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Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, says the relationship between Botswana and China is excellent and mutually beneficial. 

Responding to a question in Parliament ,  Dr Venson-Moitoi said the two countries began their relationship during the formative of Botswana’s independence. 

“As a result of this cordial relationship, our two countries are actively working together as true friends and strategic partners to further advance their bilateral cooperation for the betterment of our two countries and peoples,” she said. 

She said since they established diplomatic relations in 1975, there had been extensive and full cooperation in various fields. 

“To this end, we have witnessed increasing cooperation over the years, particularly in the areas of infrastructure development, health, education, agriculture, science and technology, culture and military cooperation,” she said. 

Again, she said Botswana and China established a Botswana/China Joint Consultative Forum, which was first hosted here in October 2012 as they continued to strengthen and broaden the scope of bilateral cooperation. 

“This bilateral consultative mechanism is critical as it provides the invaluable platform to discuss issues of bilateral, regional and international discourse,” she said. 

She also indicated that she had visited the People’s Republic of China in June last year (2015) where she had productive discussions with her counterpart and other high level authorities. 

“My visit which was in the context of our bilateral consultative mechanism is a testimony of the long standing and excellent relations that subsist between Botswana and People’s Republic of China,” she said. 

The minister said the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was yet another cooperation mechanism adopted by the Chinese government to extend the much needed support to Botswana and rest of Africa. 

“Under this framework, we have seen enhanced political exchanges and cooperation between China and Botswana at all levels,” she said. 

Further, she said Botswana government had submitted projects for possible benefit under the US$60 billion package meant for Africa’s development that was announced by President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China at the Second FOCAC summit held in December 2015 in South Africa. 

“In conclusion, I wish to underscore that Botswana’s relations with China remain solid and I am confident that this mutually beneficial partnership will continue into the future,” she said. 

Boteti East Member of Parliament, Mr Sethomo Lelatisitswe had asked the minister to apprise Parliament on the relationship between China and Botswana. Ends.

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