The Deputy Director General of the African Affairs Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Ms Gao Xiangyang, has indicated that the CPC appreciates its fruitful relations with Ghana’s two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), as well as 58 other political parties from 40 African countries.
According to Ms Gao, the CPC’s relations with political parties in Africa, which began in the 1970s with support to liberation movements, was premised on equality, mutual respect of opinions and non-interference in country or party relations or imposition of ideologies.
She listed some of the advantages of the relations that had metamorphosed from a strategic partnership to strategic economic partnership as the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the many exchanges between the two sides.
Ms Gao grouped the exchanges into high level exchanges involving two-way visits by high-powered delegations.
There are also multilateral exchanges involving conferences and visits which have resulted in major meetings such as the China Africa Young Party Political Forum, a joint initiative of the CPC and the South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), and the China Africa Political Parties Theoretical Seminar; a collaboration with the Ethiopia People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
Africa needs economic liberation
The most important thing for African governments is to develop their countries – not whether to pursue the socialist or the capitalist form of governance, Ms Gao said.
She was sharing her opinion with African journalists on the best governance model to adopt when asked which of the governance models was best suited for African countries.
Ms Gao who spoke to the journalists last Wednesday on the successful and effective party-to-party relations that currently exists between the CPC and about 60 political parties in 40 African countries south of the Sahara, said “Spurring development is the key issue now in Africa.
“Economic liberation should now be the focus of African countries. This must be the most daunting challenge – how to empower the population. What the CPC can do is to help Africa in its development agenda.”
She, however, stated that the relations with African political parties suffered a jolt in the beginning of the 1990s with the advent of multiparty democracy spurred on by the fall of the Soviet Union, which “brought mixed reactions in China.”
Ms Gao explained that the misgivings were due to the fact that when parties with which the CPC had relations failed in elections, there were interruptions as the new parties did not have understanding of the socialist ideals.
“So multiparty democracy brought a negative impact on CPC–party relations,” she said but added that the situation did not last long as many of the political parties with which the CPC had relations stabilised themselves in the mid-1990s.
While stating that the objective of the CPC’s relation with African political parties was to support party building and exchange governance experience, Ms Gao urged African countries to explore their own path of development, depending on their peculiar situation.