Cameroon-China: Celebrating 50 Years of Fruitful Cooperation

n A photo exhibition on the evolution of ties from 1971 to current day was displayed during the celebration of the five decade cooperation at the Ministry of External Relations on March 26, 2021.

C ameroon and the Peoples’ Republic of China on March 26, 2021 celebrated 50 years of bilateral relations. External Relations Minister, Mbella Mbella co-chaired the solemn ceremony for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries with the Chinese Ambassador to Cameroon, Wang Yingwu in the presence of government officials. Diplomatic relations between the dual countries were established on March 26, 1971. In his declaration, Minister Mbella Mbella said the anniversary commemoration affords both parties the opportunity to take a retrospective look at the past fifty years that have fortified mutual trust in the cooperation ties. “Far beyond the ensuing achievements, this would certainly be a moment of deep reflection in new priorities accruing from the CameroonChina partnership in the upcoming years,” he stated, adding that maiden contracts between Cameroon and China were gradually forged on the principle of mutual respect. At the political and diplomatic fronts, Minister Mbella Mbella said reciprocal trust and support at the highest levels have always constituted the backbone on which relations with China have been built. “His Excellency Paul Biya has in all paid seven official visits to China, the last of which was in September 2018 which actually re-affirmed the convergence of views on issues of common interests, the importance of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the relevance of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a novel and inclusive approach for worldwide governance,” he stated. Cameroon’s pioneer President also paid two official visits to China in 1973 and 1977. On the economic plan, the Minister said, relations have witnessed a significant growth with China being the higher partner in trade, a position China has occupied since 2013. “The first projects to be financed by China in Cameroon was the construction of the Yaounde Conference Centre and the Lagdo hydroelectric dam in the North Region, inaugurated respectively on March 12, 1982 by President Ahmadou Ahidjo and on November 29, 1986 by President Paul Biya,” he recalled. China, he noted, supports the growth of Cameroon in the energy, health, agricultural, technological, sports, road and cultural sectors. Minister Mbella Mbella added that about 2,000 Cameroonian students are on studies in China with Chinese citizens equally in Cameroon as concerns cooperation in the educational domain. The Minister appreciated the reprogramming of Cameroon’s debt servicing to China which according to him will reduce pressure on government treasury and enable the completion of certain projects. The Chinese Ambassador, Wang Yingwu on his part, said China and Cameroon share pragmatic cooperation ties which are mutually beneficial to the citizens of the two countries. China, he noted, is currently financing the construction of the National Assembly building of Cameroon, after have supported in the construction of hospitals, schools, roads, the Yaounde Conference Centre, water tanks, hydroelectric dams and the Yaounde multisport complex. With the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, the Ambassador noted that President Paul Biya was one of the first Heads of State to have sent an encouragement letter to the Chinese President, Xi Jinping

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