By Mua Patrick, March 6, 2017
Cameroon Journal, Yaoundé – President Paul Biya is expected to make his sixth official visit to the People’s Republic of China anytime from now.
An invitation from President Xi Jinping inviting Biya to China was presented to the Cameroonian leader Friday March 3 by the Chinese Ambassador to Cameroon, Wei Wenhua.
Though the exact date and purpose of the visit remains unknown, the belief is that both leaders will use the visit to discuss the growing relations between Cameroon and China.
Ambassador Wei Wenhua said in an interview at the Unity Palace shortly after handing the invitation to President Paul Biya, that President Xi Jinping “highly appreciates the constant efforts made by President Paul Biya to build a solid Sino-Cameroon relation.”
The Chinese diplomat further said it is the wish of Xi Jinping to see that such relations continue in a positive direction.
“This is aimed at strengthening a mutual and friendly political trust between both countries, which established bilateral ties on 26 March 1971”, the Ambassador said.
He announced at the Unity Palace during last week’s audience that “China intends to work with Cameroon to carry on the Sino-Cameroonian strategic cooperation at a higher level in order to contribute more to the well-being of our two peoples.”
In January during an audience Biya granted Ambassador Wei Wenhua, the Chinese senior diplomat had announced that Xi Jinping has expressed his country’s determination to reinforce ties with Cameroon in 2017.
He said the complexities of current international trends are strong indicators for Cameroon and China to strengthen a sustainable bilateral relation.
In the meantime, Friday’s invitation from the Chinese president inviting President Biya to China comes less than six years after the Cameroonian leader paid a similar visit to the giant Asian nation.
In July 2011, at the invitation of then President Hu Jintao, President Paul Biya paid a state visit to China that lasted two days.
During the visit, Biya held discussions with the then President, Hu Jintao in Beijing before later meeting separately with top legislator, Wu Bangguo, and Premier, Wen Jiabao.
It was Biya’s fifth state visit to China since he became Cameroonian President in 1982. The state visit came after those of March 1987, October 1993, September 2003, and November 2006.
In 2015, China became Cameroon’s leading trade partner, while the latter was the second largest beneficiary of Chinese aid in Africa, amounting to FCFA 1,430 billion.