June 30th, 2010 | English.news.cn China remains strong supporter of South-South Cooperation
“China is both a strong supporter for and an active participant in the South-South Cooperation,” a senior Chinese official said here Tuesday.
Yi Xiaozhun, the Chinese vice minister of commerce, made the statement as he was delivering a keynote speech at the Development Cooperation Forum, sponsored by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, at the UN Headquarters in New York.
“This year marks the 60th anniversary of China’s technical assistance to other developing countries through South-South Cooperation,” Yi said. “It also marks the 31st anniversary of China as a beneficiary of the UN development assistance system.”
Promoting South-South Cooperation and “help each other among the developing countries” is the centerpiece of development cooperation, he said. “As the developing countries are at similar levels of development and facing similar economic and social development problems, they can better appreciate the development needs of each other.”
“China supports the ‘Beyond Aid’ initiative proposed in the UN secretary-general’s report and emphasizes the need for enhanced policy coherence, host country ownership and capacity building over cash assistance,” he said.
“With the concept of ‘blood generation over blood transfusion’, China believes that it is better to help host countries build long-term sustainability than to resort to short- term interventions and be overly dependent on foreign aid,” he said. “An integrated and holistic approach should therefore be adopted by incorporating trade, investment, technology transfer, capacity building and other elements into the development policies. ”
“Developing countries should also take the initiative into their own hands in order to identify the policies and solutions most responsive to their own needs,” he said.
“China has tried similar approaches and learned some useful lessons,” he said.
“First, providing non-politically conditioned assistance to developing countries,” he said.
For the past 60 years, China has implemented a large number of programs within its capacity with a view to enhancing the productivity of other developing countries and improving the livelihood of the local people, he said.
“One such program is the Tazania-Zambia Railway when the Chinese people tightened our belts to build for Africa in the 1960s and 1970s,” he said. “To date, it is still serving the local people.”
In an interview with Xinhua in mid-April, Tanzanian Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Mustapha Mkulo said, “Tanzania has benefited a lot from the Chinese assistance on infrastructure in Africa. I think the first project of the infrastructure for probably the whole of Africa, is TAZARA, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway.”
Mkulo said that the more than 1,860 km railway puts a link of the port of Dar es Salaam and the land-locked country of Zambia, ” I’m glad that not only the Chinese helped us 30 years ago, but they are helping us even today. We even signed an agreement for more assistance in December when I went to China. We valued that assistance, and we continued to value that assistance.”
“In this regard, China has won the respect and trust of the partner countries,” he said. “Even after the global financial crisis, while addressing its own economic difficulties, China has managed to maintain some growth of its assistance programs.”
The Chinese government has also announced eight new initiatives for the next three years to help development of Africa, including preferential loans of 10 billion U.S. dollars, 100 clean- energy programs to develop solar energy, biogas, and small hydropower, loans of 1 billion U.S. dollars specifically earmarked for small-and-medium-sized enterprises to reinforce their financing capabilities, enhancement of cultural and scientific exchanges and further cooperation in the medical and health care sectors, Yi said.
China’s other moves to aid the developing countries include: opening up market to enhance the productivity of the least developed countries (LDCs), increasing investment in developing countries to enhance their ability for economic growth, and building capacity through training, he said.