare. Africa has a very good natural environment and most areas there are covered by savannas or tropical rain forests. It is also rich in animal and plant resources.

African countries’ economies have been developing very well in recent years. According to international institutions, seven of the ten fastest-growing countries in the world over the next five years will be in Africa. African countries are rich in natural resources and there is vast market potential there. As long as stability is maintained, there will be great potential for development.

The overall political situation in Africa is currently stable, but some areas are still suffering from unrest and crises. We hope that the international community will join together to help Africa maintain peace and stability, and create a favorable environment for its development.

African people are naturally friendly and cheerful. Their recreational activities are simple — singing and dancing. They are very close to nature. When we Chinese people go to Africa, we mainly like to go see the wildlife there — this reflects on one of the characteristics of Africa.

Overall, Africans are very friendly towards Chinese people. This friendliness was established over the past few decades on the basis of China’s altruistic help to Africa, and China’s policy of political equality with Africa.

In recent years, as the number of Chinese people who go to Africa has increased, a few of those people who go there do not respect Africans. When in Africa, some of these people’s words and actions harm African people’s interests, and give rise to Africans having unfavorable views of Chinese people.

We therefore hope that the majority of people who go to Africa keep in mind that they are Chinese people who are representing China’s image. We should treat African people in a friendly and egalitarian manner; this will be beneficial for Chinese people’s continued well-being and development in Africa.

Host: A netizen named “故我在” asks the following questions: Recently, some African countries have been suffering from political unrest. What do you think is the cause of the political unrest in Africa? And what will be the effect of this unrest on the development of China-Africa relations? Most importantly, has this political unrest had any negative influence on the lives of Chinese people who are living there?

Lu Shaye: The root of the political unrest in Africa is the laggardly economic development there. This is because if common people are not satisfied with their lives, then they will definitely want to change the status quo.

The upheaval in Africa is also the result of a number of other factors, however, including historical factors, problems arising from colonial rule, tribal conflict and disputes between political parties that have arisen as a result of the implementation of multi-party democracy.

The political unrest that has occurred in West Asia and North Africa over the past two years has also had a significant influence on the political situation in sub-Saharan Africa — the recent chaotic war in Mali, for example, is a spillover effect of the war in Libya.

China’s interest in Africa and the number of Chinese living in Africa has risen because of growing cooperation between China and Africa. Therefore, the political unrest in Africa will increasingly involve and influence China.

Lu Shaye, the top Chinese diplomat in charge of African Affairs, served as China's ambassador to Senegal from 2005 to 2009.

Lu Shaye, the top Chinese diplomat in charge of African affairs, served as China’s ambassador to Senegal from 2005 to 2009. Image by chinadaily.com.cn.

Host: A netizen named “义无反顾” wants to ask Mr Lu the following questions: Somalian pirates are often mentioned in news reports and have become the focus of everyone’s attention. The netizen wants to know why Somalian pirates have been so rampant? And what lead to the emergence of these pirates? Has there been any improvement in the situation?

Lu Shaye: Somalian pirates consist of three groups — most of them are fisherman, but a few of them are also members of criminal gangs and terrorists. In times of peace and stability, most of them depended on fishery, but as everyone knows, Somalia entered into a chaotic war in the early 90s. This war deprived fisherman of their livelihood and they took to becoming pirates. As such, even though the reasons for the emergence of pirates are very complex, the main reasons are instability and an underdeveloped economy.

Last year when the civil war in Somalia abated, a government and parliament was formed. We hope that Somalia will embark on a path of peaceful development from here on out.

Host: Besides the Somalia pirate problem, netizens have also focused a lot on Egypt. A netizen named “花非花” asks the following questions: Egypt has been continuously embroiled in turmoil. Why has it been mired in instability for such a long time? What is the main reason behind the political instability in Egypt and what effect will this have on China-Egypt relations?

Lu Shaye: In my opinion, Egypt’s continuing political instability is because the current situation there is far removed from the initial hopes the people there had when the [2011 Egyptian] revolution started. The people hoped that the revolution would bring freedom and improve their living conditions, but now, even though they have freedom, they have lost their jobs and they have no means of livelihood. Tourism, the original pillar of the Egyptian economy, suffered a devastating blow during the upheaval.

China and Egypt are traditionally friendly countries. Just now I said that Egypt was the first African country that China established relations with. We sympathize with Egypt in its current situation and hope that the country can quickly restore peace and stability and achieve economic development.

China has always emphasized the development of friendly and cooperative relations with Egypt, and will not change its policy of friendship towards Egypt because of the current situation there. We hope that stability will quickly be restored to Egypt in order to facilitate the development of Sino-Egyptian cooperation.

Host: The next question comes from Wang Xiaoyang [Eric Wang], secretary general of the China-Africa Business Council. He wants to ask Mr. Lu two questions. First, what lies in 2013 in terms of following up to the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation? Second, what concrete actions will be taken to promote currency cooperation between China and Africa?

Lu Shaye: The fifth ministerial meeting of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation, which was held last year, led to the adoption of two outcome documents — the Beijing Declaration and the Beijing Action Plan. Representing the Chinese government, President Hu Jintao announced initiatives to promote China-Africa Cooperation in five key areas. Today, we should get to work on carrying out these initiatives and implementing the Action Plan.

From a procedural angle, one of the more important steps that will be taken toward this end is the political consultations between the Chinese foreign minister and African foreign ministers that will take place during the United Nations General Assembly in September.

As for currency cooperation between China and Africa, this was clearly stated in the Action Plan: China welcomes African countries to settle bilateral trade in local currencies. Chinese and African ministries of finance will conduct the specific negotiations on how to move forward with China-Africa currency cooperation.

Host: A netizen named “金蛇狂舞2013″ wants to ask Mr. Lu the following questions: There are currently very few government policies to encourage investment in Africa. Will the government introduce preferential polices to help privately owned businesses to invest in Africa? Also, the African service industry is still at a nascent stage; what is the outlook on the Chinese financial services companies and other Chinese service companies who want to enter  the African market?

Lu Shaye: We also hope that the Chinese government will introduce more preferential policies to encourage privately-owned businesses to invest in Africa.

Actually, the African services industry is quite developed, but most of the companies operating in this industry are Western companies. However, the prospects of Chinese financial services companies and other Chinese service companies who want to enter the African market are undoubtedly positive. All that remains to be seen is whether our companies have the courage, resolve and ability to enter the African market.

Host:  Another netizen named “彩虹沙漠” has a rather incisive question. She asks: UK media recently published articles claiming that there was a large number of Chinese and Indian fake drugs being imported into Africa; doesn’t this impede Africa from preventing and curing malaria? What is Mr. Lu’s view on this?

Lu Shaye: I will not comment on whether Indian fake drugs have entered Africa.

Having said that, the claims that large numbers of Chinese fake drugs are being imported into Africa are sheer nonsense. After that UK news organization’s article was published, we conducted investigations through our embassies in Africa. The facts prove that the situation is the exact opposite of what was reported.

All Chinese antimalarial drugs obtain certification from the World Health Organization before they are exported to Africa. These drugs are very efficient and have been very popular among the African people. We call upon the relevant news organization to adhere to the principles of objectivity and truth in its reporting, and to not disseminate fake information.

Host: “Soft power” is a catchword that has been widely circulated in relation to diplomacy. What is the importance of increasing China’s soft power in Africa?

Lu Shaye: The pursuit of soft power is an important part of any country’s diplomatic strategy. Soft power is indispensable in developing our relations with Africa. China’s economic and trade cooperation with Africa has developed very quickly in recent years, thus we can say that we have rapidly increased our hard power. However, that has created many misgivings among foreign countries.

In practice, increasing [China’s] soft power in Africa means strengthening the cultural exchanges between China and Africa in order for both Chinese and African people to increase their understanding and support of cooperation between the two sides. Africa plays a fundamental role in China’s diplomatic strategy, and, accordingly, increasing China’s soft power in Africa is very important.

Host: A netizen named “峨眉刺” says: China has on several occasions forgiven Africa’s debts to China. How were those debts incurred? And how much does Africa currently owe to China?

Lu Shaye: The aid that China gave to Africa in the past was mainly in the form of interest-free loans or low-interest loans. These loans form African countries’ government debts to China. Following debt relief initiatives introduced at a number of Forum on China–Africa Cooperation ministerial meetings, however, there is now very little government debt that African countries owe China.

Most of the aid that China now gives Africa is in the form of financial or material help provided free of charge.

Lu Shaye, director-general of African Affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, chatted with netizens on February 27.

Lu Shaye, director-general of African affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, chatted with netizens on February 27. Image by chinadaily.com.cn.

Host: Netizen “蜗牛的蜗居” wants to ask Mr. Lu the following question: Chairman Mao once said, “It was our black brothers that carried us into the United Nations.” How is China’s cooperation with African countries in the United Nations?

Lu Shaye: China and African countries maintain close coordination and cooperation in the United Nations. About 60 to 70 percent of the questions that the UN Security Council is currently discussing involve Africa. China has always maintained close communication and coordination with the African members of the Security Council, and stood up for Africa. Furthermore, China actively participates in UN peacekeeping activities in Africa, playing a constructive role in the maintenance of peace and security in Africa.

Host: Netizen “华丽的影子” says: An infamous tragedy once occurred in Rwanda. What is the situation in Rwanda now? And how are China’s relations with Rwanda?

Lu Shaye: I visited Rwanda before the massacre occurred. My impression was that it was a beautiful and tranquil mountainous country. However, I have never returned there. As I understand it, Rwanda is doing well; the rate of economic growth there is fast compared to other African countries and governance is efficient. China and Rwanda have consistently maintained friendly relations, and cooperation between the two countries is increasing. We are confident that Rwanda will continue to develop.

Host: China’s Special Representative for African Affairs Zhong Jianhua recently visited the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Netizen 轻舞飞扬的猫 wants to ask whether Ambassador Zhong’s visit had anything to do with the situation in eastern Congo.

Lu Shaye: This netizen’s unexpected knowledge that Ambassador Zhong visited  the African Great Lakes region a few days ago shows that [s/he] is surely well-versed in African affairs. Ambassador Zhong’s visit was, as expected, connected with the situation in eastern Congo. He went to find out the involved countries’ views on the situation, to urge reconciliation and to facilitate talks. From the reports we received, the visit was very successful.

It bears emphasizing that ever since the Chinese government established the Special Representative for African Affairs position, China has played a more active role in African peace and security affairs, gaining approval and praise from African countries and the international community.

We will continue to increase our constructive engagement in African peace and security affairs. Of course this means that Ambassador Zhong will be working very hard, and will be busy going to Africa and other places.

Host: A netizen named “无师自通” says that he has a friend who wants to go to work in Nigeria in the near future, but he has seen a number of reports of attacks on, and the kidnapping of, Chinese citizens and Chinese workers at companies in Nigeria. He is very worried and wants to ask Mr. Lu what the security situation in Nigerian currently is and what steps China’s embassy in Nigeria is taking to protect our companies and citizens.

Lu Shaye: The current situation in this place truly is not optimistic. We call on Chinese citizens who are working in Nigeria to pay extra attention to their safety and keep in contact with our embassy [in Abuja] and consulate [in Lagos]. The embassy and consulate will promptly announce any security warnings and maintain close contact with the relevant Nigerian government departments, so as to be able to provide assistance and protection to our citizens and companies who come into danger.

Host: This netizen named “世纪天骄” says: I heard that there were some problems with the Jinfei Economic Trade and Cooperation Zone that China built in Mauritius.  What measures are the Chinese and Mauritian government taking to solve these problems? And what is the current status of this Cooperation Zone?

[Trans.:China’s Ministry of Commerce approved the Tianli Group’s tender to establish the Jinfei Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone in Mauritius in 2006. However, delays in resettlement and financing meant Tianli (a Shanxi SOE) was unable to begin construction of the zone as scheduled. More Chinese companies were invited to invest in the project, but development has yet to begin on a significant level]

Lu Shaye: Although this project has gained the support of both governments, it is actually a corporate undertaking. It seems that the current difficulties in the execution of the project are mainly because of location. We hope that the Chinese company that is undertaking this project actively communicates with the relevant organs in the Mauritian government so as to solve the current problems and see the cooperation area off to a smooth start.

Host: A netizen named “如梦令” says that he knows that you were once the Chinese ambassador to Senegal, and wants to ask what was most memorable or what impressed you most about your experience in Senegal.

Lu Shaye: What impresses me most about Senegal is that even though it is small country, it is very active in international affairs, taking leadership positions in many international organizations. It also plays an important role in African affairs, and has, for example, led many United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa. When I asked some Senegalese why Senegal does this, they said that Senegal places much emphasis on the importance of education, so it has many skilled people. Senegal is also an open country that attaches great importance to participation in international affairs. I think that we can also learn from them on this point.

My most memorable experience from a professional perspective is from February 2009 when I hosted President Hu Jintao on his state visit to Senegal. This is because as an ambassador, having your head of state visit not only plays a significant role in promoting the development of China’s relations with the country you’re stationed in, but is also very helpful in advancing your diplomatic career.

Host: Because of time constraints, we will now ask the last question. Netizen “漂泊的海” wants to ask Mr. Lu the following question: The Olympic games have never been held in Africa. Which African country do you think is most likely to be the first to hold the Olympic games?

Lu Shaye: This depends on which countries bid to hold the Olympic games and also depends on the outcome of the International Olympic Committee’s vote. Africa has already hosted the FIFA World Cup, and I believe that Africa will one day host the Olympic games.

Host: China Daily.com is very happy to have hosted Mr. Lu today. Today’s interview has increased our understanding of African affairs — a topic in which everyone is interested. We are grateful that Mr. Lu made time in his busy schedule to come to China Daily.com.

Lu Shaye: I am also grateful that China Daily.com provided me with this opportunity and platform to talk to this large number of netizens. Time really flies, and I wish we had had more time to answer the netizens’ questions. The netizens also had many questions that they weren’t able to ask me; I hope that I have time to answer netizens’ questions in the future, so I can share more about what I know about Africa and my work on Africa.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the department of African affairs’ official microblog 直通阿非利加 to everyone. That is another platform that we use to introduce netizens to Africa and China-Africa relations. Today is the one-year anniversary of the microblog’s establishment, and we welcome everyone to follow and support it. Thank you!

[Trans.: China Daily published a heavily abridged and edited English version of this interview at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013Diplomats/]

如何看当前的中非关系及两国关系的未来发展?中国与诸多非洲国家关系的现状如何?2月27日下午2点,外交部非洲司司长卢沙野将作客中国日报网与网友在线交流,欢迎提问。

主持人:各位网友大家好,欢迎观看本期外交讲坛大家谈系列访谈节目。今天我们很荣幸邀请到外交部非洲司司长卢沙野作客中国日报网,就中非合作等诸多问题与网友在线交流,欢迎大家提问。

卢司长,欢迎您。非洲对众多网友而言是个既神秘又陌生的世界。首先请司长为我们简单介绍一下非洲的整体情况,中非关系目前的状况。

卢沙野:各位网友,大家好!很高兴在中国日报网站跟大家进行在线交流,随着中非关系的发展,中国的广大民众对非洲以及中非合作的状况非常关心,平时我们就能够听到很多网友向我们提出这样那样的问题,今天我愿意利用这个机会来回答大家的问题。

首先简要介绍一下中国和非洲的关系。中非关系始自上世纪50年代中期,那个时候非洲的独立国家还不多,1956年中国同埃及建立外交关系标志着中国同非洲国家外交关系的开启,从那以后中非关系的发展开始进入了一个非常快速的发展阶段。

上世纪六七十年代中国大力支持非洲的民族解放和独立运动,对非洲国家的经济建设也提供了力所能及的帮助。到了上世纪八九十年代中非关系拓展到其他领域,从单纯的援助发展到贸易、投资和工程承包等诸多领域。

进入新世纪,2000年中国和非洲建立了中非合作论坛,使中非友好合作关系实现了突飞猛进的发展,引起了国际社会的广泛关注。今天中非合作的规模已经远远地超过了当初双方刚刚建立关系的时候的水平。今天中非每年的贸易额已经接近2000亿美元,中国对非洲的投资已经累计达到了170亿美元,中非双方的人员交流也越来越多。

比如说旅游,中国每年去南非旅游的人数就已经达到了10万人次,塞舌尔是非洲一个很小的国家,只有10万人口,但是现在中国每年去那旅游的人数已经达到了4000人,而且还在成倍的增长,应该说中非关系有着非常广阔的发展前景,我们希望大家继续关注非洲,爱护中非关系,共同为中非关系的发展出力。

主持人:谢谢卢司长为我们所做的介绍。一位名为“白色2013”的网友想问一下卢司长,大家一提起非洲往往就会跟贫穷、动乱联系在一起,网友希望了解一个真实的非洲,他们的经济状况是怎么样的,那个地方的老百姓生活、娱乐休闲是怎样的,他们对中国的态度如何,想请卢司长为网友解答一下?

卢沙野:非洲当然不是只有贫穷、动乱和战争,非洲是一个自然环境非常好的地方,大部分地区都是热带雨林或者热带草原,动植物资源丰富。近几年非洲经济发展非常好,据国际机构的预测,未来五年世界上十个增长最快的国家中将有七个是非洲国家,非洲国家资源丰富,市场广阔,只要它保持稳定就有很大的发展潜力。

目前非洲政局总体上是稳定的,但是局部还是有一些动荡和危机,我们希望国际社会共同帮助非洲维护和平稳定的局面,为他们的发展创造良好环境。非洲人民天性热情开朗,他们的娱乐活动很简单,唱歌、跳舞,非常接近大自然。

我们中国人到非洲旅游主要都是喜欢去看它的野生动物,这就反应了非洲的一个特点。非洲人对中国人总体上来说是非常友好的,这种友好是建立在过去几十年中国对非洲的无私帮助和政治上平等相待的基础上,这些年随着中国去非洲的人数增加也有个别中国人不是太尊重非洲人,他们在非洲的一些言行伤害了非洲人的利益,也引起了非洲人对中国人的一些不好的看法。

所以我们希望咱们广大的民众去非洲的时候一定要牢记自己是个中国人,代表的是中国的形象,要友善平等地对待非洲人,这对我们中国人在非洲的生存和发展也是有好处的。

主持人:一位名叫“故我在”的网友问,最近非洲一些国家政局动荡。司长,您认为非洲政局动荡的原因在于什么,会对中非关系发展造成哪些影响,我们最想知道当地的华人生活有没有受到负面影响?

卢沙野:非洲政局动荡要说根源可能还是经济发展比较滞后,因为如果老百姓生活不好就肯定会想改变现状。但同时非洲动荡还受其他一些因素的影响,包括历史上的因素,殖民统治留下的一些问题,它的部族矛盾,以及后来实行多党民主制以后的党派纷争。前两年西亚北非政局动荡对现在撒哈拉以南非洲的政局也有很大的影响,最近马里的战乱就是利比亚战乱的外溢效应。由于现在中非合作发展的规模越来越大,中国在非洲的利益和侨民也越来越多,所以现在非洲政局发生动荡越来越多地会牵扯到中国,影响到中国。

主持人:一位名叫“义无反顾”的网友想问一下卢司长,在新闻里经常看到索马里海盗,这个也成了现在大家关注的焦点,网友想知道为什么索马里海盗会如此地猖獗,海盗形成背后的原因是什么,现在的形势是不是有了一些好转?

卢沙野:索马里海盗里边既有犯罪团伙,也有恐怖分子,但更多的是一些渔民,他们在和平时期生活安定的时候可以靠打渔为生。但是大家都知道,索马里从上世纪90年代初开始就陷入了战乱,渔民们无以为生,走上了海盗这条道路。因此海盗形成的原因尽管很复杂,但是经济不发展、国家不稳定是它的根本原因。去年索马里结束了战乱,产生了政府和议会,我们希望索马里从此走上和平发展的道路。

主持人:除了索马里海盗问题以外,埃及也是网友非常关心的一个焦点问题,一位名叫花非花的网友问,埃及一直处在动荡之中,为什么久久不能稳定,这个背后的根源是什么,政坛动荡对中埃关系有什么影响?

卢沙野:埃及政坛动荡不息,我看主要还是在于埃及的现实状况同民众当初发起变革所抱有的希望有很大差距。人民本希望革命能给他们带来自由,改善他们的生活状况,但是他们现在自由倒是有了,工作却丢了,生活无着。埃及本来的经济支柱旅游业在动荡中受到了毁灭性打击。

中埃两国是传统友好国家,刚才说过埃及是第一个与中国建交的非洲国家,我们非常同情埃及目前的状况,希望它能够尽快恢复和平稳定,实现经济发展。中国始终坚持发展同埃及的友好合作关系,不会因为埃及形势有什么变化而改变对埃及的友好政策,我们希望埃及局势尽快恢复稳定,以利于中埃合作的发展。

主持人:下面这个问题来自中非民间商会秘书长王晓勇,他想向卢司长请教两个问题,一是2013年中非合作论坛的后续行动有哪些?第二个问题是在推动中非货币合作方面,有哪些具体举措?

卢沙野:去年召开的中非合作论坛第五届部长级会议发表了北京宣言和行动计划两个成果文件,胡锦涛主席在会上代表中国政府宣布了促进中非合作的五大领域的举措,今年我们就要着手落实这些举措,并实施这个行动计划。从机制上的活动来看今年比较重要的一项就是9月份中非外长在联合国大会期间举行政治磋商。中非合作论坛中方后续行动委员会秘书处同非洲国家驻华使团也会保持沟通来共同推动后续行动的落实。至于中非货币合作,在行动计划里面已经有明文规定,中方欢迎非洲国家在双边贸易中实行本币结算。至于如何推进中非货币合作,双方的金融部门会进行具体的商谈。

主持人:一位名叫“金蛇狂舞2013”的网友想问司长一个问题,现在政府鼓励去非洲投资的相关政策并不是很多,今后我们政府是不是会出台更多优惠政策来帮助这些想走进非洲的私营企业呢,非洲的服务业现在处于一个起步阶段,中国的金融服务业和生活服务业进军非洲的市场前景怎样?

卢沙野:我也希望中国政府能够出台更多的鼓励私营企业去非洲投资的优惠政策。非洲服务业其实挺发达的,但是现在主要是西方公司在那做。中国的金融服务业和生活服务业进入非洲市场前景无疑是广阔的,关键是要看我们的企业是否有这个胆量、魄力和能力去开拓非洲市场。

主持人:另一位叫“彩虹沙漠”的网友问题比较犀利,她问英国媒体之前有文章称来自中国和印度的假药充斥着非洲,这是不是妨碍着非洲有效防治疟疾,请问司长对此有什么看法?

卢沙野:对印度假药是否充斥非洲我不做评论。但有关中国假药充斥非洲的说法完全是无稽之谈。那家英国媒体的文章发表后我们通过驻非洲的使馆在当地做了一些调查和了解,事实证明情况完全是相反的。中国的抗疟药都是得到世界卫生组织的认证才进入非洲的,疗效非常好,很受非洲人民欢迎。我们呼吁有关媒体在报道中遵循客观、真实的原则,不要散布虚假信息。

主持人:在外交事务上软实力一直是被大家广为流传的流行语,软实力建设在中非关系中处于怎样的位置?

卢沙野:软实力建设是一个国家外交战略的重要组成部分。我们在发展同非洲关系的时候,软实力是不可或缺的。近年来中国在非洲的经贸合作发展很快,应该说硬实力增长很快,但由此引起了外界的疑虑。在非洲加强软实力建设实际上就是加强中非之间的人文交流,使双方的人民更加理解和支持彼此的合作。如果说非洲在中国的外交战略中具有一个基础性地位的话,在非洲的软实力建设也占有一个很重要的位置。

主持人:一位叫“峨眉刺”的网友,说中国政府曾几次免除了非洲对华债务,请问这些债务形成的历史原因是什么,现在非洲还欠中国多少债务?

卢沙野:过去中国政府向非洲提供援助主要是无息贷款或者低息贷款,这些构成了非洲国家对华官方债务。经过中非合作论坛几次部长级会议对非减债行动之后,现在实际上非洲国家所欠的对华官方债务已经所剩无几了,因为后来中国向非洲提供的更多是无偿援助。

主持人:网友“蜗牛的蜗居”想问卢司长,他说毛主席曾经说过我们是被黑人兄弟抬进联合国的,请问中国和非洲各国在联合国各种事务上的合作情况怎么样?

卢沙野:中国同非洲各国在联合国保持着密切的协调配合,联合国安理会现在讨论的问题有百分之六七十涉及到非洲,中方总是会和非洲的安理会成员国保持密切沟通协调,为非洲仗义执言,同时中国积极参与联合国在非洲开展的维和行动,为维护非洲和平安全发挥建设性作用。

主持人:网友“华丽的影子”说,非洲国家卢旺达曾经发生过举世皆知的悲剧,请问司长现在卢旺达的情况怎么样了,卢旺达和中国的情况怎么样?

卢沙野:我在卢旺达发生大屠杀之前曾经去过那里,感觉那里是一个优美安宁的山地小国,后来我就没再去过。据我了解现在卢旺达情况不错,经济发展速度在非洲算是比较快的,国家治理得也井井有条,中卢两国一直保持着非常友好的关系,两国的合作也在发展,我们相信卢旺达的情况会越来越好。

主持人:中国政府非洲事务特别代表钟建华大使日前刚刚访问了刚果(金)、卢旺达、布隆迪三国,网友轻舞飞扬的猫想问钟大使的这次访问和刚东地区局势有什么关系吗?

卢沙野:这位网友一定十分熟悉非洲事务,居然知道我们的钟大使正在访问大湖地区,钟大使这次访问自然与刚东地区局势有关,他是去了解有关国家对局势的看法,并从中做劝和促谈工作。从我们所收到的报告看,访问是十分成功的。需要强调的是,自中国政府设立非洲事务特别代表以来,中国在非洲和平安全事务中发挥的作用更加积极,更加主动,受到了非洲国家和国际社会的肯定和赞扬。我们会继续加大对非洲和平安全事务的建设性介入。当然这样的话钟大使会更加辛苦,要经常奔波于非洲和世界其他地方。

主持人:一位叫“无师自通”的网友说他身边有一位朋友近期要去尼日利亚工作了,但是他又经常在网上看到在尼日利亚的企业和公民频频遭到袭击和绑架,非常担心,想问一下卢司长目前尼日利亚的安全情况怎么样,中国在尼的使领馆有哪些措施可以保证我们在尼日利亚企业和公民的安全呢?

卢沙野:目前这个地方的安全局势的确不容乐观。我们呼吁中国公民在赴尼工作的时候要更加注意自我防范,同驻尼使领馆保持联系。使领馆会及时发布安全警示,并同尼政府有关部门保持密切联系,以便一旦我公民和企业遇到危险时能够及时采取行动,提供帮助和保护。

主持人:这位网友叫“世纪天骄”,他说,我听说中国目前在毛里求斯投资建设的晋非经贸合作区遇到了一些问题,请问这个合作区的状况怎么样,双方政府准备如何解决这些问题?

卢沙野:这个合作区的建设实际上是企业行为,但是得到两国政府的支持。目前推进困难,似乎主要是定位的问题。我们希望中方承办合作区的企业同毛政府有关部门积极沟通,尽快解决目前所面临的问题,使合作区得以顺利启动。

主持人:一位叫“如梦令”的热心网友说,他得知卢司长曾经任驻塞内加尔大使,想请司长介绍一下在塞内加尔令您印象最深的事情或者最难忘的事情?

卢沙野:塞内加尔给我印象最深的是这个国家虽然小,但在国际上相当活跃,在非洲地区事务中发挥着相当大的作用,比如它在很多国际组织中都担任领导职务,在非洲很多联合国维和行动中都是塞内加尔将军担任指挥官。

我问过塞方人员这是为什么,他们说主要是因为塞内加尔非常注重教育,所以它的人才非常多,而且塞内加尔是一个非常开放的国家,非常注重参与国际事务。我想这一点对我们也是很有启发的。

最难忘的事情,我想从工作角度来讲,应该是2009年2月我接待中国国家主席胡锦涛对塞内加尔的国事访问,因为每一个驻外大使如果能在自己的任内接待自己的国家主席访问驻在国,这不仅对中国同有关国家的关系发展会起到巨大的推动作用,而且会在自己的外交生涯中留下重重的一笔。

主持人:由于时间问题,我们再回答网友最后一个问题,网友“漂泊的海”想问司长,奥运会至今没有在非洲举行过,想请卢司长为我们预测一下觉得非洲哪个国家最有可能举办奥运会呢?

卢沙野:这取决于哪个国家申办奥运会和国际奥委会的投票结果。非洲已经举办过足球世界杯,我相信终有一天奥运会会在非洲举办。

主持人:今天我们中国日报网请到了卢司长作客,大家都觉得非常高兴,今天通过这场访谈,大家对很感兴趣的非洲各方面事务也有了进一步了解。非常感谢卢司长在百忙之中来到我们中国日报网站。

卢沙野:我也很感谢中国日报网站为我提供了这样一个机会和平台同广大网友进行交流。的确,我感觉时间过得飞快,回答网友的问题意犹未尽。我相信网友也有很多的问题还没来得及向我提。我希望今后还有机会来回答网友的问题,把我所知道的非洲和所从事的对非工作更多地与网友分享。我也愿意借此机会推介一下非洲司的官方微博“直通阿非利加”,它也是我们向网友介绍非洲和中非关系的平台。今天是它开办一周年,欢迎大家成为它的粉丝,多多给它支持。谢谢大家!

About Tendai Musakwa

Tendai Musakwa is a Zimbabwean journalist and researcher. Currently based in Shanghai, Tendai regularly translates Chinese news articles and microblog posts for the China Africa Project.