Cameroon: China Welcomes Presidential Couple Today

Beijing is welcoming African leaders to the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit.

The Head of State and wife arrive in the Chinese capital today August 31, 2018 ahead of the China-Africa Cooperation Summit that begins on Monday.

All is set in the capital city of the People's Republic of China to receive President Paul Biya and Wife Chantal Biya coming to attend the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that will hold from 3-4 September, 2018 in Beijing. The Presidential Couple and their entourage will be part of a cream of African and other world dignitaries invited to participate at the Third Summit of FOCAC. The first edition took place in Beijing in November 2006 while the second was in South Africa in December 2015.

Arriving in Beijing a few days to the start of the event, the Head of State will make good use of his stay in China by carrying out a number of activities that are expected to further consolidate the already strong ties between both countries. Alongside his Chinese counterpart, they will also fine-tune documents of the Summit given the high respect he enjoys from the Chinese leadership judging from President Biya's last visit to China from 22-24 March this year.

The Cameroon leader was the first African Head of State to meet with President Xi Jinping in 2018. Mr Biya accompanied by his Wife, Chantal was the first foreign leader to be received by the Chinese authorities days after the closure of the annual session of the Chinese Parliament and the Chinese People's Consultative Conference at the end of which the current leaders of China were chosen.

Such frequent contacts underline the level of solidarity and friendship being enforced between China and Cameroon. Soon after the airport protocol and a brief stop at the Presidential hotel previewed to lodge the Head of State, Mr Biya will have closed door discussions during an audience with the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The tête-à-tête scheduled for 4 P.M. Beijing time will be followed by the signing of some protocol agreements concerning vital sectors of cooperation between Cameroon and China. Informed sources say the Chinese leader could during the meeting announce China's support for the emergency humanitarian assistance plan decided by President Paul Biya for the populations of the North West and South West Regions affected by social tensions.

An amount of about FCFA 1.7 billion is being cited for the purpose by the Chinese and three draft agreements on the restructuring of Cameroon's debt, judicial cooperation as well as humanitarian assistance are reportedly being envisaged to be confirmed after the meetring between both leaders today in Beijing.

After the meeting, the Head of State and his entourage will be treated to a dinner this evening and President Xi Jinping will be represented at the occasion by the President of the National Organising Committee of the Consultative Conference of the People of China, Mr. Wang Yang. The institution Mr Wang heads is equivalent to the Senate.

The Presidential couple will spend the weekend finalising documents for the start of the FOCAC on Monday 3 September, 2018 on the theme, "Win-win Cooperation and Join Hands to Build a Closer Community with Shared Future for China and Africa." Jointly decided by Chinese and African parties, the theme is a reflection of the desire to meet the demands of agenda 2063, the year corresponding to the Centenary of the creation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963, which is today called the African Union (AU).

Another underlining meaning of the theme of FOCAC is linked to the UN agenda on the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs) by 2030 as well as the national visions of some African leaders same as both Presidents Paul Biya and Xi Jinping.While President Biya eyes an emergent Cameroon in 2035, President Xi Jinping equally envisages a modern Chinese-style socialism in 2035.

The hundreds of business persons that will form part of the Cameroon delegation in China are certainly going to create contacts which could help them meet up the development vision of the country. Out of the 27 prominent personalities being announced at the FOCAC include the Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, the Current Chair of the AU, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the African Union Commission President, Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Of course, there will be nearly all Heads of State and Government of African countries. Burkina Faso as well as Soa Tome and Principe, formerly allies of Taiwan will be at their first FOCAC following the new diplomatic relations they have negotiated with Beijing.

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