By Mmapula Molapong
The People’s Republic of China on Wednesday officially opened the joint ceremony of China Africa Press Center CAPC and China Asia Pacific Press Center CAPPC 2019 program at the Diplomatic Residence in Beijing. 50 journalists from 49 African and Asian Pacific countries will spend 10 months in Beijing, China working in Chinese newsrooms, visiting various provinces, doing media courses and attending cultural activities and diplomatic events.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Vice President of the China Public Diplomacy Association CPDA, Hu Zhengyue said China and Africa are both developing countries who have helped each other through thick and thin. ” We are naturally a community of shared destiny and an important power to promote the world to develop toward more fairness and justice. Our long histories, splendid civilizations and traditional friendship knit us tightly together. In recent years under the framework of Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the belt & road initiative, we have achieved very productive practical cooperation in many areas, bringing substantial benefits to both Chinese and African people.”
He noted to journalists from Asia-Pacific countries that their borderline connections makes them good neighbors and partners. “We are all upholders and contributors of long term peace, stability and prosperity of the region. China cherishes the friendship and momentum of mutually beneficial cooperation between us.”
Zhengyue welcomed the journalists and stated that the media’s role is to act as a bridge through which people from all countries understand and communicate with one another.
The CAPC program has been held for five terms while CAPPC is on it’s third term.
One of the participants from the CAPC program, Mubarak Mugabo from Uganda acknowledged China for the developments it is doing in Africa. “These projects and investments have had a significant impact in Africa and are contributing to Africa’s economic development. Africans are seeing growth in employment, skills improvement and a boost of economic activities as a result of China relations.”
He added that it is unfortunate that the cooperation between China and Africa has faced a negative and harmful propaganda from most of the world and that it was upon the journalists in this program to turn around these perceptions.