By Chen Shun
DAKAR, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- "We can say that China has done more for Senegal in four years than what the Western countries have for her in 10 or 20 years," the Chinese ambassador to Senegal, Lu Shaye, said on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
Lu, who is the first Chinese ambassador to Senegal after the resumption of the diplomatic relations between Beijing and Dakar in 2005, indicated that since the ties resumed, "China has helped Senegal achieve many infrastructural projects. For example, the Grand National Theatre in Dakar, which is under construction, is going to be the best type of structure in sub-Saharan Africa."
"In the sporting arena," the ambassador said, "we have already rehabilitated two of the 11 stadia in Senegal, to the great satisfaction of the populations. A journalist of the Western press one day asked me a question on whether the infrastructural developments constructed by China in Africa did not leave the African leaders delighted."
"I responded to him: On the contrary, the nine stadia handed over by China to Senegal satisfy a lot the local populations who end up carrying out any sporting or cultural activity of their choice. And this reality does not need to be proven," said the Chinese envoy.
"We have also put in place a project to transform the electricity supply to Dakar which we commonly refer to as 'Buckle up Dakar." This project was financed by the Import and Export Bank of China, and once completed, the project will improve power supply to the capital," Lu said, noting that the first beneficiaries are the people.
The Chinese ambassador also cited the Chinese medical mission serving patients at Pikine Hospital and elsewhere in the West African country.
Lu said agriculture is another important area where the two countries have nice cooperation. Chinese experts are working on agricultural projects to improve the production of vegetables and rice in Senegal. An example is the technical training team at Sangalkam (near Dakar) and Podor (north), according to the Chinese ambassador.
"The particularity of Sino-African relations is that it is characterized by sincerity, equality, pragmatism and high efficacy, as being seen in the program of aid announced by the Chinese President Hu Jintao during the Sino-African summit held in Beijing in 2006," said the Chinese ambassador, whose term is coming to an end after four years of service in Dakar.