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Botswana's relations with China continue to deepen
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets with Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi in Gaborone, Botswana on Jan 7, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]
Diplomatic relations between China and Botswana have grown significantly this year, with the African nation becoming the 46th country on the continent to sign a memorandum of understanding on the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Botswana also was one of the five African countries that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited in January.

Chinese Ambassador to Botswana Zhao Yanbo shared insights on the diplomatic ties between the two countries and the benefits of the BRI.

The BRI was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013 as a public good for the international community, especially developing countries, to strengthen interconnectivity and development capacity.

Zhao said the joint building of the BRI will provide new opportunities for China and Botswana to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, expand cooperation to new fields and create new prospects. He also said it will help Botswana's infrastructure construction and national modernization process and better benefit the two peoples, and business interactions between the two sides will increase.

"We will encourage Chinese enterprises to increase investment in Botswana, actively explore cooperation in industrial parks, special economic zones and regional development belts, and enhance the aggregation and added value of Botswana's industrialization," Zhao said.

Over the years, the total trade volume between the two countries has jumped from less than $500,000 to about $300 million in 2019. China is one of Botswana's major trading partners.

Also in 2019, Vice-Minister of Commerce Qian Keming visited Botswana, and the two countries held the inaugural meeting of the China-Botswana Joint Committee on Economy, Trade, Investment, and Technical Cooperation.

Both sides noted the progress in bilateral economic and trade cooperation since President Masisi's visit to China, and they conducted in-depth exchanges on investment and trade, infrastructure, development cooperation and human resources training, and reached a consensus on cooperation between the two countries.

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