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The China Africa Forum in Beijing last week was not only a stirring spectacle but a wonderful gesture towards Africa’s upliftment.

President Xi Jinping demonstrated unequivocally that China is thinking for the world, as did Jan Smuts and Nelson Mandela during their time. US President Donald Trump doesn’t appear to care much about the world.

It is ironic that China’s trade surplus with the US has been put to good use with the Belt and Road initiative over the past five years. This initiative involving 68 countries is a development strategy proposed by the Chinese government, focusing on connectivity by land (roads and railways) and sea to facilitate trade between Asia and Europe.

It is an ambitious long-term strategy that now includes Africa and comprises over 65% of the world’s population and 40% of global GDP.

It is a very sad day when a philanthropist stops giving and keeps it all for himself. The US must be given credit for having been the world’s philanthropist for a long time.

However, it is time to celebrate with China for taking over this role for the long term, and under difficult global economic circumstances.

It is a compassionate undertaking that can help make the world a better place.

Ned Sturgeon
Barberton

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