China has always supported Somalia in preserving its national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday, pledging China’s support for Somalia’s development.
President Xi made the remarks when meeting with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who is in Beijing to attend the upcoming 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
China and Somalia enjoy a long history of friendship, Xi said, adding that Somalia was the first country in East Africa to establish diplomatic relations with China and was also one of the countries supporting the People’s Republic of China in restoring its lawful seat in the United Nations.
The Chinese-built Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, August 9, 2017. /Xinhua Photo
China congratulates the Somali government’s achievements in the peace and reconstruction process and will continuously support the country in its efforts to advance the political process, promote social reconciliation and enhance its governance capacity, Xi added.
Xi also noted the two sides should strengthen cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, the FOCAC and the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.
The Somali president said the Somali government and people always remember China’s support and help for Somalia’s independence and development
Somalia admires China’s tremendous accomplishments over the past 40 years of reform and opening up and hopes to learn from China’s experiences, Farmajo added.
The first fleet from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy left for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia to escort civilian ships, April 8, 2009. /VCG Photo
He said Somalia firmly adheres to the one-China policy and actively supports the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
Somalia is willing to work together with China to build a community with a shared future for China and Africa under the framework of the FOCAC, Farmajo stressed.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a series of bilateral cooperation documents.
Bilateral trade volume reached 485 million US dollars in 2017 with year-on-year growth of 20 percent.
The Chinese government has built over 80 infrastructural projects like hospitals, stadiums and roads. To date, China has dispatched a medical team of more than 400 members in 13 batches to the country since 1991.
Still, with the authorization of related UN resolutions, China has deployed its navy fleet to carry out escort missions in the waters off Somalia, which has contributed to maintaining security there.