Fred M’membe and Kyeretwie Opoku: We have to defend China

We are pleased to run a further extract from the conversation, carried by Wave Media, between leaders of the Socialist Party of Zambia and the Socialist Movement of Ghana, Fred M’membe and Kyeretwie Opoku, regarding the past, present and future of relations between China and Africa. 

They note that more and more young people in both China and Africa are seeing through imperialist lies and that after just a few days stay in China, they have come to the conclusion that the Chinese revolution is unstoppable.

Noting that China and Africa understand each other and are drawn together by a similar history of oppression by colonialism and imperialism from the 19th century onwards, they affirm that China today offers an alternative path to overcome poverty and realize development. In fact, they state, it is now the only path, as the old path of colonial expansion is closed off to those seeking to develop in the contemporary world.  We have to defend China, they insist, because what China has achieved are our achievements, too. They also make the important point that non-interference does not preclude solidarity.

See also: When the West visits Africa, they talk about China

President Hassan’s visit reflects long-standing special relationship between China and Tanzania

As part of its post-Congress diplomacy, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan, the East African country’s first female head of state, was one of four foreign leaders to visit China last week and the first from Africa to visit after the conclusion of the 20th Congress. This fully reflects the long-standing special relationship and solidarity between the two countries, forged by Tanzania’s founding President Julius Nyerere and successive generations of Chinese leaders, including Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. Tanzania was also one of the four countries visited by Xi Jinping in his first overseas visit on being elected President of China in 2013. 

Symbolic of this history, among the 15 agreements signed during President Hassan’s visit was one to upgrade the Tazara railway, built by China between 1970-75 to allow landlocked Zambia to export its goods via Tanzanian ports at a time when the country was blockaded by the white racist regimes then in power in ‘Rhodesia’ (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa.

In its coverage of the state visit, China’s Global Times noted: “Running some 1,870 kilometers, the railway is sometimes regarded as the greatest engineering effort of its kind since World War II. The railway took only five years to build and was finished ahead of schedule in 1975.”

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post wrote: “China’s involvement in the Tazara railway began in the 1970s under the leadership of Mao Zedong and then premier Zhou Enlai, when the country was facing its own financial difficulties. Lusaka was desperate for a railway link to the Tanzanian coast. Neighbouring white-controlled Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) had cut landlocked Zambia’s only outlet to the sea for its main export copper, in response to its support of African nationalist guerrillas fighting for the transfer of power to the Rhodesian black majority. China stepped in after the US and Russia refused to fund a new railway, on the grounds it did not make economic sense, and the Tazara was built for about a billion yuan – billions of US dollars at today’s rates – in interest-free loans. The 1,860km (1,155 miles) of track stretching from Zambia’s copper belt to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean was built between 1970 and 1975 with the help of 50,000 Chinese workers.”

Reporting on Xi Jinping’s meeting with his Tanzanian counterpart, the Xinhua News Agency wrote that the Chinese leader pointed out both the CPC and the Tanzanian Revolutionary Party (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) shoulder the historical mission of strengthening themselves and the country they govern, adding that the CPC will expand exchanges and cooperation with the CCM and support the curriculum and operation of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School. Xi stressed that China views its relations with Tanzania from a strategic perspective and will always be a trustworthy friend of the country.

The Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School was built by China in Tanzania as a joint cadre training school for the progressive ruling parties in that country, along with those of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia and Angola, all of whom led the liberation struggle in their respective countries. 

Referring to the Tazara Railway, Xi said that it marks a milestone in China-Tanzania and China-Africa friendship. Even when China was poor, it tightened its belt to help its African brothers build this railway. “Now that China is more developed, it is better placed to act on the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, help our African friends achieve common development, and build a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.”

The following reports were first carried by the Xinhua News Agency and the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Xi holds talks with Tanzanian president

Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with visiting Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan in Beijing on Thursday. The two presidents announced the elevation of the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Noting that President Hassan is the first African head of state China has received after the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Xi said it speaks volumes about the two countries’ close ties and the important position of China-Africa relations on China’s diplomatic agenda.

Xi recalled putting forth, while visiting Tanzania in 2013, the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith to guide China’s cooperation with African countries. It has now become the basic policy guiding China’s solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries.

Continue reading President Hassan’s visit reflects long-standing special relationship between China and Tanzania

Video: When the West visits Africa, they talk about China

We are pleased to reproduce this video from Wave Media featuring a dialogue between Fred M’membe, President of the Socialist Party of Zambia, and Kyeretwie Opoku, Convenor of the Socialist Movement of Ghana, two of the new-emerging Marxist parties in Africa, on the question of relations between Africa and China. 

According to the discussants, China is not an enemy of Africa.  China has never attempted to colonize an African country and still has no ambitions to do so.  In contrast, they note that the imperialist powers, particularly the United States, are increasingly trying to recolonize the continent. With their setting up of more military bases, their aim is both to suppress popular revolts as well as to exclude those they deem to be external competitors. The US and other Western powers are not there to defend the local people but rather their control of strategic minerals. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has an estimated 70% of the world’s cobalt resources, and neighboring countries like Zambia, Namibia and Niger are also rich in cobalt, uranium and other minerals. A Nigerien uranium mine supplies one third of France’s electricity. In one of the world’s poorest countries, people are being poisoned for generations to come by having to work in this open-pit mine.

When the west was colonizing Africa, the discussants note, China was supporting the liberation struggle, and subsequently helped defend Africa’s newly won independence. A key example was the Tazara Railway, which enabled landlocked Zambia to break out of its blockade and encirclement by countries still then under racist and colonial rule. Both the United States and Britain refused to help build the railway, but China stepped in, even though it had no comparable railways of its own at that time and many African countries had a higher GDP per capita than China. Today, almost all the major new infrastructure projects to be seen in Africa have been built by China.

Similarly, in the 1970s, Zambia was repeatedly bombed by the white racist regimes in South Africa and ‘Rhodesia’. The country had no air defenses to protect its territory or the bases of the national liberation movements it was hosting. The Americans, British and even the Soviet Union refused to sell air defenses to Zambia. China was the only country prepared to aid Zambia in this way, sending an entire squadron of MiG21s, even though China itself possessed only limited defenses at that time.

China has proved itself to be key partner for African development

We are pleased to reprint the below article by Michael Olugbode, a journalist with the Nigerian newspaper, This Day, originally carried by People’s Daily Online.

Situating his argument in the context of the contributions of the great Pan-African and socialist revolutionaries Walter Rodney and Frantz Fanon, respectively from Guyana and Martinique, and their most famous works, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa and The Wretched of the Earth, Michael goes on to assert:

“It has been many decades since colonization ‘ended’ on the African continent, but the continent has not fully healed from this past trauma and continues to search for a path to continue from where its development was disrupted. Perhaps this search may have at last come to an end with the support of a country that had also once witnessed a dose of colonization and whose people has since healed from this inhumane history, having emerged from the ruins of colonization and wars to become the fastest growing economy on the planet. That country is none other than the People’s Republic of China.”

Outlining details of the multifaceted cooperation between China and Africa, he notes that the 10 plans that President Xi Jinping outlined at the 2015 FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) Summit in Johannesburg have been implemented in full, with the construction of numerous railways, highways, airports, ports and other infrastructure projects, and concludes:

“The facts are there for everyone to see that Africa has finally and gradually started moving towards a promising mode of development thanks to the fellow brother that China has proven itself to be.”

Modern science, and especially the latest archeological discoveries, has shown that the African continent is the cradle of humankind. Its people were developing slowly and steadily at their own pace until some external forces invaded the continent and carted away its able bodied men and women to strange lands where they were forced to toil for generations building the emerging economies of another continent.

Some have referred to this process as an exchange or perhaps a kind of trade, but could it be described as such when humans, treated like nothing but property, were exchanged for goods such as guns and gin. No wonder Walter Rodney, in reference to his book How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, argued that it was a combination of power politics and economic exploitation of Africa by Europeans that eventually led to the poor state of African political and economic development as became evident in the late 20th century. Although the author did not state his intention “to remove the ultimate responsibility for development from the shoulders of Africans… [He believes that] every African has a responsibility to understand the [capitalist] system and work for its overthrow.”

Similarly, Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth provides insights into how the developmental strides of Africa were distorted. The psychiatrist provided a psychological and psychiatric analysis of the dehumanizing effects of colonization upon the individuals and the nations of Africa, and discussed the broader social, cultural, and political implications of establishing a social movement for the decolonization of a person and of a people.

It has been many decades since colonization “ended” on the African continent, but the continent has not fully healed from this past trauma and continues to search for a path to continue from where its development was disrupted. Perhaps this search may have at last come to an end with the support of a country that had also once witnessed a dose of colonization and whose people has since healed from this inhumane history, having emerged from the ruins of colonization and wars to become the fastest growing economy on the planet. That country is none other than the People’s Republic of China.

China has presented Africa with a way out of its constant state of underdevelopment by offering a friendly win-win international development springboard in the form of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). At the opening ceremony of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping quoted the observations of an ancient Chinese scholar, who stated that: “Only with deep roots can a tree yield rich fruit; only filled with oil can a lamp burn brightly.” Xi noted that history follows its own rules and logic, and that with a similar fate in the past and a common mission, China and Africa have extended sympathy to and helped each other throughout all the past years. He said: “Together, we have embarked on a distinctive path of win-win cooperation.”

“Marching on this path, China has followed the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests. China has stood with African countries. Together, we have worked in unity and forged ahead,” said Xi.

The words of President Xi is the moving spirit behind the FOCAC. Since the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit, China has fully implemented the 10 cooperation plans adopted at the Summit. A large number of railways, highways, airports, ports and other infrastructure projects as well as a number of economic and trade cooperation zones have been built or are under construction. Mutual cooperation on peace and security, science and technology, education, culture, health, poverty reduction, and people-to-people exchanges has been deepened. The massive financing pledged by China has been either delivered or arranged to be delivered. These 10 cooperation plans have brought huge benefits to the African and Chinese peoples. They have fully demonstrated the creativity, rallying power and efficiency of China-Africa cooperation, and have lifted the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to new heights.

China has meanwhile promised to build an even closer-knit China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era. It has even gone a step further to launch an industrial promotion initiative and a China-Africa economic and trade expo in China to encourage Chinese companies to increase their investment in Africa, in addition to building and upgrading a number of economic and trade cooperation zones in Africa. China also has a plan to support Africa in achieving general food security by 2030, working with Africa to formulate and implement a program of action to promote China-Africa cooperation on agricultural modernization. China has continued to strengthen cooperation with African countries in local currency settlement and has made good use of the China-Africa Development Fund, the China-Africa Fund for Industrial Cooperation, and the Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs.

The list is endless. Every series of important cooperation plans proposed by China during each FOCAC Summit has been effectively implemented, which has provided a great boost to the economic and social development of Africa and which has been highly praised by the African people and the international community.

China-Africa trade and cooperation have both blossomed. A number of major Chinese-assisted infrastructure projects have been completed, including the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, Kenya’s standard gauge railway from Mombasa to Nairobi, and Cote d’Ivoire’s Soubre hydropower plant. These projects provide much needed transport and energy infrastructure to help further develop local industries.

The facts are there for everyone to see that Africa has finally and gradually started moving towards a promising mode of development thanks to the fellow brother that China has proven itself to be.

Danny Haiphong: Does China practice imperialism in Africa?

In this video breakdown on the Left Lens, co-editor of Friends of Socialist China Danny Haiphong analyzes China’s recent announcement that 23 interest-free loans to 17 African nations will be forgiven in the context of its broader relationship with the continent. Haiphong argues that China not only provides more flexible loan terms but also prioritizes the industrial development and export markets of African nations, something Western imperialism has never done.

Congo-China friendship “not empty words”

The below article, which we republish from the Xinhua News Agency, details how the Republic of Congo stepped forward to rebuild a primary school in a Tibetan autonomous area of China’s Qinghai province after the region was hit by a devastating earthquake in 2010. This touching story highlights the fact that the Republic of Congo (capital Brazzaville) is one of China’s long-standing special friends in Africa. This close friendship dates above all to the presidency of the late Marien Ngoubai, who served as head of state, 1969-1977, in which time he made a serious attempt to build a socialist state and founded the Congolese Labour Party (PTC). A major landmark in this regard was his 1973 visit to China, (North) Vietnam and the DPRK. For his part, President Xi Jinping took Congo as the final stop of his first overseas visit as head of state, in March 2013, which saw him first visit Russia, Tanzania and South Africa, where he also attended a BRICS Summit. The PTC, which is still the ruling party in Congo, was among the participants in last month’s world forum of Marxist parties hosted by the CPC.

For Basile Ikouebe, former foreign minister of the Republic of the Congo, the day when he inaugurated a Congo-aided school on China’s Qinghai-Tibet Plateau 10 years ago remains fresh in his memory.

In April 2010, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in northwest China’s Qinghai Province.

As locals were struggling to rebuild their homes, Congo, a country on the other side of the world, decided to reach out. When attending the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso announced that the country would help rebuild a primary school in the quake-hit area.

“The friendship between our two countries is not empty words,” said Ikouebe. Friendship between Congo and China has always stood the test of time with solidarity and a heart of gold.

“To see our partner dealing with such a difficult situation, we should express our compassion and solidarity,” explained Ikouebe in a recent interview with Xinhua, underlining that Congo has “the heart to honor its commitments and solidarity” with China.

Continue reading Congo-China friendship “not empty words”

China, Ghana celebrate 61st anniversary of friendship treaty

We are pleased to reproduce this short piece from the Xinhua News Agency regarding the celebration organised last week in Accra by the Ghana China Friendship Association (GHACHIFA), marking the 61st anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship between China and Ghana. Joined by Ghana’s Chinese community, GHACHIFA also took this occasion to honour their founder Kojo Amoo-Gottfried. 

Amoo-Gottfried founded GHACHIFA in 2000, when he retired from the diplomatic service and returned home from his posting as Ambassador to China. A lifelong friend of China, he was, as a schoolboy, inspired by the victory of the Chinese revolution in 1949. He first visited China, representing the West African Students Union (WASU), in 1959, for the tenth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. On that occasion he was received by Chairman Mao Zedong and he has maintained close friendships with successive generations of Chinese leaders since then, as well as with many other leading revolutionaries and statespeople worldwide, notably Malcolm X, Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro. He was among the many tens of thousands in Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium to witness the 1962 signing of the Friendship Treaty by Presidents Liu Shaoqi and Kwame Nkrumah. When the progressive government of Jerry Rawlings came to power, Kojo served successively as his country’s Ambassador to Cuba (and concurrently to many regional countries including revolutionary Nicaragua and Grenada), to the United Nations in Geneva and finally in China (and concurrently to the DPRK, Vietnam and Cambodia).

Kojo Amoo Gottfried is a member of the Friends of Socialist China advisory group and a much-loved friend and comrade.

The Chinese community and their Ghanaian counterparts late Thursday celebrated the 61st anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship between China and Ghana.

The celebration, organized by the Ghana-China Friendship Association (GHACHIFA), was also used to honor Ghana’s first ambassador to China and founder of GHACHIFA Kojo Amoo-Gottfried.

Chinese ambassador to Ghana Lu Kun said in his keynote message that the relations between the two countries have grown rapidly, with China providing development assistance to Ghana as Ghana continued to support China on the global stage.

Lu lauded the role of GHACHIFA in deepening the time-honored friendship and fostering genuine and dynamic people-to-people diplomacy and cultural relations between the two countries.

“Long distance separates no bosom friends. Even though China and Ghana are geographically far apart, our longstanding friendship, rooted in shared historical experiences and practical cooperation, has stood the test of time and will surely keep flourishing in the years ahead,” added the Chinese ambassador.

McArios Akanbeanab Akanbong, the director of the Legal and Treaties Bureau of Ghana’s Foreign Ministry, said China is a dependable friend of Ghana. “And because we want to go far, we will continue to walk with China,” he said.

During the celebration, GHACHIFA presented a citation to Amoo-Gottfried for establishing the association in 2000 and his contributions to the friendly relations between China and Ghana.

Expanding China-Africa friendship and cooperation

On August 18, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired, by video link from Beijing, the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-Up Actions of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

At this meeting, Wang announced that China is forgiving 23 interest-free loans for 17 African nations. Writing on Multipolarista, the website he edits, Benjamin Norton notes:

“This is in addition to China’s cancellation of more than $3.4 billion in debt and restructuring of around $15 billion of debt in Africa between 2000 and 2019. While Beijing has a repeated history of forgiving loans like this, Western governments have made baseless, politically motivated accusations that China uses ‘debt-trap diplomacy’ in the Global South.”

Wang Yi’s speech contained a wealth of detail on the progress in China-Africa cooperation since the ministerial meeting was held last November, including that:

  • China has completed major projects in Senegal, Kenya, Cameroon and Egypt.
  • Provided emergency food assistance to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea.
  • Provided 189 million doses of anti-Covid vaccines to 27 African countries, with joint production capacity in Africa having now reached around 400 million doses.
  • Undertaken resilient and sustainable development initiatives in Zambia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Seychelles, Madagascar and Mozambique.

Presenting a number of proposals to develop the cooperation still further, Wang welcomed the initiative by Tanzania and Zambia to restart the Tazara railway, a huge project built by China in the 1970s to help those countries get out from the vice-like economic grip exercised by the countries to their south that were still under white racist and colonial rule.

On August 22, the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post reported that, “the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation has been appointed to carry out a feasibility study on the project, the Chinese embassy in Zambia announced.

“‘China is making every effort to prepare for the reactivation of the railway upon Zambian and Tanzanian request again,’ Chinese ambassador to Lusaka Du Xiaohui said, adding that Beijing will engage the Zambian and Tanzanian governments to explore ways to make Tazara profitable.”

Noting that some 70 Chinese workers and engineers sacrificed their lives in the course of building the railway, the newspaper further reported that, on August 10, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema commissioned a memorial park in their honour in Chongwe, near to the national capital, Lusaka.

We reprint below the article by Benjamin Norton and the full text of Minister Wang Yi’s speech. They were originally carried respectively by Multipolarista and the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

China forgives 23 loans for 17 African countries, expands ‘win-win’ trade and infrastructure projects

The Chinese government has announced that it is forgiving 23 interest-free loans for 17 African nations, while pledging to deepen its collaboration with the continent.

This is in addition to China’s cancellation of more than $3.4 billion in debt and restructuring of around $15 billion of debt in Africa between 2000 and 2019.

While Beijing has a repeated history of forgiving loans like this, Western governments have made baseless, politically motivated accusations that China uses “debt-trap diplomacy” in the Global South.

Continue reading Expanding China-Africa friendship and cooperation

Africa, China, and US imperialism

This important essay by US scholar Joel Wendland-Liu, originally published on the CPUSA website, provides a serious and detailed comparison of the US-Africa relationship and the China-Africa relationship. Referencing numerous recent studies indicating that Africans – and particularly younger Africans – have a more favorable opinion of China than of the US, the author contrasts the West’s record of military, economic and political coercion on the continent with China’s record of extensive, mutually-beneficial cooperation.

Wendland-Liu notes that China’s loans and investment terms are consistently more favorable than those of the US, and that China’s interest rates are lower and repayment terms more flexible. Most importantly, Chinese financing does not come with strings attached, and investment is not linked to an undermining of African sovereignty – as is the case with the Western financial institutions. Meanwhile, it is the US and its allies that are engaged in assorted and escalating military projects in Africa, in particular via AFRICOM.

The assorted (and unsubstantiated) claims about Chinese “debt traps” and imperialistic behavior in Africa, generated by the Western ruling class media but unfortunately parroted by sections of the left, serve to demonize China and to distract attention from the West’s very real ongoing imperialist objectives on the continent. As such, it is crucial that these myths be comprehensively exposed.

The U.S. government has become obsessed with Africa. Not with fostering its strength, independence, health, or economic development, mind you. Instead, it is worried about why Africans don’t like us much. Recent polling in 29 African countries shows that African youth hold more favorable opinions of China than of the U.S. More than eight in 10 respondents see China’s influence in their country as both more prominent than that of the U.S. and more positive. Upbeat views of China are nearly unanimous in Nigeria, Malawi, and Uganda.

Separate data reveals that since 2015 the number of African students from English-speaking countries who gained admission to Chinese universities surpassed that of those who attend universities in the U.K. and the U.S.

This data shows a considerable shift in African perceptions of China, to the detriment of the dominant neocolonial powers.

After four centuries of the European/American slave trade, colonialism, and neocolonialism, followed by decades of neglect, the U.S. government in 2021 called Africa “the southern flank” of NATO. Large chunks of the massive annual $800 billion military budget fund the complex of military installations, intelligence networks, and interventionist political projects called AFRICOM.

Continue reading Africa, China, and US imperialism

Xi Jinping sends message of condolence on the death of José Eduardo dos Santos

José Eduardo dos Santos, who served as President of Angola from 1979-2017, passed away on July 8. Born in 1942, he joined the MPLA liberation movement in his early years. Sent by the MPLA to study in the Soviet Union, he obtained degrees in petroleum engineering and radar communications from Baku’s Oil and Chemistry Institute in Soviet Azerbaijan. He subsequently participated in the armed struggle against Portuguese colonial rule for several years and also represented the MPLA in a number of countries, including China and Yugoslavia. 

China and Angola established formal diplomatic relations in 1983, during President dos Santos’s term of office, and he went on to develop close political and economic relations with Beijing, with, according to 2021 figures, Angola now established as China’s third-largest trading partner in Africa. 

The following report of President Xi Jinping’s message of condolence on the death of President dos Santos is translated from the Portuguese language service of China Radio International.

On July 12th, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolences to Angolan President João Lourenço on the death of the former president of the African country, José Eduardo dos Santos.

Xi Jinping offered deep condolences on behalf of the Chinese government and people. He stated that José Eduardo dos Santos was an excellent leader of Angola and an old friend of China, as he made important contributions to the development of Sino-Angolan relations.

According to Xi Jinping, the Chinese side highly values ​​the traditional fraternal friendship with Angola and wants to work together with the Angolan side to expand and deepen friendly cooperation in all areas and generate more benefits for both peoples.

Li Mingxiang attends the 15th National Conference of the South African Communist Party

The South African Communist Party (SACP), Africa’s oldest communist party, held its 15th National Congress from July 13-16. Solly Mapaila was elected as the new General Secretary, replacing Blade Nzimande, who had held the post since 1998. Nzimande was elected Party President. Congress heard that the Party now had well over 330,000 members.

Li Mingxiang, Assistant Minister of the Communist Party of China’s International Department, attended and addressed the congress via video link, presenting greetings from the CPC Central Committee. He spoke positively of the SACP’s contributions to ending apartheid, founding and developing a new South Africa, and advancing the exploration of socialism in South Africa over the past century and more. Also addressing the congress were Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the African National Congress (ANC) and of the Republic of South Africa, representatives of the ruling parties of Cuba, Venezuela and Palestine, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, and others.

The following report was carried on the website of the CPC International Department.

Li Mingxiang, Assistant-minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC), attended here today the 15th National Conference of the South African Communist Party (SACP) via video link upon invitation, and read out the congratulatory letter of the CPC Central Committee to the SACP Central Committee.

In his speech, Li spoke positively of SACP’s contributions to ending apartheid, founding and developing a new South Africa, and advancing the exploration of socialism in South Africa over the past century and more. Li introduced the historic achievements of the CPC Central Committee, with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, in pushing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era against the backdrop of profound changes unseen in a century, and briefed on the upcoming 20th CPC National Congress and the fourth volume of “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China” which was released recently. Li said, the CPC is willing to work with the SACP to conform to the trend of times, march towards the right direction of building a community with a shared future for mankind, and open up a future together.

Themed on “Together, Let’s Build a Powerful, Socialist Movement of the Workers and Poor”, the 15th National Conference of the SACP was held from July 13th to 16th in Johannesburg, South Africa. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the African National Congress and the Republic of South Africa, major leaders of the coalition, representatives from international friendly parties such as Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the Communist Party of Cuba, and some diplomatic envoys in South Africa attended the conference upon invitation.

China reaffirms close friendship with Zimbabwe and Mozambique

China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi visited Zimbabwe and Mozambique at the beginning of July as the final part of a foreign tour that had previously taken him to Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). China and the two southern African nations enjoy particularly close and friendly relations since Beijing extended all-out support to their armed struggles for national liberation against imperialism, colonialism and racism in the 1960s and 70s.

In a July 10 article entitled ‘Visit by China’s top diplomat underscores importance of Zimbabwe ties’, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP) observed that: “A trip to Harare this month by China’s top diplomat has underscored the importance of Beijing’s relationship with Zimbabwe, its firmest economic and diplomatic ally in Africa. Zimbabwe has been cut off from global capital markets in the two decades since the United States and some other Western nations imposed sanctions on Harare…leaving Beijing as the main financier of infrastructure projects such as hydroelectric dams, airports and roads.”

The paper quoted Yang as saying that China “stands ready to further strengthen all-dimensional exchanges with Zimbabwe, be it party to party, government to government, military to military or people to people”. It further noted that: “China provided arms and training to the guerrillas of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army during the armed struggle that toppled the country’s white minority government in 1980. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa…was among those trained by Beijing” and continued:

“At a meeting in Harare on July 3, Mnangagwa told Yang that if China had not vetoed a push by Western powers for the United Nations to punish Zimbabwe over the land reforms that evicted white farmers, the country could have been destroyed. ‘This speaks volumes of the solid relations between Zimbabwe and China,’ Mnangagwa said after the meeting. ‘In 2008, when the Western countries, the Americans and the British and their allies, wanted to invoke the United Nations Charter which [would have] allowed them to invade Zimbabwe, the Chinese exercised their veto. This is why we are still here and remain independent, so these are solid friends of Zimbabwe.’

“He said China also funded the upgrading of the Hwange 7 and 8 thermal power plants at an estimated cost of US$1.2 billion. The Chinese embassy in Harare said the Hwange expansion project is 88 per cent complete and is expected to add 600 megawatts to Zimbabwe’s national grid.

“China has also financed the building of major airports such as Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare and Victoria Falls International Airport… Tsingshan Group, through subsidiary Dinson Iron and Steel, is spending an estimated US$1 billion to build an iron ore mine and carbon steel plant capable of producing 2 million tonnes a year in Manhize, Mvuma – south of Harare – that will be the biggest steel plant in southern Africa.”


Earlier, on July 4, the SCMP reported that: “China is preparing to hand over a new US$140 million parliament building as a gift to Zimbabwe…The site at Mount Hampden, about 18km (11 miles) northwest of the capital Harare, heralds the start of a new city.” Noting that the complex, built by the Shanghai Construction Group, had been fully paid for by China as a gift to Zimbabwe, the paper wrote: “The contractors said the facility was now ready to be handed over, 3½ years after construction started on a project that employed more than 500 Chinese technicians and 1,200 local workers. ‘There is no doubt that the new parliament will become a landmark building in Zimbabwe and even in the whole of Southern Africa,’ Shanghai Construction Group manager Libo Cai said… ‘It will be yet another milestone for the China-Zimbabwe friendship which keeps getting stronger year after year.’”

In their meetings with Yang, both Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi extended congratulations on the 101st anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and wished complete success to the party’s forthcoming 20th National Congress. Yang told Nyusi that China and Mozambique had “forged a profound traditional friendship in the struggle against imperialism and colonialism.” They were both, he continued, “developing countries that adhere to independence.”

The following reports of Yang’s meetings with the Zimbabwean and Mozambican Presidents first appeared on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Continue reading China reaffirms close friendship with Zimbabwe and Mozambique

China’s leadership celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Algerian people’s victory in their war of independence

This month marks the 60th anniversary of the Algerian people’s victory in their war of independence and the foundation of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria. It is estimated that more than a million Algerians sacrificed their lives as the French colonialists fought a brutal war to hold on to their North African colony.

Greeting his Algerian counterpart Abdelmajid Tebboune on this significant occasion, Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote that “the Algerian people realised national independence and liberation after going through an arduous struggle, writing a glorious chapter of the liberation movements of the Arabian and African peoples. The Chinese government and the Chinese people provided support and assistance to Algeria’s independence revolution, and the two countries and two peoples forged a profound friendship during the struggles.”

Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also addressed messages to their Algerian counterparts.

China was the first non-Arab country to recognise the Algerian provisional government declared by the National Liberation Front (FLN) in 1958 and provided extensive assistance to the Algerian people in the form of weapons, funds and training. Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel, referred in a 2018 speech to “the vital contribution that China has brought to the Algerian revolution to help it regain its independence. The unwavering support of China continued as it was the first country to recognise the Provisional Government of the Algerian Republic (GPRA) a few weeks after its proclamation.”

Shortly after independence, Algeria welcomed the first ever medical aid team that China sent to Africa.

The following report was first carried on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Xi Jinping Sends Message of Congratulation to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on the 60th Anniversary of the Victory of the Algerian War of Independence / Li Keqiang Sends Message of Congratulation to Algerian Prime Minister Aymene Benabderrahmane

On July 5, 2022, President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune on the 60th anniversary of the victory of the Algerian War of Independence.

Xi Jinping pointed out, sixty years ago, the Algerian people realized national independence and liberation after going through an arduous struggle, writing a glorious chapter of the liberation movements of the Arabian and African peoples. The Chinese government and the Chinese people provided support and assistance to Algeria’s independence revolution, and the two countries and two peoples forged a profound friendship during the struggles. In recent years, political mutual trust between the two countries has been strengthened continuously and bilateral practical cooperation has been fruitful, taking the China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership to ever new levels. I attach great importance to the development of China-Algeria relations and stand ready to work with President Tebboune to push forward exchanges and cooperation in all fields within the framework of the Belt and Road cooperation for the benefit of the two countries and two peoples.

On the same day, Premier Li Keqiang sent a congratulatory message to Algerian Prime Minister Aymene Benabderrahmane. Li Keqiang said, since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries 64 years ago, bilateral relations have been developing in a sound and stable manner. I would like to join hands with Prime Minister Aymene Benabderrahmane to expand and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, enrich the China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership and continuously improve the well-being of the two peoples.

Arise, Africa! Roar China! Interview with Gao Yunxiang

‘Arise Africa, Roar China’ is an important book exploring aspects of the historic linkages between progressive African Americans and the Chinese revolution. Published by the University of North Carolina Press in December 2021, the author, Dr. Gao Yunxiang was born and grew up in the People’s Republic of China and is now Professor of History at Canada’s Toronto Metropolitan University.   Her book explores the close relationships between three of the most famous twentieth-century African Americans, W. E. B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and Langston Hughes, and their little-known Chinese allies during World War II and the Cold War—journalist, musician, and Christian activist Liu Liangmo, and Sino-Caribbean dancer-choreographer Sylvia Si-lan Chen. Charting a new path in the study of Sino-American relations, Gao Yunxiang foregrounds African Americans, combining the study of Black internationalism and the experiences of Chinese Americans with a transpacific narrative and an understanding of the global remaking of China’s modern popular culture and politics. Dr. Gao reveals interactions between Chinese and African American progressives that predate those that flourished in the 1960s and early 1970s in particular.

To introduce the book, we are pleased to republish this two-part interview with Dr. Gao conducted for the popular Sixth Tone website by Liu Zifeng, a doctoral candidate in Africana Studies at Cornell University in the US.  

Liu Zifeng: How did you get interested in the ties between Chinese and African Americans? What inspired you to write “Arise Africa! Roar China!”?

Gao Yunxiang: While conducting research on my first book, “Sporting Gender,” I came across laudatory articles on W. E. B. Du Bois and Shirley Graham Du Bois in The People’s Daily. They reminded me of some things I read in my childhood: specifically, an old newspaper article and a propaganda poster.

In my childhood home in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, our ceiling was a flat lattice of wooden boards pasted over with old newspapers purchased in bulk. After I learned to read and write, I was confronted every night by a headline pasted right above my pillow — until it was covered by a new layer of old newspapers the following Lunar New Year. Since I read those words daily, they were inscribed in my brain: “Robert Williams and Madam Du Bois Fervently Acclaim Chairman Mao’s Statement Supporting Black Americans’ Struggle Against Violent Repression.”

That title is in turn connected to the memory of a poster that hung in our little classroom for 18 students between grades one to three. Advocating solidarity in the liberation struggle, the poster featured indignant men and women of various ethnicities, all dressed in vibrant clothing and charging forward, with a muscular Black man holding a gun at the center.

“Sporting Gender” was released in 2013. Around the same time, I published an article in the journal Du Bois Review that explored how W. E. B. and Shirley Graham Du Bois’ endeavors in Maoist China added new dimensions to Sino-American relations and Black internationalism. Working on that article, I naturally came across Paul Robeson, a close ally of the Du Boises. Then, while researching the fascinating yet unknown dynamics between Paul Robeson and China, I came across his Chinese allies: Liu Liangmo and Sylvia Si-lan Chen.

Of course, I was immediately curious about who they were. While looking into Chen, I learned that Langston Hughes was her lover. So, I traced these figures just like interlocked chains.

Liu: What attracted African American intellectuals, artists, and activists to China? How did they encounter Chinese and China? What were their impressions of these encounters?

Gao: Solidarity between people of color globally and their shared destiny of anti-racism and anti-colonialism attracted these figures’ attention to China. As a minority facing overwhelming state-imposed systematic racism and white supremacy, Black intellectuals and activists looked toward the similarly oppressed China for inspiration and strength.

These figures’ ties with leftist Chinese and China were built on a profound emotional and intellectual foundation. They shared a faith in Sino-Afro racial, linguistic, philosophical, and artistic kinship. Hughes observed Chinese to be “a very jolly people, much like colored folks at home”; Du Bois lauded Chinese as “my physical cousins.”

Both Du Bois and Robeson consistently articulated the linkage between African and Chinese civilizations and cited famous Chinese cultural giants such as Confucius and Laozi to argue for the sophistication of African civilization, counter negative stereotypes associated with perceived African “primitivism,” and debunk white supremacism.

Cultural kinship necessitated a political alliance. By embracing China’s revolutions as vehicles for the social and economic uplift of nonwhites, Black intellectuals directly linked the struggles of African Americans with those of nationalist Chinese. Hughes’ 1933 journey to “incredible” Shanghai made him the first Black intellectual celebrity to set foot on Chinese soil. He was profoundly sympathetic to China’s suffering under colonial oppression, especially Japan’s latest aggressions. Hughes would pen a passionate poem, “Roar, China!” following Japan’s full-scale invasion of China in 1937, lionizing China’s resistance.

The Communist victory in 1949 made China a pillar of nonwhite peoples’ revolutionary struggles and a model for millions to beat colonialism. Robeson romantically imagined that the nonwhite world would view the rising China as a “new star of the East… pointing the way out from imperialist enslavement to independence and equality. China has shown the way.”

During his epic China trip in 1959, Du Bois repeatedly proclaimed Chinese and African dignity and unity in the face of Western racism, colonialism, and capitalism: “Africa, Arise, and stand straight, speak and think! Turn from the West and your slavery and humiliation for the last 500 years and face the rising sun … China is flesh of your flesh and blood of your blood.” He predicted that the “darker world” would adopt socialism as “the only answer to the color line,” and that the status of African Americans would thereby be elevated.

Despite withdrawing from radicalism due to anti-Communist hysteria in the United States, Hughes nevertheless remained confident of the power of the People’s Republic of China. His suppressed inspiration, drawn from the Chinese Communist Party, resurfaced in his fury at the brutal racial violence African Americans suffered. “Birmingham Sunday,” Hughes’ eulogy to the four Black girls killed in the dynamiting of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday, September 15, 1963, connected his rage with the rage one once felt by oppressed Chinese.

Liu: How about the Chinese intellectuals and activists you profile? Who were they? What prompted them to reach out to African Americans and what did they do to build Sino-Black solidarity?

Gao: The Chinese intelligentsia had, through literature and drama, long connected the shared “enslavement” of the Chinese nation as a semi-colony state and the enslavement of African Americans. In the introduction to their 1901 translation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” Lin Shu and Wei Yi argue that the tortures “yellow” people faced were even worse than those endured by Black Americans. Chinese people needed to read the book, Liu and Wei write, because “slavery is looming for our race. We had to yell and scream to wake up the public.”

In the face of harassment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, as well as racial terror and segregation, Liu Liangmo’s and Sylvia Si-Lan Chen’s brave journeys to the United States brought Sino–African American cultural alliances into new historical settings. Liu was a talented musician, prolific journalist, and Christian activist who initiated the trans-Pacific mass singing movement for war mobilization during World War II. He was a pioneer among Chinese for his close collaboration with African Americans, lauding Black greatness without reservation and later facilitating the reception of the Du Boises and Robeson in the People’s Republic. Among the numerous areas in which Liu and Robeson collaborated, they helped to globalize the signature piece of the mass singing movement: “Chee Lai” or “March of the Volunteers.”

In 1941, Robeson, Liu, and the Chinese People’s Chorus, a group Liu had organized among members of the Chinese Hand Laundry Alliance in New York City’s Chinatown, recorded an album for Keynote Records titled, “Chee Lai: Songs of New China.” Liu’s liner notes for the album relay that he saw the collaboration as “a strong token of solidarity between the Chinese and the Negro People.”

Robeson’s notes read: “Chee Lai! (Arise!) is on the lips of millions of Chinese today, a sort of unofficial anthem, I am told, typifying the unconquerable spirit of this people. It is a pleasure and a privilege to sing both this song of modern composition and the old folk songs to which a nation in struggle has put new words.”

The song would be adopted as the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Chen was the world’s first “modern Chinese/Soviet dancer-choreographer” with an international reputation, according to contemporary American media accounts. She was a daughter of Eugene Chen, China’s foreign minister in the 1920s, and his French Creole wife. She was also a cousin of Dai Ailian, the acclaimed “mother of China’s modern dance.”

The Chens and Dai were all born in Trinidad and barely spoke Chinese. Chen encountered Hughes romantically in Moscow, fanning his interest in China, connecting him with the international Communist network, and helping to propel him into Shanghai’s leftist cultural circles. Chen captured the fanciful imaginations of Hughes and Robeson, who saw her as personifying the “perfect” union of Black and Chinese. Meanwhile, her own journey to choreograph and dance ethnicity, war, and revolution around the globe illustrates the complex racial and political twists of such an interracial union.

Liu: How did the African American intellectuals profiled in your book shape Chinese perceptions of Blackness and visions of the world order? And how did China’s engagement with the Africana world, at least in the cases of Liu Liangmo and Sylvia Si-Lan Chen, inform African American understandings of Chinese politics and culture and Black radical thought more generally?

Gao: W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, and Paul Robeson’s presence in China and their alliances with Chinese sojourners helped facilitate a shift in the dynamics of Pan-Africanism and Pan-Asianism and ultimately inspired the “color line” of Mao Zedong’s Third World theory.

The transformative process started with gradual changes in the images of Blacks in the Republic of China (1912-1949). Stung by its humiliating reputation as the “sick man of Asia” and alarmed by Nazi racism and Japan’s imperialist ambitions, China was acutely frustrated by the repeated defeats of Chinese athletes at the 1932 and 1936 Olympics. Thus, Chinese media celebrated the “natural” physical prowess of the boxer Joe Louis and track-and field athlete Jesse Owens on behalf of the world’s people of color.

The front cover of an issue of China’s leading cartoon magazine, Modern Sketch, devoted to the 1936 Olympics, drew inspiration from Owens’s triumph. The magazine’s back cover featured a drawing of a muscular Black woman resembling the American chanteuse Josephine Baker, clad in a banana skirt, captioned, “Victory of Colored People at the Olympics.”

Those two images exemplified Chinese portraiture of African Americans. Du Bois, who visited China around that time, announced that the race “must be represented, not only in sports, but in science, in literature, and in art.” Jazz musicians in nightclubs, who were dismissed as “foreign musical instrument devils” — yangqin gui — or else caricatured in advertisements for toothpaste and white towels, dominated Black representation in Republican Chinese media. The presence of Du Bois, Hughes, and Robeson, whose intellectual capacities Chinese critics described as “genius,” started to alter such stereotypes.

During his trip to Shanghai, Hughes was quickly embraced by the city’s leftist cultural circles, led by the author Lu Xun. Their magazines hailed him as the “first established Black revolutionary writer,” who was “howling and struggling for the oppressed races.” Hughes’ visit triggered ongoing interest in his work and Black literature in China.

The final step of connecting Blackness with revolution occurred during the People’s Republic of China. The narrative on the globally famous Robeson was quickly transformed from that of an exotic entertainer to a heroic model and inspiration for the country’s socialist citizens. He was introduced in state media as “the Black King of Songs” for the oppressed masses in the world, who “embodied the perfect marriage between art and politics.”

After Du Bois shifted his favorable gaze from Japan to the People’s Republic of China as the new pillar of the colored world, he was treated as an icon by a China aspiring to leadership in the “Third World.” During their visits, he and his wife received unprecedented state hospitality. The couple frequently rubbed shoulders with China’s top leadership, became the first Westerners to grace the Tiananmen Square podium during the country’s National Day celebrations, and frequently occupied the front pages of major newspapers. Du Bois’ birthdays were celebrated as major state events.

Liu and Chen, meanwhile, linked the burning issues facing Chinese Americans and African Americans — such as the poll tax, the Chinese Exclusion Act, Jim Crow laws, and the lynching of African Americans — while urging their abolition.


Liu Zifeng: How did the Cold War international order, Sino-Soviet relations, and shifts in Chinese and U.S. foreign policy impact relations between Chinese and African Americans?

Gao Yunxiang: Following its rough birth amid the intensifying Cold War atmosphere, the infant People’s Republic of China was forced to confront a superpower armed with nuclear weapons in the Korean War. By this point, the singer, actor, and activist Paul Robeson was enshrined as a fearless and reliable friend of China, and for Robeson, China was a strong source of support that he sorely needed.

April 20, 1949 marked the start of Robeson’s political downfall in the United States. On that day, he famously told the International Congress for Peace in Paris that it was “unthinkable that American Negroes would go to war on behalf of those who have oppressed us for generations against the Soviet Union.” That statement quickly drew widespread condemnation, including from Jackie Robinson, the famous African American baseball star, whom Robeson had helped to integrate the game.

Joining W.E.B. Du Bois in standing firmly behind Robeson was the Chinese Communist Party. The People’s Daily condemned Robinson and defended Robeson. The paper reported Robeson’s speech, highlighting the standing ovation the star received from the event’s 2,000 attendees, including Nobel Laureate and nuclear scientist Frederic Joliot-Curie and Robeson’s friend, the artist Pablo Picasso. Treating the organized regional and world peace movement as a powerful popular rebuke of U.S. involvement in China’s Civil War and later the Korean War, Chinese state media reported intensively on the involvement of Du Bois and Paul Robeson in the pacifist movement.

The United States quickly accelerated its attacks on Robeson. The most significant and ugliest example was the so-called Peekskill riots, in which right-wing mobs brutally attacked a Robeson concert in August 1949. Soon, the U.S. State Department cancelled Robeson’s passport and stalled his brilliant career. As is well documented in both Robeson’s writings and Chinese state media coverage, Robeson and the People’s Republic lent each other unyielding support during their most trying moments.

By the late 1950s, in the wake of the disastrous Great Leap Forward, China had immediate reasons to welcome public support from African American cultural giants. The CCP needed a new domestic perspective to reinvigorate the revolution and socialize the nation. In addition, it required new diplomatic defenders and tactics as it contested Soviet dominance of world communism and aspired to leadership of the “Third World” that bound the destinies of China with former agricultural colonies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

The CCP was already reaching out to Africa, but the newly independent African states met Chinese overtures with caution and reserve. The stature of these African American figures among the African diaspora helped China open doors for alliances across the continent. Du Bois’ reputation and endorsement particularly meant a great deal. Chinese outreach to Africa through diplomatic exchanges, aid, and propaganda peaked following the Du Boises’ 1959 visit to China. For diplomatic and economic reasons, China continued to maintain a large presence in Africa, which the Du Boises helped to foster.

During the 1960s, Mao Zedong was interested in contacts with radical Blacks, who he valorized as true revolutionaries. Influential Black activist Robert Williams, author of “Negroes with Guns,” was mentioned in a People’s Daily headline plastered on the ceiling of my childhood bedroom, for instance. At the same time, Black Americans were impressed by Mao’s anti-American imperialism as well as his emphasis on violent struggles and cultural change as a revolutionary force.

Liu: As often happens in cases of transnational exchange, the intellectual and cultural interactions between China and African America that you chart were fraught with misunderstandings, ambiguity, and conflict. What were some of the complexities and contradictions of the internationalist politics of the five central figures in your book?

Gao: Caught in between the murky, sometimes treacherous, and shifting trans-Pacific political and ideological waters, all five citizens of the world I profile — W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Liu Liangmo, and Sylvia Si-lan Chen — experienced their share of ambiguity and conflict. For instance, in 1962, state media and publishers in the People’s Republic of China suddenly fell silent on Robeson, who had been promoted as a heroic revolutionary model for China’s socialist citizens throughout the 1950s. After the Sino-Soviet split came into the open, Robeson’s position of advocating for peaceful coexistence fell on the wrong side of Chinese politics amid a shift in dynamics between the trans-Pacific powers.

The official press took an alternative approach toward Hughes. Outlets awkwardly remained silent on Hughes’s public renunciation of his radical past at the peak of McCarthyism and the Korean War; instead, they fixed their gaze on the writer he was in the 1930s, an “established Black revolutionary writer,” as if he were preserved in a time capsule. Liu and Chen, meanwhile, were marginalized and even attacked during the radical Maoist years by a regime they had long idealized.

W.E.B Du Bois’ treatment of imperial Japan — which brutalized China and Asia — as a pillar of “the darker word” turned out to be the most controversial. Du Bois visited the segregated treaty port of Shanghai in 1936. Pampered by the Japanese authorities, he stayed at the luxurious Cathay Hotel on the Bund. At the University of Shanghai, Du Bois “occupied a seat on the dais,” listening as a Rockefeller Foundation representative spoke about scholarships to the United States.

“I said to the president that I should like to talk to a group of Chinese and discuss frankly racial and social matters,” Du Bois recalled. He soon “plunged…recklessly” into a luncheon at the Chinese Bankers’ Club at 59 Hong Kong Road on November 30. He wanted to know, in his own words, “Why is it that you (Chinese) hate Japan more than Europe when you have suffered more from England, France, and Germany than from Japan?” If Japan and China worked together, Du Bois continued, perhaps Europe could be eliminated permanently from Asia. Du Bois calmly reported, “There ensured a considerable silence, in which I joined.”

His dismayed hosts responded that whatever problems China suffered, Japan’s militarism hindered any progress. Unconvinced, Du Bois commented later that “the most disconcerting thing about Asia is the burning hatred of China and Japan (for each other).” As he sailed from Shanghai aboard the S. S. Shanghai Mari to Nagasaki on December 1, 1936, Du Bois hurled a final insult, claiming that the Chinese Nationalists were “Asian Uncle Toms,” likening them to the willing Black menials of white racism in the United States.

Du Bois repeated his belief in the virtues of Japanese rule and firmly urged a Sino-Japanese alliance, which would “save the world for the darker races.” He steadfastly maintained such views even after Japanese forces occupied Beiping (today’s Beijing) and Shanghai. To the news of the Nanjing Massacre, Japan’s genocidal occupation of China’s then-capital in late 1937 and early 1938, Du Bois responded that few of the white Americans expressing horror at the killing had said much about Italy’s recent depredations in Ethiopia.

Liu: What lessons do the stories recounted in your book offer for understanding China-U.S. relations?

Gao: While most scholarship on Sino-American relations treats the United States as default white, “Arise, Africa! Roar, China!” cuts a new path by foregrounding African Americans. It allows us to reimagine Sino-American relations by decentering Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon in the discourse, understanding Afro-Asian history as central to world history, and focusing on global anti-imperialism and popular movements which are still relevant today. My book combines the study of Black internationalism and the experiences of China and Chinese Americans with a trans-Pacific narrative. It reveals earlier and widespread interactions between Chinese and Black leftist figures prior to the better-known alliance between Black radicals and Maoist China in the 1960s.

It also shows the global remaking of China’s modern popular culture and politics. The book traces China’s transnational entanglements even during periods when the nation has commonly been regarded as insular and unconnected to the wider world.

The intertwined lives of these five citizens of the world, usually perceived as inhabiting non-overlapping domains, stand as powerful counters to narratives that foreground racism and alienation. Their endeavors across racial, national, cultural, and linguistic boundaries illustrate that the world always remains connected despite political, legal, immigration, and diplomatic hurdles. Their stories offer a view into the power and potential of Black internationalism and Sino–African American collaboration. “Arise, Africa!” and “Roar, China!” as articulated by Du Bois and Hughes, respectively, match the shared struggles of a nation and a nation-within-a-nation. Their power and promise resonate to this day.

The enduring friendship between China and Zambia

Two significant events on May 31st underscored the deep, traditional friendship between China and Zambia.

In a phone call with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out that China and Zambia are “all-weather friends” enjoying traditional and amicable relations and unbreakable friendship. He stressed that China and Zambia are both developing countries, and promoting solidarity and cooperation with Zambia and other African countries is China’s long-term and firm strategic choice and went on to suggest that they deepen cooperation in healthcare, poverty mitigation and agricultural development, trade and investment, green development, digital economy and other fields, help boost economic recovery and sustainable development in Africa, and promote the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future.

For his part, President Hichilema thanked China for its long-term and significant support for Zambia’s national development. Zambia, he said, is ready to strengthen exchanges with and learn from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and consolidate and deepen the traditional friendship forged by the elder generations of leaders of Zambia and China.

The same day, the Kenneth Kaunda International Conference Centre, an ultra-modern facility financed by China, with its main hall having a 2,500 seating capacity, and built to host the next mid-year summit of the African Union (AU), was opened in the Zambian capital Lusaka.

At the opening ceremony, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema thanked China, saying his government was grateful to the support given to the country’s infrastructure development which dates back to the 1970s through the construction of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA).

“This was a critical point in our history, when Zambia had no access to oceans and, therefore could not import or export goods due to the blockade in Southern Rhodesia,” he said.

Kenneth Kaunda, who passed away on June 17th last year at the age of 97, was the father of independent Zambia, the pioneer of Zambia/China friendship and an outstanding leader of the African liberation struggle. He made numerous visits to China from the 1960s to the 2010s and forged deep friendships with generations of Chinese leaders from Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai and Comrade Deng Xiaoping to their successors, including President Xi Jinping. As one of the ‘frontline states’, Zambia under Kaunda’s leadership made great sacrifices to support the liberation struggle against apartheid, racism and colonialism throughout southern Africa. For example, the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa maintained its headquarters in Lusaka through many years of exile and underground struggle. The TAZARA railway played a significant role in making this possible.

The following reports were originally published on the websites of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Xinhua News Agency.

Xi Jinping Speaks with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema on the phone

On the afternoon of May 31, 2022, President Xi Jinping had a phone conversation with Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema.

Xi Jinping pointed out, China and Zambia are “all-weather friends” enjoying traditional and amicable relations and unbreakable friendship. In the past year, China-Zambia relations have maintained a positive momentum of development, with two-way trade volume hitting a record high and Zambia becoming the country attracting the most Chinese direct investment in Africa. The cooperation between the two countries enjoys huge potential and bright prospects. China attaches great importance to China-Zambia relations, and stands ready to work with Zambia to consolidate and deepen the China-Zambia friendship, and push bilateral ties to higher levels and broader areas.

Continue reading The enduring friendship between China and Zambia

China and Tanzania: a unique relationship

The “unique” relationship between China and Tanzania was highlighted by two important events last month.

On May 17th, Vice Foreign Minister Deng Li attended a symposium commemorating the centenary of the birth of Tanzania’s founding president Julius Nyerere via video link. The symposium was jointly hosted by the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation (MNF) and the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania.
Deng Li spoke highly of President Nyerere’s important historical role in the realisation of national independence, state construction and seeking strength through unity in Tanzania and Southern Africa. He stressed that the elder generation of Chinese leaders established a profound revolutionary friendship with President Nyerere, which jointly laid a solid foundation for China-Africa friendship.

The President of Zanzibar Hussein Ali Mwinyi and Executive Director of the MNF Joseph W. Butiku also spoke.

Meanwhile, Chinese State Councillor and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe held video talks with Tanzanian Defence and National Service Minister Stergomena Lawrence Tax on May 31st. Wei said that the two countries were, “devoted brothers, trustworthy friends and sincere partners”, while Tax noted that the relationship between Tanzania and China is unique and that Tanzania cherishes the profound friendship between the two peoples and the two militaries.

The following reports were originally carried on the websites of the Chinese Foreign and Defence Ministries.

Vice Foreign Minister Deng Li Attends Symposium Commemorating the Centenary of the Birth of Tanzania’s Founding President Julius Nyerere

On May 17, 2022, Vice Foreign Minister Deng Li attended the Symposium Commemorating the Centenary of the Birth of Tanzania’s Founding President Julius Nyerere via video link.

Deng Li extended congratulations on the smooth holding of the symposium and spoke highly of President Nyerere’s important historical role in the realization of national independence, state construction and seeking strength through unity in Tanzania and Southern Africa. He stressed that the elder generation of Chinese leaders established a profound revolutionary friendship with President Nyerere, which jointly laid a solid foundation for China-Africa friendship. Over the decades, China and Africa have respected and treated each other as equals, supported each other on issues concerning respective core interests, and cooperated with each other in good faith on the journey of achieving modernization. At present, in a world of profound changes unseen in a century, we need to learn from Nyerere and other elder generation of African leaders and think about the way to create an even better future for China and Africa. Guided by President Xi Jinping’s calls to carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation and build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, China will work with Africa to continue to firmly safeguard respective sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, safeguard the equal rights to development and promote the establishment of a more just and equitable new international order.

President of Zanzibar Hussein Ali Mwinyi and Executive Director of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation (MNF) Joseph W. Butiku said, Nyerere firmly upheld the unity of the Tanzanian state and people and established the United Republic of Tanzania together with President of Zanzibar Abeid Karume, which has become a fine example of unity, self-improvement and economic prosperity for African countries. Nyerere made selfless contributions to the cause of national liberation in Southern Africa and actively developed friendly relations with China and other countries. They believe that this symposium will play an important role in carrying forward and developing the traditional friendship and deepening all-round friendly cooperation between China and Tanzania.

The symposium was jointly hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania and the MNF and attended by representatives of Tanzanian political and business circles, think tanks, media, non-governmental organizations and other circles, Nyerere’s family members and diplomatic envoys to Tanzania.


Chinese defense minister holds video call with Tanzanian counterpart

Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe held talks via video link with Tanzanian Minister for Defense and National Service Stergomena Lawrence Tax on Tuesday.

Wei said that China and Tanzania are devoted brothers, trustworthy friends and sincere partners. In June last year, President Xi Jinping and President Samia Suluhu Hassan exchanged phone calls, showing the right direction for the development of comprehensive partnership of cooperation between the two countries and presenting important opportunities for the development of China-Tanzania relations.

China is ready to work together with the international community including Tanzania, upholding the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, to implement the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Security Initiative (GSI) with concrete actions, and contribute to building a world of lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, said Wei.

China’s defense chief told his Tanzanian counterpart that the Chinese military will continue to strengthen strategic communication with the Tanzanian military, build and make good use of the cooperation mechanism, enhance the quality and effectiveness of joint exercises and training, carry forward the traditional friendship and push forward the relations between the two militaries.

Tax noted that the relationship between Tanzania and China is unique and Tanzania cherishes the profound friendship between the two peoples and the two militaries. The two militaries have maintained close cooperation and exchanges in such areas as joint training, equipment technology, mutual visits of delegations, and military medicine. Tanzania will continue to deepen military cooperation with China, Tax said.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School holds cadre seminar

The Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School, a joint project of six progressive political parties in southern Africa, built by China and named in honour of the Founding Father of Tanzania, held a seminar for middle-aged and young cadres on May 25th. Participating in the seminar were the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the six parties served by the school, namely Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Party, the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) Party, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO) Party of Namibia and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). Opening speeches were made by Song Tao, Minister of the CPC’s International Department, and Daniel Chongolo, the Secretary General of Tanzania’s CCM.

The six parties were all the leading forces in their country’s national liberation struggle. They all have a long-standing friendship with China and the CPC and are today leading the struggle for the building of a new society in their respective countries.

In his speech, Song Tao noted that: “The CPC and the six parties enjoy a long-term friendship and share similar concepts. In the face of the changes and the pandemic both unseen in a century, the CPC is ready to strengthen experience exchange in state governance and administration with the six parties, promote practical cooperation in various areas, practice true multilateralism, jointly oppose hegemony and power politics, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests and overall interests of developing countries, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.”

For his part, Daniel Chongolo observed that: “The six parties cherish their traditional friendship with the CPC, and wholeheartedly admire the remarkable achievements China has made under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core. They hoped to learn experience in developing economy, creating jobs, scientific and technological innovation, environmental protection and fighting corruption from the CPC, and build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future together with the Chinese side.”

The below report was originally carried on the website of the CPC International Department. We previously reported the congratulatory message of President Xi Jinping when the school opened on February 23rd.

Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School held here today this year’s seminar for middle-aged and young cadres of the six parties in southern Africa themed on “new development in the new era: exploration and communication of the CPC and the six parties in southern Africa”. A total of 120 middle-aged and young cadres of Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party, the African National Congress of South Africa, the Mozambique Liberation Front Party, the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, the SWAPO Party of Namibia and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front were present. Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC), and Daniel Chongolo, Secretary General of Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party, attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the seminar via video link.

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Xi Jinping says China and South Africa are comrades and brothers, and affirms unbreakable friendship with Cambodia

Whilst international media coverage understandably focused on President Xi Jinping’s March 18 telephone conversation with US President Biden, the Chinese leader also held two other important conversations that day with leaders of countries that have particularly friendly relations with China. 

Speaking with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Xi said that their two countries “share a special friendly relationship of comrades and brothers”. This phrase is particularly significant – whilst it has been used several times by the Chinese leadership to describe their ties with South Africa, it is highly unusual, if not unique, for China to describe its state relations with a non-socialist country as embracing comradeship. In this context, it is worth noting that the friendship between the Communist Party of China and the African National Congress of South Africa date back to at least 1953, when Nelson Mandela sent ANC Secretary General Walter Sisulu to China to gain support for the steadily building anti-apartheid struggle, following Sisulu’s participation in the fourth World Festival of Youth and Students in Romania. China consistently supported the South African people’s struggle against apartheid and for national liberation.

President Xi further said that the relationship with South Africa is of great significance both for China/Africa relations as well as solidarity and cooperation among developing countries. The two leaders also exchanged views on the development of the BRICS grouping, which links Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and which China chairs this year. They noted that their two countries share a very close position on the conflict in Ukraine, standing for dialogue and negotiation. There have been a number of suggestions that South Africa could play an important role in this regard. Clearly alluding to the US pressures that both countries are facing, the two leaders agreed that sovereign countries are entitled to independently decide on their own positions.

The same day, President Xi also spoke with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, with a key focus being their bilateral Belt and Road Cooperation. Xi stressed that China would pay particular attention to developing roads and education in Cambodia’s rural areas so as to help develop agriculture and lift farmers out of poverty. Noting that next year will see the 65th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, President Xi said that their ties had become even more unbreakable whilst Prime Minister Hun Sen described the two countries as true ironclad brothers. Discussion also centred on the prospects for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), to which both belong, and relations between China and ASEAN, a ten-country bloc of South East Asian nations that Cambodia chairs this year.

China ready to move ties with South Africa to deeper level

Originally published in Xinhua.

China stands ready to work with South Africa to move their ties forward toward a deeper level with higher quality and broader scope, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday afternoon.

Continue reading Xi Jinping says China and South Africa are comrades and brothers, and affirms unbreakable friendship with Cambodia

Speech of W.E.B. Du Bois in Beijing University in 1959

On the 154th anniversary of his birth, we are pleased to republish this speech given in Beijing by the great African-American communist, Pan-Africanist, scholar and freedom fighter W.E.B. Du Bois on the occasion of his 91st birthday.

By courtesy of the government of the 600 million people of the Chinese Republic, I am permitted on my 91st birthday to speak to the people of China and Africa and through them to the world. Hail, then, and farewell, dwelling places of the yellow and black races. Hail human kind!

I speak with no authority; no assumption of age nor rank; I hold no position, I have no wealth. One thing alone I own and that is my own soul. Ownership of that I have even while in my own country for near a century I have been nothing but a “nigger.” On this basis and this alone I dare speak, I dare advise.

China after long centuries has arisen to her feet and leapt forward. Africa, arise, and stand straight, speak and think! Act! Turn from the West and your slavery and humiliation for the last 500 years and face the rising sun.

Continue reading Speech of W.E.B. Du Bois in Beijing University in 1959

Xi congratulates inauguration of Julius Nyerere leadership school

President Xi Jinping’s message of greetings to the completion ceremony of the Julius Nyerere Leadership School in Tanzania, reported here by CGTN, powerfully demonstrates that China’s commitment to the liberation and development of Africa continues in the new era. President Nyerere was the Founding Father of Tanzania, as well as an outstanding leader of the African liberation movement and of the Global South. A great friend of China, he first visited the country in 1965 and forged a deep bond with Chairman Mao, Premier Zhou Enlai and successive generations of Chinese leaders. This new school, built by China and bearing Nyerere’s name, is a joint initiative of the six liberation movements and ruling parties of Tanzania, South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe. As President Xi notes, for a long time these six parties in southern Africa have united and led their people in the cause of national independence, construction and development. President Xi has taken a personal interest in the building of the college. He also sent his greetings to its groundbreaking ceremony in July 2018.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Wednesday sent a congratulatory letter on the inauguration ceremony of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School in Tanzania. 

The Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School, co-founded by six parties in southern Africa, is located in Kibaha, some 40 kilometers from the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

The six parties are the Revolutionary Party of Tanzania, the African National Congress of South Africa, the Mozambique Liberation Front Party and the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, the SWAPO Party of Namibia and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Continue reading Xi congratulates inauguration of Julius Nyerere leadership school