Ramifications of a State Visit

President Paul Biya's three-day stay in China tells of the need to continuously oil State relations in order to keep them afloat.

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Cameroon has gradually become China's gateway into Africa. President Paul Biya’s threeday State visit to the World's most popular nation from March 22 to 24, 2018, the sixth of its kind since 1987, tells of the bond the two countries have established and the need to keep the flame of cooperation continuously burning.

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In effect, China today, regards Cameroon as “a brotherly and friendly country”, which has always contributed significantly to the consolidation of the cordial and very fruitful relationship between Africa and her.

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Three days, some may think might have been short to visit a country as vast and complex like China, but diplomatically, the programme of the visit enabled President Paul Biya who was accompanied on the visit by his spouse, Chantal Biya to grasp and achieve the essentials that can keep Cameroon- China relation flowing.

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The ease with which bilateral arrangements went through was a real translation of the will of the two Statesmen to drive the ship of cooperation across the waters of challenges. The colourful welcome ceremony organised in honour of President Biya put the visit on a high pedestal rekindling all hopes of continuously oiling the engine of cooperation between the two countries. The significance of the visit could be measured in words and deeds. In words, no one could remain indifferent to declarations of the two Presidents.

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For Xi Jinping, China wishes to continue to work together to deepen relations between the two countries for the benefit of the populations of the two nations. President Paul Biya on his part recalled the strategic position China occupies today as partner to his country, Cameroon. The two leaders clearly indicated they were looking at issues from the same direction and putting their heads under the same thinking cap, they agreed to foster cooperation in the cultural, economic and military domains while working in synergy to enhance regional security.

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Development Deal

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The signing of the five cooperation agreements, marked the turning point of the visit. According to the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey, in a chat at the Shanghai Airport, these funding agreements amounting to over FCFA 400 billion will be disbursed in installments; FCFA 333 billion in 2018 and FCFA 84 billion within the next three years.

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The act itself is considered to have far reaching socio-economic consequences. The agreements signed in the presence of the two Heads of State, Presidents Paul Biya of Cameroon and Xi Jinping of China cover important areas in economic cooperation and infrastructure development.

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The five agreements include: Economic and Technical Cooperation agreement between the governments of Cameroon and China, Memorandum of Understanding on human Development, Protocol agreement on the reinforcement of cooperation on infrastructure development between the Chinese Ministry of Trade and Cameroon's Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Framework agreement between the National Development Commission and Reform of China and MINEPAT on capacity building on production and Concessional Loan agreement between the Eximbank of China and Cameroon for phase II of the potable water supply in nine towns in Cameroon.

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The visit was equally occasion for President Paul Biya to make an appraisal of some of the exploits of the Chinese, notably the transformation of the bamboo and rattan into several consumable and handicraft products and the Huawei telecom company.

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In addition to this, the Presidential couple laid a wreath on the Monument to the People's Hero, a ten-storey obelisk erected as a national monument in honour of the martyrs of revolutionary struggle during the 19th and 20th centuries.

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The monument is located in the Southern part of the Tiananmen Square in Beijing and to the north of the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong. Shanghai, China's economic city was a special economic attraction to the President where he promised to ensure collaboration between that city council and other Cameroonian councils.

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In all, the President left China fully satisfied, as he assured, Ying Yong, the Lord Mayor of Shanghai, of the cooperation existing between Cameroon and China.

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