India, China on same page in bid to open up Africa: Beijing
Beijing: China and India — the two largest developing countries and also emerging markets — want to help and deepen cooperation with Africa and both the Asian giants are on the same page in their efforts to assist African countries, a top Chinese official said on Tuesday.
China also mooted "India-China Plus One" approach to assist African countries, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Rwanda within a span of 24 hours, while on their way to BRICS summit in South Africa.
While Xi visited the East African country from Sunday to Monday, Modi arrived in Kigali, the Rwandan capital, on Monday. Playing down any India-China competition to gain influence in Africa, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the media here that both countries are on the same page to assist African countries.
During Xi's visit to Kigali, both China and Rwanda signed several bilateral cooperation documents including the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Geng said in response to a question about visits of Xi and Modi to the African country.
India has extended a $200 million lines of credit to Rwanda for development projects and Rwanda's Finance Minister Uzziel Ndagijimana has been quoted as saying in the media that an agreement has been signed with China to provide $126 million for two road projects.
"We noticed that on the same day, Prime Minister Modi also visited Rwanda and the two countries signed several bilateral cooperation agreements on investment and infrastructure. China and India are the two largest developing countries and also emerging markets. We both want to help and deepen cooperation with African nations. We are on the same page," Geng said.
Referring to Modi-Xi informal summit at Wuhan city in April followed by another one at Qingdao during Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, Geng said the two leaders were set to meet again at the BRICS summit in South Africa this week.
"The cooperation between both countries is developing with sound momentum. We hope that both countries could continue to implement the consensus between the two leaders, explore other cooperation models like 'China-India plus one' or 'China-India plus X' so as to realise win-win cooperation for China and India and for the peace and stability in the region," he said.
China had mooted the India-China Plus One cooperation with India's South Asian neighbours at the Wuhan summit, according to Chinese officials who spoke about the same on Tuesday in the context of the forays being made by both the countries in Africa.
China has been stepping up its reach in Africa with billions of dollars of investments under the BRI initiative.