DRC leader’s upcoming visit to China to pave way for signing of key trade, mineral deals
President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Felix Tshisekedi, will pay a state visit to China from 24-29 May where he is expected to meet President Xi Jinping and their meeting is widely expected to pave the way for the two countries to seal several key trade deals, including a $6 billion infrastructure-for-minerals agreement.
The mineral-rich DRC is an important country in Africa, and China enjoys a time-honored friendship with it, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, said on Monday (22 May). The DRC is the world’s largest producer of battery material cobalt and it also has significant deposits of diamonds, gold, lithium and tantalum. Tshisekedi reportedly instructed his government at a cabinet meeting last week to move ahead with talks on the deal with Chinese counterparts after the DRC government and other stakeholders “consolidated their position”.
“China-Africa ties are at an all-time high,” Bereket Sisay, a special commentator on current affairs for the China Global Television Network (CGTN) said in a recent opinion piece, hailing China’s approach to modernization that offers a valuable model for African countries seeking economic growth and development. According to Sisay, “it is an undeniable fact that China’s transformation has been an inspirational force for most developing countries,” adding that China “could be a model for Africa, if not for others.” And he concluded on a positive note by saying that “China-Africa cooperation brings new opportunities for Africa’s development, as it expands a range of partnerships deemed important for growth.”