Why TZ, China should fortify bilateral relations

DAR ES SALAAM: A CROSS-SECTION of diplomats and academicians have stressed the need for Tanzania and China to uphold their 60-year bilateral relations by focusing on industry, agriculture, and addressing climate change issues.

They proposed that more efforts should be made to strengthen diplomatic relations to achieve sustainable growth in these areas.

The key speakers expressed their views during a symposium on ‘Uphold the Original Aspiration of Diplomatic Relations, Firmly Adhere to the One-China Principle’ held recently at the Chinese Embassy in Dar es Salaam.

The conference was part of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Tanzania.

One of the speakers, former Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, emphasized the importance of collaboration between the two countries to achieve sustainable development, especially in new areas of cooperation like climate change issues leading to increased floods damaging infrastructure.

“The two countries should extend cooperation in key areas such as trade, infrastructure, agriculture, and addressing climate change issues impacting the country,” stated the diplomat.

Brigadier General Leonidas, speaking on behalf of the Commandant of the National Defence College (NDC) of Tanzania, echoed Mulamula’s views, stating that diplomatic relations were initially established to safeguard national interests, secure alliances, forge trade agreements, and promote peace and stability in the international arena.

“Over time, diplomacy has expanded to include other issues such as human rights, environmental protection, global health, and economic cooperation, reflecting the changing dynamics of the international system,” he added.

He highlighted the multifaceted and cooperative relationship between China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Tanzania’s People’s Defence Forces (TPDF), encompassing training, joint exercises, infrastructure development, and peacekeeping operations.

The partnership has enhanced Tanzania’s military capabilities and deepened diplomatic ties between the two nations.

“On behalf of the Commandant NDC, I would like to reaffirm the long-standing cordial and strong relationship between Tanzania and China and urge to continue fostering this bond, ensuring it remains balanced, transparent, and mutually beneficial,” he emphasized.

Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Chen Mingjian, noted the historical friendship between the two countries dating back to 1965 when President Julius Nyerere paid his first visit to China.

During that visit, China and Tanzania signed the Treaty of Friendship between the two countries, pledging to support each other on matters of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and other interests and major concerns.

The envoy highlighted the importance of trade in the collaborative relationship, noting that the trade volume between the two countries stands at 8.78 billion US dollars.

Political Advisor to the Chairman of the Board of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, Mr Gallus Abedi, highlighted the benefits of the cordial relationship, mutual trust, respect, and support enjoyed by the two countries, including infrastructure development projects like the construction of the Tanzania and Zambia Railway (TAZARA).

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