China-Africa cooperation in peace and security, in line with an initiative announced by China last year, will play a vital role in boosting Africa’s quest towards stability, an Ethiopian expert said Wednesday.
Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, who served as an economic advisor to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), told Xinhua that the peace and security initiative, announced during the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in September last year, provides a vital impetus to bilateral cooperation in peace and security.
The expert made the remarks as the first China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, organized by China’s Ministry of National Defense, is being held in Beijing this week.
The forum has been one of the outcomes of the initiative. Costantinos said the initiative, or action plan, “aspires to continue to promote high-level exchanges between Africa and China so as to deepen traditional friendship, enhance political mutual trust, strengthen strategic coordination and cement the political foundation of China-Africa relations.”
According to the expert, the action plan has clearly stipulated its intent to support the operationalization of the African peace and security architecture.
“The Beijing action plan is vital as it reiterates that China will increase defence and security assistance to Africa and the two sides will enhance cooperation and experience sharing in social governance, public security, peacekeeping, cybersecurity, anti-piracy and counter-terrorism,” the expert said.
The expert’s comment came as representatives of the Chinese military as well as nearly 100 security officials from 50 African countries and the AU, including 15 defence ministers and chiefs of staff, are attending the forum from July 15 to 20 in Beijing.
The attendees will discuss the initiative of building a China-Africa community with a shared future that was raised at the 2018 FOCAC Beijing summit and focus on topics including China-Africa cooperation in peace and security, and regional maritime security.