Benin is a country located in south-central West Africa. China and Benin resumed the diplomatic relations on December 29th, 1972, and the relations between the two countries have developed smoothly since then. The bilateral cooperation in political, economic and cultural fields has been steadily developing. On the morning of February 27th, the Benin Ambassador to China, H.E Mr. Simon P. Adovelande, met with Mrs. Wei Yan, the Editor-in-Chief of Home and Abroad News Press and other senior officers at the embassy.
Ambassador Adovelande first introduced Benin's recent development in various fields. As the Ambassador of Benin to China, he expressed that he will continue to promote the development of various relations between China and Benin during his tenure.
Mrs. Wei said that since Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the strategic concept of "the Belt and Road Initiative", many countries responded positively. Ambassador Adovelande said that not only Benin, but also other seven West African countries who share the same currency, we have proposed the concept of "8 + 1": The West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) + China. The UEMOA includes Benin, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Côte d'Ivoire (the country has not established diplomatic relations with China). The UEMOA is made up of eight countries. We use the common currency of the West African CFA franc, and our relations with China is the first external diplomatic relations. China's reform and opening up policy made rapid progress in economic development, which left great impressions to the UEMOA members. Ambassador Adovelande expected Home and Abroad News Press to use its network and influence to support the cooperation model of the “8 + 1”.
Benin and China have cooperated in many fields with tremendous growth. In infrastructure construction, China invested in road and bridge construction in Benin. In agriculture, China provided
training and equipment to Benin local farmers. Another project under discussion is the construction of a new airport as well as the railway construction.
Benin is a very beautiful country with romantic beaches and wildlife parks. It is a very safe and stable country with a good climate, not only suitable for living but also suitable for investment. Chinese companies are developing tourist attractions in Benin.
Cultural exchange is a bridge to enhance the friendship between peoples of the two countries, and it is very important to develop the friendly cooperative relations between China and Benin. During the meeting, Ambassador Adovelande introduced the current exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. In September this year, he said that we will organize film festival and food festival. We will invite Benin film stars, artists, photographers and young students to come to China and communicate with the Chinese cultural community so that they can regain their understanding of the relations between Benin and China to further promote our bilateral friendship.
Mrs. Wei also expressed her great interest to have an exclusive interview with the President of Benin, H.E. Mr. Patrice Talon during the Ambassador Adovelande’s term here in China. He fully supported the idea and knew that Mrs. Wei has interviewed 21 state heads, including presidents, prime ministers and kings from various countries. Ambassador Adovelande expected that the President of Benin could be the 22nd state head whom Mrs. Wei will have the interview with.
During the meeting, both sides also reached a consensus on opening a Home and Abroad News Press branch in Benin, co-sponsoring the " UEMOA & China 8+1 Friendship Night" and other cooperative projects. Ambassador Adovelande wished to have another meeting after the Chinese national congresses so that both sides could discuss more in details.