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China, A reliable partner in Africa’s greener and greater future

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In September 2023, China pledged at the first Africa Climate Summit that it would launch an Africa Solar Belt program to advance 100 million yuan (about 14.1 million dollars) for solar projects in regions not served by main power grids, which will help at least 50,000 families.

China-Africa cooperation can be characterized in many ways. Based on sincerity, it aims for real results, promotes amity, and proceeds from good faith. If one were to use a color to highlight this cooperation, green comes to mind.

At the very first Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in 2000, ministers from China and Africa emphasized the need to strengthen cooperation on the development of green energy. Since then, it has remained an important part of China-Africa cooperation, featuring in 10 cooperation plans, eight major initiatives and nine programs within the FOCAC framework.

Located in northeastern Kenya, the Garissa Solar Power Plant is the first major solar plant to tap into the country’s vast solar resources and the largest grid-connected solar power plant in East and Central Africa. Designed and built by a Chinese company in conjunction with Kenya’s Rural Energy Authority, the plant supplies half of the solar power generated in the country, powering 70,000 homes and offsetting about 43,000 tons of carbon emissions every year. The plant has been praised by former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta as one that puts Kenya on the path of achieving green energy sufficiency and adds to Kenya’s rich profile as the center of Africa’s green energy transition.

In Uganda, the Chinese-built Karuma hydroelectric plant is the largest power-generating installation in the country. It can cut 3.48 million tons of carbon emissions annually, not to mention the 200 million-plus U.S. dollars in revenue it generates for the government, which is close to 0.5 percent of the country’s current GDP. Together with the Isimba hydroelectric power plant also built by a Chinese company, it has doubled Uganda’s total installed hydropower capacity from 764 megawatts to 1,552 megawatts, contributing to realizing the country’s goal of ensuring access to secure, affordable and sustainable energy for all.

In South Africa, the De Aar Wind Farm developed by a Chinese company has an installed capacity of 244.5 megawatts. Since it began operation in 2017, the project has supplied 760 million kilowatt-hours of clean electricity annually, meeting the demand of 300,000 households while reducing 619,900 tons of carbon emissions each year.

These projects are just a few of the over 100 green energy initiatives carried out by China and Africa within the FOCAC framework, many of which have become flagship projects that turbocharge Africa’s socioeconomic development and industrialization.
Such cooperation has also supported Africa’s green transition drive. According to Brookings’ Foresight Africa report, by 2030, Africa will have 17 cities with more than 5 million inhabitants and 90 cities with at least 1 million inhabitants. The African Development Bank predicts that Africa can more than double its industrial GDP from 751 billion dollars to 1.72 trillion dollars within the next decade.

Still, Africa is the most vulnerable continent to the adverse impacts of climate change, which can threaten to undo its development gains and cause the continent to slip into even higher levels of extreme poverty.

Therefore, it is important for Africa to build more robust and resilient green electricity-generating facilities to meet a growing electricity demand from rapid urbanization and industrialization and to reduce environmental pressures. And its partnership with China, as evidenced by the numerous solar, wind, hydro and thermal power plants running across Africa, is instrumental in this process.

China-Africa cooperation on green energy also contributes to improving the well-being of local people. In addition to large-scale projects that power cities and regions, small but beautiful programs have been rolled out to meet the electricity demands of rural communities.

In September 2023, China pledged at the first Africa Climate Summit that it would launch an Africa Solar Belt program to advance 100 million yuan (about 14.1 million dollars) for solar projects in regions not served by main power grids, which will help at least 50,000 families.

On the sidelines of last year’s COP28, China announced the launch of the China-Africa Energy Innovation Accelerator Program, under which China will work with Africa to explore and apply smaller-scale innovative technologies and solutions best suited to the diversified needs of African countries in their energy transition.

Actions speak louder than words. The two-pronged approach combining large-scale power projects with small but beautiful people-centered programs has helped light up numerous African households and Africa’s path to sustainable development. In real and concrete terms, China has proven itself as a reliable partner in the continent’s greener and greater future.

Source(s): Xinhua

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DPRK, Russia sign comprehensive strategic partnership agreement: KCNA

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The top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the president of Russia on Wednesday signed the Treaty on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership following their summit in Pyongyang, state media reported on Thursday.

The treaty was the culmination of the state visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which also featured a bilateral summit meeting and private talks between him and Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and president of the State Affairs of the DPRK, as well as a welcoming ceremony at Kim Il Sung Square and a grand performance, among other high-profile events, according to multiple reports by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

In a joint statement, the DPRK top leader said the conclusion of the treaty put the relations of the two countries on a new higher stage – relations of alliance – calling it “the most powerful treaty in the history of the DPRK-Russia relations,” the KCNA reported.

The Russian president said the treaty is an “actual breakthrough document” reflecting the desire of the two countries to put bilateral ties on a new level, the report said.

The treaty includes a clause stipulating mutual support if one of the signatories to the treaty is invaded, and Russia “does not rule out military technical cooperation with the DPRK under the treaty,” the KCNA said.

The top leaders had a “tete-a-tete” which lasted for more than two hours, during which they reached a consensus on building a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and came to a “satisfactory” agreement on defending regional and global peace and international justice and on the matters of immediate cooperation, the KCNA reported.

Prior to the private conversation, the two sides held an extended bilateral meeting involving senior officials from both countries, where Kim hailed Putin’s visit as an event of strategic significance in developing the DPRK-Russia good-neighborly relations, and reaffirmed “the full support and solidarity of the DPRK government and people to the Russian government and people as regards the special military operations in Ukraine,” the KCNA said.

In addition to the treaty, the two governments signed agreements concerning the construction of a motorcar bridge over the River Tuman on their shared border and bilateral cooperation in the fields of public health, medical education and science, the KCNA said.

Also on Wednesday, the DPRK side awarded Putin the Order of Kim Il Sung, the highest medal of honor of the country, and hosted a banquet in his honor, the KCNA reported.

Putin concluded his state visit and left the DPRK capital on Wednesday night, as Kim took senior DPRK officials to Pyongyang International Airport to see him off, it added.

Source(s): CGTN

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The World Demands Justice for Palestine

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In the latest conflict between Palestine and Israel which has consumed more than 36,000 lives in the ceaseless bombing and crossfire during the past eight months, the international community has shown unprecedented solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for justice and dignity. From celebrities to politicians, from human rights activists to students, many around the world have expressed their support for the Palestinian people.

A subtle but powerful gesture of solidarity was made recently on the red carpet of the Palais des Festival in Cannes, France. Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett lifted the hem of her dress, the colors of which against the red carpet resembled that of the Palestinian flag. Blanchett, who is also a UNHCR goodwill ambassador, has been a vocal advocate for the rights of refugees. Last November, she spoke at the European parliament, “I am not from Israel or Palestine. I am not a politician. I am not even a pundit. But I am a witness, and having witnessed the human cost of war, violence and persecution visiting refugees from across the globe, I cannot look away.”

Her feelings and her conscience is shared by many. Indeed, countries around the world are choosing not to look away. Global support for Palestine was seen in the historic and courageous decision of Norway, Spain and Ireland to recognize the State of Palestine on May 22. This reflected the growing consensus among European

countries that the two-State solution is the only viable way to end the conflict and achieve peace. The three countries also called on other European countries to follow their example.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and Israel have found themselves increasingly isolated and condemned by the international community for their aggression and violations of international law. The U.S. is facing a crisis of conscience within its own borders. Several U.S. officials resigned over the government’s policy on Gaza, which they considered to be biased and immoral. Lily Greenberg Call, the first Jewish appointee to resign from the Biden administration over the war in Gaza, wrote in her resignation letter that she could not “in good conscience continue to represent” the administration. Veteran State Department official Stacy Gilbert resigned because the administration is “twisting the facts” to justify continued U.S. military support to Israel. Annelle Sheline, a former State Department official, said she quit the agency because she thinks the President “must know what’s happening to people in Gaza, and yet the policy doesn’t change.”

Israel has been denounced by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Human Rights Council, and many countries for its war crimes and violations of international law. The prosecutor of the ICC has applied for arrest warrants for two senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, for their involvement in the military operations. The Human Rights Council has launched an investigation into the human rights violations committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory. Many countries have condemned the Israeli attacks on Gaza, and some have imposed sanctions and boycotts on Israel, such as Türkiye, South Africa, and Malaysia.

In March this year, U.S. President Joe Biden set a red line by stating that if Israel goes into Rafah, “we’re not going to supply the weapons and artillery shells used.” Then, when Israel bombed the Rafah refugee camp on May 26, the Biden administration decided that Israel did not cross the “red line”, keeping the greenlight on for U.S. military aid to Israel. Since October 7, a number of high-ranking U.S. officials have come out posturing on the issue, apparently raising concerns over Israel’s tactics but again repeating the rhetoric of “Israel’s right to defend itself” and paying lip service to “the need for a two-State solution” without taking any concrete action to stop Israeli aggression. Instead, they have vetoed or blocked U.N. resolutions that would hold Israel accountable, give Palestine full U.N. membership or facilitate an early ceasefire.

The world stands with Palestine in its quest for peace and justice. This is no longer a regional issue, but an issue of universal human values. The U.S. and Israel must face the consequences of their policies and actions, which have provoked the wrath and condemnation of the world. The time has come for the U.S. and Israel to change course and respect the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people.

Source(s): see.news / Xin Ping

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Netanyahu disbands war cabinet as pressure grows on Israel’s north

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the six-member war cabinet, an Israeli official said on Monday, in a widely expected move following the departure from government of centrist former general Benny Gantz.

Netanyahu is now expected to hold consultations about the Gaza war with a small group of ministers, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer who had been in the war cabinet.

The move was announced as U.S. special envoy Amos Hochstein visited Jerusalem, seeking to calm the situation on the disputed border with Lebanon, where Israel said tensions with Hezbollah were bringing the region close to a wider conflict.

The Israeli military said on Monday it had killed a senior operative in one of Hezbollah’s rocket and missile sections in the area of Selaa in southern Lebanon.

The military also said its operations were continuing in the southern parts of the Gaza Strip, where its forces have been battling Hamas fighters in the Tel Sultan area of western Rafah, as well as in central areas of the enclave.

Hochstein’s visit follows weeks of increasing exchanges of fire across the line between Israel and Lebanon, where Israeli forces have for months been engaged in a simmering conflict with Hezbollah that has continued alongside the war in Gaza.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes on both sides of the so-called Blue Line that divides the two countries, leaving eerily deserted areas of abandoned villages and farms hit by near-daily bombardment.

“The current state of affairs is not a sustainable reality,” government spokesperson David Mencer told a briefing.

Netanyahu had faced demands from the nationalist-religious partners in his coalition, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, to be included in the war cabinet. Such a move would have intensified strains with international partners including the United States.

The forum was formed after Gantz joined Netanyahu in a national unity government at the start of the Gaza war in October. It also included Gantz’s political partner Gadi Eisenkot and Aryeh Deri, head of the religious party Shas, as observers.

Gantz and Eisenkot both left the government last week, over what they said was Netanyahu’s failure to form a strategy for the Gaza war.

Source(s): CGTN

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