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Interview conducted by Gorgui Wade NDOYE, director of publication


Amb – Shah of China.


What is your appreciation of the resumption of diplomatic relations between Senegal and China?
“The resumption of diplomatic relations received warm welcome by all people in the world and by our two peoples in particular. They have been waiting for this development for long. I appreciate President Abdoulaye Wade for his strategic move.

Even during the ten-year suspension of diplomatic ties, I firmly believed that this normalization was only a matter of time. Because our two peoples have shared interest and aspirations, and it serves the fundamental and long-term interest of Senegal and China. This big day came on 25 October, 2005, when our two countries signed the Joint Communiqué to resume diplomatic ties.

Senegal also issued a communiqué upon the resumption of diplomatic ties with China. It says that the decision made by President Abdoulaye Wade is based on the objective and in-depth analysis of the global geopolitical situation. I fully agree with.

You seem to be very happy, as your government is. Could you give us your reasons?

“Of course I am. As I have said above, the resumption of diplomatic relations between our two countries serves the fundamental and long-term interest of our two countries and two peoples.

More than that, China values the important role Senegal plays in both regional and international arenas. As the Chinese State Counselor Mr. Tang Jiaxuan said, Senegal is an influential country in Africa. The cooperation and coordination between our two countries will not only benefit our two peoples, but also contribute to the development of African region and the developing world at large”.

What do you expect from Senegal, and what can this country expect from China?

“Both China and Senegal are developing countries facing the same tasks of economic development and raising the living standard of their people. Both are ready to play an active role in regional and international affairs. The normalization of relations has laid a good foundation for cooperation between the two countries in both bilateral and multilateral affairs. We need to support each other in safeguarding national sovereignty, help each other in economic development, and cooperate closely on global issues.

The Chinese Government is willing to make joint efforts with the Government of Senegal, to explore and expand all areas where we can help each other, bilaterally and internationally, so as to develop and consolidate the friendly relations between the two countries”.

Do you think that Senegal’s desire to be a member of the Security Council is the main reason for this new diplomatic relationship? Did China threaten to use its veto power against Senegal?

“As H.E. President Wade said in the communiqué, the resumption of ties is based on the objective and in-depth analysis of global geopolicital situation. Regarding the UN reform, in general, we stand for democratization of international relations. This global trend should also find its reflection in the Security Council. While developing countries account for more than two thirds of the entire UN membership, they are seriously under-represented in the Security Council. China holds that expansion of the Council should give priority to augmenting the representation of developing countries in general and African countries in particular, and increase opportunities for more countries, particularly small and medium-sized countries, to participate in the Council's decision-making process. The Council reform should be based on full democratic discussion and consultations, with a view of reaching the broadest possible consensus.

China, being itself a developing country, has shared interests and concerns of the developing world. Among the five permanent members of the Security Council, rarely did China use its veto power. As far as I can remember, in 1981, China did it in 16 rounds of vote in the election for UN Secretary-General. Because China firmly believed that it was high time the new UN Secretary General came from developing countries. As a result, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar from Peru was elected”.

How do you foresee the future between the two countries?

“I am optimistic about the future relations between our two countries. The normalization of relations has paved the way for China and Senegal to conduct broad cooperation. This cooperation could be in various fields, politics, economy, trade, culture, science and technology, etc. This cooperation could be at different levels, bilateral, regional and global. I believe that with joint efforts, our friendly cooperative relations will witness all-round development”.