Photo taken on Aug. 27, 2018, in Gaborone, capital of Botswana, shows Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi in an interview with Xinhua. The upcoming 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be a successful and unique one to further boost cooperation between China and the African continent, said Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi. (Xinhua/Yang Mengxi)
GABORONE, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be a successful and unique one to further boost cooperation between China and the African continent, said Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
It will also offer an opportunity for Botswana to better understand China and for the two sides to lift their relations to higher levels, Masisi added in a recent interview with Xinhua.
The president expressed high expectations for the summit scheduled for Sept. 3-4 in Beijing, which is themed "China and Africa: Toward an even stronger community with a shared future through win-win cooperation."
"My expectations ... are that not only is it going to be successful (but) it is going to be interesting and unique because we are going to have this forum in China," said Masisi, who will lead a delegation of 50 senior government officials and business leaders to attend the summit.
African countries will have the benefit of interacting with more Chinese businesses, industries and officials, he added.
"I find this mechanism to be very well thought-out because, (with) China being the second biggest economy in the world, it makes much more sense for it and African countries to come together" and "jointly articulate the new directions" for China-Africa ties, said Masisi.
The summit meanwhile offers a fresh opportunity for the Botswana people and government to understand China even more, and that will help further promote bilateral ties, said the president, who will also pay a state visit to China during the trip.
Recalling the past more than 40 years of bilateral relations, Masisi said there have been a lot of positive feedback and initiatives.
"It is a national progression on our part to sustain, deepen, broaden and strengthen our relations with China, particularly that China itself has become so much more sophisticated, developed and open to the world in terms of their achievements," he said.
China, noted the president, has helped Botswana build railways and telecommunications infrastructure, and provided it with agricultural technology.
Hailing the Chinese community in Botswana for its contribution to local economic growth, he said, "the Chinese community's role here has been very impactful."
"A lot of developments in Botswana are a result of the sheer hard work of the Chinese people in our country," he said, citing the Chinese role especially in building universities in his country, such as the Botswana International University of Science and Technology.
In a message to the Chinese people, the president said: "To China, her President and citizens, we admire and hold you in very high regard! Keep the innovation, friendliness and international outlook as bright as the Chinese spirit!"
"Your friends in Botswana wish the very best for a successful One China!" he added.