China needs to continue to be the Champion of Peace
Interview with Dr. Zweli Mikhize, the Treasurer-General of the ANC, SA
A truck transports a container to be shipped abroad at the Port of Qingdao in Qingdao City, Shandong province, 13 July 2017. [Photo: IC]
CRI: Dr. Mikhize, as an old friend of China, how do you evaluate China’s achievements during the past five years?
Dr. Mikhize: Yes, firstly I would like, on behalf of the ANC, to congratulate the Communist party of China on the 19th Party National Congress. China’s communist party has managed the issue of economic growth goals, particularly how GDP increased from 8.14 trillion US dollars to much higher in 2016 compared to 2012. The rate of growth in China has been constant over the past several years as they must be the highest in the world, maybe around 9%. And even now we watch China enter new normal, the forecast sticks around 6% growth of GDP, which is really, very high compared to different parts of the world. In fact, there has been a very strong partnership with countries in Africa, which has also been a very important issue for us. There’s a lot to learn there, particular this whole innovation and the efficiency in the train and navigation satellite systems. These, to us, are indicating that China is becoming one of the world leaders in technology and innovation.
CRI: The Communists Party of China and African National Congress enjoys a deep friendship, the two parties have conducted fruitful exchanges over the past five years. So what is your take on further development of the party-to-party operation between ANC and CPC?
Dr. Mikhize: The relationship between Chinese Communist Party and ANC boasts many aspects. We have a number of leaders from Africa National Congress who were trained in China and were part of our military. We are able to produce some of our topmost leaders and commanders who were trained in China. So we have this special relationship for many years. And under that cooperation agreement, the ANC leaders, the exchanges of the delegations between the CPC and the ANC, and this happens regularly, to strengthen ties between our organizations. We also learned a lot through the programs China brings in on intra-party discipline, in particular dealing with the fight against corruption; and showing us how that has been dealt with for a number of approaches in dealing the “tigers” as well as the “flies”, which means dealing with everyone who has transgressed in acquiring their positions in society. So those issues have for us been very interesting, we believe that there are quite a lot we can get out of this whole anti-corruption program. All of these have assisted our relationship.
CRI: Yes as you mentioned there are many exchanges between China and South Africa, and China has gained firm support from South Africa on the Belt and Road Initiative. In your opinion, what role does the Belt and Road Initiative plays in China-South Africa relations? And how important is China’s role to Africa?
Dr. Mikhize: We have many interests on the One Belt One Road program, which covers over 60 countries spanning in Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa. It is a huge investment that is going on there. I believe that this obviously puts China at the center of various countries’ economies as trading partner as also a partner in development. And over the past few years we have seen how China has worked very closely with not only South Africa, but also the rest of the continent of Africa through organizations such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC. In order to bring this relationship to a higher level, President Xi once told President Zuma that we need more efforts to raise this relationship to a higher level. I believe that it is important for Africa in the sense that we actually create a partnership in development of construction in particular where both Africa and China will reap benefits because we need a lot of investment and we need a lot of infrastructural development which is One Belt One Road program. So I believe it’s actually the huge new development that strengthens relationship between China and the rest of the African continent.
CRI: As you mentioned, at the beginning the 19th National Congress will also work out a policy guideline for China’s future development. So what is your expectation on China’s peaceful development in the next five years?
Dr. Mikhize: I think that China’s outreach on the development of world peace and the promotion of diplomacy will assist to create a world order that is more peaceful, mainly because of the power that China leads in the world’s geopolitics. And we also believe that China means a partner and a friend to the African continent where difficult issues around strategic partnership are to be discussed and where we also have to look at promoting more peaceful resolution in various parts of the world that are affected with conflicts. We believe also China needs to continue to play a role in the champion for peace, for world order. That is a lot more harmonious where we are able to deal with the environment, the wars and the destruction that are brought to human being. That for us is one major important role that China continues to play in the world, to continue the partnership between us of China and Africa, and those progressive forces all over the world.