On May 20, the Belt and Road China-Africa Sports Diplomacy Forum (hereinafter referred to as the "Forum") was held at the Shahe Campus of China Foreign Affairs University. The Forum was jointly hosted by China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU), Beijing People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports. Diplomats from more than 10 African countries including Guinea and Madagascar were present, as were representatives from the Department of African Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, the Department of Asian and African Affairs of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), teacher and student representatives of CFAU, and sports experts and scholars.

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Cui Qiming, Party Secretary of the CPC Committee of CFAU, delivers a speech. [Photo by Wang Chongning]

Cui Qiming, Party Secretary of the CPC Committee of CFAU, said in a speech that he hoped that the Forum will encourage more friendly exchanges and cooperation between African diplomatic missions in China and CFAU to further consolidate the China-Africa friendship.

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Luan Yutao, Deputy Director General of the Department of Asian and African Affairs of CPAFFC [Photo by Wang Chongning]

Luan Yutao, Deputy Director General of the Department of Asian and African Affairs of CPAFFC, believes that the football-related exchanges between China and African countries can enhance the emotional connections between Chinese and African people. Luan further announced that CPAFFC is willing to work with all parties to deepen the friendly cooperation between China and Africa in the fields of economy, trade, humanities, and sports, among others.

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Yang Haibin, Deputy Director General of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports [Photo by Wang Chongning]

Yang Haibin, Deputy Director General of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports, said: "We hope that more football teams from African countries and Chinese guests can participate in the next year's Forum."

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A group photo of the attending guests [Photo by Jin Jitao]

The attending guests exchanged views on two topics, namely the "Sports and China-Africa Community with a Shared Future" and "Sports and People-to-people Bond".

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H.E. Mrs. Aminata Koita, Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea to China [Photo by Wang Chongning]

Following the closure of the Forum, H.E. Mrs. Aminata Koita, Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea to China, agreed to receive an interview from CRI Online. Mrs. Koita expressed that sports can bring people from Guinea and China together, regardless of politics or economy.

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H.E. Mr. Jean Louis Robinson, Ambassador of the Republic of Madagascar to China [Photo by Wang Chongning]

H.E. Mr. Jean Louis Robinson, Ambassador of the Republic of Madagascar to China, said: "There is a promising future for the cooperation between Madagascar and China. We believe that the Belt and Road Initiative will deepen the China-Madagascar ties."

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A group photo of the "Dream Team" of the African diplomatic corps in China and a football team of CFAU [Photo by Wang Chongning]

In the afternoon of the event, a friendly football match was held between the "Dream Team" of the African diplomatic corps in China and a CFAU's football team which consisted of teachers and students.

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Michael Hamukwaya, Political and Economic Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Namibia in China [Photo by Wang Chongning]

Michael Hamukwaya, Political and Economic Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Namibia in China, said that he believes that the Belt and Road Initiative will bring development to African nations. He further commented that, connecting countries and regions, the Initiative also helps secure the prospect of a more peaceful world.

(Source: CRI Online)