Cameroon, China Cooperation Boom

President Biya and Yang Jiechi reflecting on possible ways to tighten cooperation between Cameroon and China.

Diplomatic skies became clearer over cooperation ties between Cameroon and China, long standing friends, when the Head of State, President Paul Biya last Friday, January, 18 at the State House, received in audience, Yang Jiechi, Special Representative of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping. It took over one hour for the two personalities to review and overhaul all possible instruments that can further reinforce cooperation between the two nations.

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Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, accompanied by a strong man delegation was on a two-day visit to Cameroon.

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Even though the audience at the State House ended with no declaration to the press, what filtered from the corridors of the discussion was not far from issues related to deepening relations between Cameroon and China, especially within the realms of the arrangements arrived at in March, 2018 during the state visit of President Paul Biya to China as well as the consensus with President Xi during the third Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) last September.

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From every indication, the official visit of President Xi Jinping's Representative is a logical follow up to the Beijing State visit during which the two Presidents agreed to take up cooperation to a higher level come 2019. That visit, it should be recalled ended with the signing of five agreements between the governments of Cameroon and China.

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Based on the tongue-to-teeth diplomatic ties that have grown between the two nations for the past four decades, discussions between Paul Biya and Yang Jiechi, according to filtered information hinged on broadening of friendly exchanges at all levels, the urge to jointly push forward the Belt and Road Initiative, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and promote people-to-people exchanges. China has since offered assistance to Cameroon to develop its economy and improve people's livelihood.

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It is within this framework that the perspectives remain rekindled with high hopes as concerns the restructuring of Cameroon's debt owed China in conformity with the plea of President Biya during his last visits to China. Cameroon's interest free debt with China, according to sources at the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, is today estimated at FCFA 45 billion.

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A source in the embassy of the People’s Republic of China says the interestfree loan contracted by the government of Cameroon from that of China has been cancelled by the government of China.

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