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DRC-China: a new roadmap for bilateral cooperation

Kinshasa, March 17th, 2023 (CPA) China and the Democratic Republic of Congo are working on a new roadmap of bilateral cooperation to promote their exchanges, said the Chinese vice-minister of Foreign Affairs, Deng Li, at the end of a meeting, Thursday in Kinshasa, with the head of Congolese diplomacy.

« This time, I am in DRC, in particular to further promote the development of our bilateral relations and to make good preparations for the upcoming events. So from now on, we would like to talk with the Congolese side to plan the development of bilateral relations starting with the promotion of exchanges at all levels between our two countries, » said the Chinese vice-minister.

« I have also come to promote cooperation between the two parties in the field of security, especially in terms of information sharing, setting up warning mechanisms, preventive and protective measures, strengthening cooperation mechanisms and punishing criminals, » he said.

Deng Li expressed the hope that Kinshasa and Beijing would sign a memorandum of understanding. « I think it is also useful for both parties to sign a memorandum of understanding on this, » he said.

He said that at present, China has already become the DRC’s leading partner in terms of investment and trade, and that any suspension of this collaboration would lead to huge losses on both sides.

« Mining cooperation between our two countries has played an important role in the economic development of the DRC and in improving the well-being of the Congolese people. Chinese mining companies with their taxes have contributed to one third of the DRC’s tax revenues. They have created 100,000 jobs in the DRC, and at the same time, progress has been made in the field of infrastructure. I think that suspending cooperation between the DRC and China will be a lose-lose measure, » said the Chinese vice-minister of foreign affairs.

Fr the setting up of a DRC-China Joint Commission

The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DRC, Christophe Lutundula, proposed the establishment of a DRC-China Joint Commission to work on the implementation of the said roadmap in order to monitor some development projects carried out in collaboration between the two countries.

Referring to the security situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Deng Li reiterated Beijing’s support for the territorial integrity of the DRC.

He said that his country supports the continuation of dialogue to resolve problems and differences, and that China also supports « African efforts to bring African solutions to African issues ».

Christophe Lutundula, for his part, asked China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to sanction Rwanda and the terrorist group M23, for the aggression in the eastern part of the DRC.

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