China’s National People Congress Begins Annual Session to Deliberate Plans For 2017
Beijing, China – The government of the People’s Republic of China says it will increase medical assistance to Africa this year and explain its proposal for improving the world’s economic governance.
Report by Alpha Daffae Senkpeni – [email protected]
The announcement was contained in a report by China’s main advisory body delivered at the opening of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) held in Beijing on Friday, March 3.
It is not yet known the African countries that will benefit from this medical assistance or the amount of money the world’s most populous nation will invest to improve the continent’s health sector.
Many African countries have endured difficulties with their respective health systems and West African countries including Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are still struggling to recover from the scourge of the Ebola outbreak that killed over 11,000 people in the three countries and slow economic growth.
As an economic power house, the PRC is aiming to cement its influence across the world as part of it globalization approach captured amongst its major tasks for 2017 which specifically emphasizes developing ties with “friends overseas”.
“We will offer suggestions on Improving and strengthening China’s medical assistance efforts in Africa,” said Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the CPPCC.
China is also optimistic of improving its international communication with a focus on informing the world about the country’s multiparty cooperation and political system led by the Communist Party of China.
“… And on explaining China’s proposition for improving global economic governance and its idea of building an international community of shared future so as to create a sound external environment,” Yu added as one of his country’s priorities for 2017.
Already, China trade interactions with Africa has intensified as bilateral agreements with several African countries have also influenced infrastructural projects including a railway connecting East Africa, the construction of the African Union Headquarters in Ethiopia and the ongoing US$50 million ministerial complex project in Liberia.
China is Africa’s largest trading partner and the trade volume between them amounted to US$220 billion in 2014, according to Xinhua, the country’s main news agency.
“China is a responsible country,” Premier of the state council, Li Keqiang said on Sunday in Beijing at the opening of the National People Congress (NPC).
“We have always striven to honor the commitments we have made, and we will firmly defend our due rights and interests.”
In 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised more aid to Africa, a continent that supplies oil and raw materials such as copper and uranium to the Asian nation.
The PRC effort to improve medical assistance to Africa and solidify existing relations comes as the United States of America considers slicing its aid support to African countries.
US President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal looks to increase defense and security spending and might cut down non-defense programs, which includes international aid.
According to the office of US budget director, President Trump’s proposed budget increases defense spending to $603 billion and decrease non-defense discretionary spending to US$462 billion.
Food shortage due to drought has become a major problem in East Africa – mainly Somalia, and the situation is worsening as the US President’s lingering foreign aid cuts remain unchanged.
The United Nations has requested $4.4 billion to curtail the famine.
But just little contributions have been made so far. The U.S. contributed US$6.4 billion in humanitarian aid in 2016, according to the UN.
Meanwhile, politics has now taken central stage in China as the two main political institutions – CPPCC and the National People’s Congress began their Fifth session of the 12th congress of the country.
The NPC is the legislative arm of the PRC.
Amongst several other issues, these two sessions will proffer ideas about helping Africa and improving international trade and increase awareness of the values, institutional strengths and achievements of Contemporary China.
China’s economic success in 2016 was the highest in the world as it remains the second powerful economy in the world, and the World Bank’s statistics show the country’s economic growth accounts for about a third of the whole world’s economic growth.
This year, China says it will carry out active expansion in opening up to the world and encourage international industrial capacity cooperation with other countries to determine and measure its own economic prowess.