HOME > Embassy Update
​Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Chen Mingjian gives an exclusive interview to Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation
2022-11-18 13:41

On November 14, 2022, Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania H.E. Chen Mingjian gave an exclusive interview to the International Sphere, an international news program of the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC). In the interview, Ambassador Chen answered the questions from the TV anchor concerning Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s state visit to China, the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the unique advantages of China-Africa cooperation, etc. Here is the transcript of the interview:

Q1: Your Excellency, we are all happy to learn that H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, paid a state visit to your great country recently. This was a long-awaited and highly anticipated visit given the long-term profound friendship between our two countries. Your Excellency, could you brief us on this historic visit?

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, President Samia Suluhu Hassan of the United Republic of Tanzania paid a state visit to the People’s Republic of China from November 2 to 4, 2022. This is the first state visit by a Tanzanian head of state to China in eight years. President Samia is also the first African head of state received by China after 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). During this visit, President Xi Jinping held talks with President Samia, and held a welcoming ceremony and a welcoming banquet for her. Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Li Zhanshu had separate meetings with President Samia. I would like to introduce this visit to Tanzanian friends.

The most important political achievement of this visit is the announcement by the two heads of state to elevate the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, which provides strategic guidance for the development of China-Tanzania relations. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to developing China-Tanzania relations, and their firm mutual support for each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests. They agreed to work together to boost China-Tanzania trade and economic cooperation and deepen high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. They underlined the need to strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and carry forward the friendship between the two peoples. They also reiterated the importance to enhance cooperation in international fora and multilateral affairs, and jointly uphold international fairness, justice and the common interests of fellow developing countries.

The 20th CPC National Congress is an important topic of this visit. President Xi briefed President Samia on the important outcomes of the 20th CPC National Congress. He pointed out that China has already found a development path suited to its national conditions. Chinese modernization is grounded in China’s own realities, with features that are unique to the Chinese context. On behalf of the Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and the Tanzanian government, President Samia extended warm congratulations on the success of the 20th CPC National Congress and President Xi’s re-election as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

President Xi and President Samia exchanged in-depth views on China-Africa relations and agreed that in developing China-Africa relations, both sides need to remain committed to the overall direction of mutual trust, mutual benefit, mutual learning and mutual assistance. Both China and Africa need to carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, and show greater historical initiative in advancing friendship between China and Africa. China would like to provide new opportunities for Africa through continuous development, to speed up the implementation of the ongoing nine initiatives for cooperation with Africa. With a particular focus on infrastructure, we will continue to nurture new drivers for China-Africa cooperation through trade, investment and financing.

During the visit, the two sides issued a Joint Statement on Establishing a Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the United Republic of Tanzania and signed 15 cooperation documents covering trade, investment, development cooperation, digital economy, green development and blue economy.

Q2: As you said, Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with President Samia Suluhu Hassan in Beijing on 3rd November, in which the two heads of state announced the elevation of China-Tanzania relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. So what’s the significance of this elevation for future development of our bilateral relations?

The elevation of the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership not only fully reflects the high level and strategic nature of China-Tanzania relations, but also ensures that China-Tanzania relations will continue along the general direction of “mutual trust, mutual benefit, mutual learning and mutual assistance” put forward by President Xi Jinping:

First, political mutual trust will be more solid. China and Tanzania will maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges and political dialogue, expand the exchange of experience in governing the country, firmly support each other in exploring a development path that is in line with their national conditions.

Second, mutually beneficial cooperation will be deepened. We will forge our cooperation underpinned by infrastructure construction, supported by three important pillars namely trade, investment and financing, and nurture new drivers for cooperation in the fields of green development, digital economy and blue economy.

Third, cultural and people-to-people exchanges will be more extensive. We will further carry out exchanges in culture, education, tourism and sports, add luster to their respective cultural prosperity, enhance mutual knowledge and understanding between the two peoples, which helps to consolidate the public opinion foundation of friendship between the two countries.

Fourth, China and Tanzania will unite and help each other more firmly. We will adhere to true multilateralism, safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core and the international order based on international laws, promote the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, and the building of A Community of Shared Future for Mankind.

China, will work together with Tanzania, under the guidance of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to further strengthen our high-level exchanges, consolidate political mutual trust, and elevate bilateral relations to a higher level, and inject strong impetus into building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.

Q3: When President Samia Suluhu Hassan met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two sides agreed to expand the scale of bilateral trade, deepen high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and advance cooperation in key areas, such as infrastructure, agriculture, fishery, manufacturing and processing, green development and digital economy.  What specific plans have they formulated for promoting pragmatic cooperation between our two countries? What results do you foresee from implementation of these plans?

President Xi and President Samia reached important consensus on China-Tanzania practical cooperation. The two sides should follow the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and take the establishment of China-Tanzania comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership as an opportunity to push the implementation of the nine initiatives of China-Africa cooperation in Tanzania to achieve early harvest, and push bilateral cooperation in various fields to be fruitful, stable and far-reaching. In the next stage, we need to do the following:

First, lay a solid foundation for development. China will strongly support Tanzania to improve the level of connectivity. We will discuss with Tanzania on how to revitalize the TAZARA, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway, and support Chinese enterprises to participate in the construction of major infrastructure projects with high standards such as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station and J.P. Magufuli Bridge. We hope that the Tanzanian side could make good use of the zero-tariff treatment granted by China to 98 percent of taxable items originating from Tanzania, and the newly granted market access for Tanzanian agricultural produce, including soybeans, avocados and aquatic products.

Second, strengthen capacity cooperation. China will accurately carry out industrial synergizing with Tanzania, and support institutions and enterprises of both sides to make use of China International Import Expo (CIIE), China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT), and other platforms to conduct investment negotiations and business matching. We will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Tanzania, and expand production capacity cooperation in steel, cement and glass, fill the gaps in Tanzania's market, and boost its development and industrialization.

Third, explore new areas of cooperation. China will dig deeper into the potentials of cooperation with Tanzania in emerging fields. We will carry out cooperations in fields such as ICT, climate change, Juncao (mushrooms and grass) planting, etc., under the framework of newly-signed agreements regarding digital economy, blue economy and green investment. We will expand cultural exchanges, hold a China-Tanzania Year of Tourism and Culture in due course, and facilitate personnel exchanges to carry forward the friendship between our two peoples.

Q4: Currently, Africa has become a key partner in international cooperation. In your opinion, what unique features or advantages does Africa-China cooperation has, compared to other countries and regions? What role does Tanzania play in China’s cooperation with Africa?

China and Africa have built a strong traditional friendship and good cooperative relations, which serves as a model of relationship between developing countries. Compared with other countries and regions, China-Africa cooperation in new era has the following unique advantages:

First, historical advantages. Over the past 66 years, China and Africa have forged an unbreakable brotherhood in the struggle against imperialism and colonialism. No matter how the international situation changes, China and African countries are always good friends in the same boat, good partners sharing weal and woe, and good brothers with all sincerity. China and Africa have always been a community with a shared future.

Second, ideological advantages. Why have China-Africa relations been so good? Why has China-Africa friendship been so deep? President Xi Jinping pointed out that the key lies in the enduring spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, that is, "sincere friendship, equal treatment, mutual benefit, common development, fairness and justice, progress with the times, openness and inclusiveness". This is a true portrayal of China and Africa's solidarity and shoulder-to-shoulder struggle for decades, and it is also the source of strength for China-Africa friendly relations to forge ahead into the future.

Third, mechanistic advantages. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation or FOCAC is an important platform for dialogue and an effective mechanism for pragmatic cooperation between China and Africa. Over the past 22 years, the FOCAC has become a firm pillar of China-Africa cooperation, and is widely recognized and welcomed by African countries and the international community. China will continue to strengthen China-Africa cooperation in various fields under the framework of FOCAC to improve the well-being of the Chinese and African peoples, and promote the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.

The TBC is the state broadcaster of Tanzania, which is the most influential TV media in the country. The International Sphere is an English-language one-on-one program focusing on foreign policy and international affairs. The aforementioned interview was aired in the evening of November 17, 2022.

Suggset To Friend: