China’s CGTN Interviews French Schiller Institute’s Sébastien Périmony on International Significance of FOCAC
7 September 2018
EIRNS — China’s television network CGTN Français interviews "Schiller Institute Africa expert" Sébastien Périmony on Sept. 4, on "The Future of Sino-African Relations." What follows is a translation of the interview transcript. The YouTube video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoUiDvzxoWA] includes the following description:
"The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation has attracted the attention of experts and experts from all over the world. Sébastien Périmony, an expert on Africa from the Schiller Institute, said the good proceedings of the summit has a profound significance for building a community of shared destiny between China and Africa."
NARRATOR: Sébastien Périmony has made Africa his subject of expertise and according to him the Beijing summit, the Sino-African cooperation forum reaches an unprecedented importance. It will enable the world to achieve common development.
PERIMONY: I would say that in the 21st century the new name of peace is co-development. And this Sino-African cooperation forum is part of this new reality, in this new paradigm, as we say today, this new economic paradigm. In Beijing, 53 heads of state, and 54 official delegations are all together and it represents 2.8 billion people on the planet which is a third of the world’s population, to discuss their "global strategic relationship" with President Xi Jinping. And which is not new. Already in 2015, during the 6th FOCAC, forum of cooperation, Xi Jinping had already proposed a plan of development over three years for which he had invested $60 billion in the industrialization of Africa in agricultural projects, health projects, infrastructure, commercial services. This forum is unique in its scope: We have never seen a forum of such great importance, bringing together the two largest continents, China and Africa.
NARRATOR: President Xi Jinping, in his opening speech, spoke of China’s continued respect for Africa, the country’s love and support for the continent, and Beijing’s adherence to the principle of "five no’s." This is an important aspect for Mr. Perimony, who also said that sincere friendship and equality of treatment have become a reality, where common development is achieved through the efforts made and not by imposing one’s will on others.
PERIMONY: It’s a new system, an inclusive system. We do not interfere in the affairs of others, we work on common projects to improve the living standard of citizens.
NARRATOR: In his speech, President Xi Jinping mentioned the six pillars on which construction is built, a community of common destiny. Mr. Perimony believes that the Beijing summit will not only open up new prospects for development but also promote the tripartite cooperation among France, China and Africa, and highlight their respective advantages by moving hand in hand.
PERIMONY: The dynamic development of infrastructure, agricultural modernization, professional training, health care will continue to develop. It is a paradigm that is unstoppable today. Africa will develop. So it’s going to be up to France to realize that this change is underway and participate in this change. So I call on China and France to take a project and make it a symbol of tripartite cooperation among France, Africa and China.
NARRATOR: Westerners describe China’s African policy as neocolonialism, but according to Sébastien Périmony, these accusations are unjustified.
PERIMONY: Neocolonial politics today, if we go to Africa for example, we do not blame China for the neocolonial policy. If we go on the ground, we should blame the former colonialists. Moreover, if we take the old countries, and taking the example of France, we still have 14 countries that are under financial supervision with a currency that is controlled by the French Treasury and the Eurozone called the "franc CFA." There are still 14 countries, 200 million people, who have no access to their own credit, their own budget, or their deficit. So, if one is being polite, one would say "monetary servitude"; and if one is being rude, "economic colonialism."
NARRATOR: Mr. Périmony looks forward to cooperation and thefuture in Sino African relations. The construction of a community of common destiny between China and Africa will have a positive impact on the harmonious development of human society and common progress.
PERIMONY: I would say that we are witnessing a revolutionary change, a new international monetary and financial paradigm which, after 30 years of being misplaced in a market economy policy, is returning to what is essential, namely, the development of man, of their training, care, agriculture, self-sufficiency, and that that is the new paradigm that China has initiated and that will spread throughout the world.