Building Ties: China Calls on African Nations to Join New Silk Road Project

China (Sputnik) – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has called on African countries to take part in the “One belt, One road” initiative, stressing that Africa had historically been a part of the Silk road economic belt, as well as of the Maritime Silk road.

Wang Yi called on Sunday on African states to participate in the Silk road project, aimed at connecting China with the rest of Eurasia, Oceania and East Africa.

“China calls on African countries to participate in the implementation of the ‘One belt, One road’ strategy,” Wang said, according to the statement published on the ministry’s website.

He stressed that Africa had historically been a part of the Silk road economic belt, as well as of the Maritime Silk road.

“If any African country intends to participate in the new Silk road initiative, we certainly welcome this intention,” the minister said.

He added that consultations on the issue had already been held with a number of African countries, in particular with eastern African states. Wang also expressed hope that the deepening cooperation would allow those countries to get more benefits and support from China.

The foreign minister said that China has already held consultations on this account with a large enough number of African countries, especially those located on the Eastern coast of Africa, having achieved progress.

Central Asia Medieval Trade Routes – From the “Historical Atlas” by William R. Shepherd, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1923, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

In 2013, the Chinese president proposed the construction of a new Silk Road, comprising the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and Maritime Silk Road, to facilitate the direct flow of goods from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea. The project is intended to connect China with Europe and strengthen economic ties between Asia, Europe and the Gulf states.

Wang is currently on a five-day visit to Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Congo and Nigeria.

 

This report prepared by Sputnik.