Despite recent diplomatic row between Gaborone and Beijing over China’s stance in the disputed China Sea, government has said the relationship with their Asian giants is growing. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said in response to a question in parliament that over the years they had witnessed increasing cooperation, particularly in the areas of infrastructure development, health, education, agriculture, science and technology, culture and military cooperation.
“..our two countries’ resolve to strengthen and broaden the scope of bilateral cooperation, has been evidenced by the establishment of the Botswana/China Joint Consultative Forum, which was first hosted by Botswana in October 2012. This bilateral consultative mechanism is critical as it provides the invaluable platform to discuss issues of bilateral, regional and international discourse,” said the minister.
The minister added that the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is yet another cooperation mechanism that the Chinese Government has adopted to extend the much needed support to Botswana and Africa as a whole.
Under this framework, ‘we have seen enhanced political exchanges and cooperation between China and Botswana at all levels. For this, it is only right that I should commend the Government of the People’s Republic of China for their continued assistance and benevolence.’
To support her argument she said Botswana government has already 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 2nd Forum for China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit held in December 2015, in Johannesburg, South Africa.