China-Africa cooperation will never compromise Africa’s ecological
conservation and long-term interests
Du Ping, Daily Maverick
August 31, 2021
After reading the article, ‘China in Africa: Unpacking “crimes” against the
Earth’, on the Daily Maverick website on 17 August, Chinese Embassy
spokesperson Du Ping shares her observations.
Counsellor Du Ping is spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in South Africa
First, China is playing a constructive role in global climate governance
and earnestly fulfilling its responsibilities as a major developing
Climate change is triggered by the unrestrained emission of greenhouse
gases in developed countries since the industrial revolution over more than
200 years. Developed countries are the major culprits in climate change. In
response to climate change, the international community has agreed to give
full consideration to the rights of developing countries to development.
Both China and African countries call for upholding the principle of common
but differentiated responsibilities and stress that developed countries are
obliged to support developing countries in mitigating and adapting to
climate change. China is playing a constructive role in global climate
governance and has always honoured its promises. China has set the goals
and vision such as peaking carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieving
carbon neutrality by 2060.
Second, China-Africa cooperation does not compromise Africa’s ecological
conservation and long-term interests.
As a staunch partner of Africa in its sustained development, China upholds
a vision of green development for cooperation with Africa. We will never
compromise Africa’s environment and long-term interests. China announced 10
Cooperation Plans to foster cooperation with Africa at the Johannesburg
Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in December 2015.
According to the “Green Development Cooperation Program”, China promised to
support Africa in enhancing capabilities for green, low-carbon and
sustainable development, and implementing 100 projects, including clean
energy and wildlife conservation projects, environment-friendly
agricultural projects and smart city projects.
At the FOCAC Beijing Summit in 2018, green development was further
prioritised among the Eight Major Initiatives proposed. Many environmental
protection and clean-energy projects have already been delivered. China is
also committed to upholding high standards in the Belt and Road cooperation
with African countries for green development.
Third, China-Africa cooperation in wildlife conservation has been highly
praised by all parties.
China has inked cooperation agreements on wildlife conservation with South
Africa, Kenya and other African countries. In early 2018, China and the UK
jointly hosted wildlife conservation law enforcement training workshops in
Johannesburg, in which wildlife conservation law enforcement officers from
seven African countries participated.
Wilson Serrova, an elephant ranger in Masai Mara, a national reserve in
Kenya, said: “We often see investment and construction activities by
Chinese companies in Africa. They built roads and railways, invested in
building factories and helped Africa develop the economy. China is also
involved in the conservation of wildlife in Africa, which has benefited us
much. We welcome China.”
Edna Molewa, South Africa’s then environmental affairs minister, mentioned
that “South Africa and China have signed a memorandum of understanding
(MOU) on cooperation in environmental protection, which includes joint
efforts to cope with climate change and to protect wildlife in bilateral
and multilateral fields. In addition to input by the government, Chinese
companies are also actively involved in China-Africa cooperation in
wildlife conservation. This is gratifying cooperation.”
Erik Solheim, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and executive
director of the United Nations Environment Programme, pointed out: “China
plays a global role in environmental protection. The Chinese government
imposed a total ban on the trade in ivory products at the end of 2017,
which protects wild African elephants at the roots.”
Earth is home to all human beings who are connected with each other in a
community with a shared future. The right way to coexist with each other is
to show more understanding and to listen to one another, instead of playing
the game of blaming and shaming.
I am looking forward to participating in events like the seminar with the
theme of “Our Burning Planet” held by Daily Maverick to discuss
China-Africa cooperation in different fields such as climate change,
environmental protection and wildlife conservation, and share ideas for a
better future for the African continent. Through exchanges, we can have
better mutual understanding and provide true perspectives into China.