China and Botswana have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The MoU was signed by the visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Botswana counterpart Lemogang Kwape on behalf of the two governments after their talks in Gaborone.
According to Wang Yi, the BRI is an important international cooperation initiative and a public product provided by China to the international community. “The focus is to help developing countries strengthen infrastructure construction, better realize connectivity and enhance their independent development capabilities,” he said.
He further added that, the MoU makes Botswana the 46th partner country in Africa in BRI cooperation. “This year coincides with the 46th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Botswana, which is a beautiful symbol. The joint construction of BRI will provide new opportunities for the two countries to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, expand new fields, open up new prospects, help Botswana’s infrastructure construction and national modernization process, and better benefit the two peoples, said the Foreign Minister.
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation Lemogang Kwape both stressed that this is new progress in China-Botswana relations and will provide new impetus for the cooperation between the two countries.
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)
BRI is a transcontinental long-term policy and investment program which aims at infrastructure development and acceleration of the economic integration of countries along the route of the historic Silk Road. The Initiative was unveiled in 2013 by China`s president Xi Jinping and until 2016, was known as OBOR – One Belt One Road. On March 28, 2015, the official outline for the Belt and Road Initiative was issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of the People`s Republic of China (PRC), with authorization of the State Council.