"The Gabonese Democratic Party (GDP) has a friendship with the Communist Party of China (CPC) lasting over 40 years. Every leader of the Gabonese party has paid visits to China to learn governance experience from the CPC. They witnessed the huge changes in China's development and deeply felt the institutional advantages of socialism with Chinese characteristics," said Michel Philippe NZE, Second Deputy Secretary General of the GDP, in a recent interview with People's Daily.
Photo shows a pure electric bus in Beijing. Compared with traditional fuel-powered buses, electric buses come with less noise and are equipped with air purifiers and 360-degree surround-view cameras. (People's Daily Online/Hu Qingming)
China is the world's second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest goods trading country and the holder of the largest foreign exchange reserves. Philippe admires such developments made by the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC and speaks highly of the governance philosophy of the Chinese political party.
"The CPC adheres to a people-centered approach and always puts people's interests in the first place," said Philippe, adding that is what guarantees China's constant progress.
In the fall three years ago, Philippe visited China together with a GDP delegation. The delegation visited tech firms and cultural organizations in a number of Chinese cities, such as Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. They also joined symposiums attended by local citizens and professionals from various industries, from which they saw the development of China.
"I was deeply impressed by the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall. It comprehensively showcases the history, status quo and future of the Chinese capital's urban planning and construction. There, I learned that Beijing keeps its ancient appearances while adopting modern development approaches and methods," Philippe told People's Daily.
He also felt the prosperous green development of China on the streets of Beijing, where he saw shared bikes and other green transport methods. "The citizens are taking concrete actions to put green development into practice," he said.
China and Gabon have achieved common development through the Belt and Road Initiative. In June last year, China handed over the renovated parliament building of Gabon to the Gabonese government. Five months later, a school constructed by Chinese companies in the African country was completed, which can accommodate over 5,000 students.
Philippe speaks highly of the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and the Global Development Initiative, both proposed by China.
"Chinese schemes have been recognized and responded by a number of developing countries including Gabon, and our people have also received tangible benefits from such schemes," he noted.
In March last year, Gabon received the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines donated by China. "We immediately launched nationwide vaccinations. The Gabonese President and his wife were vaccinated at the earliest time possible," Philippe recalled.
The second batch of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government to Gabon arrive in Libreville, the Gabonese capital, May, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Chinese Embassy in Gabon)
According to the man, the pandemic has been put under control in his country, and there has been a significant drop in both the affections and the death rate.
"We and China offered mutual assistance amid the pandemic. It would have been very hard for us if our Chinese friends had not helped us," he said.
China and Gabon have witnessed constantly deepening cultural exchanges over recent years. It was announced last November that the French version of the Chinese drama series Minning Town, which spotlights a real-life poverty alleviation project in northwest China, would be aired in Gabon and other African countries.
"These Chinese poverty alleviation stories can strike a chord with African people. They bring the Chinese people closer to Africans and set an example for African countries to achieve prosperity," Philippe said.
Philippe believes that China's poverty reduction miracle - lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in the past some 40 years - will go down in history.
"More importantly, it brings hope to African countries that are still bothered by poverty today," he noted.
In March this year, Philippe attended a virtual meeting held by the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, which was themed on the exploration and practice of Chinese and African political parties to seek modernization paths suiting national conditions.
Philippe shared his opinions on the development of political party-led media outlets and journals in the new era. He said relevant parties need to enhance exchanges and cooperation to build a clean cyberspace and a sound environment for public opinion in today's world that is highly informationized.
The 20th National Congress of the CPC will kick off next month. Philippe extended his congratulations to the Chinese people for their achievements made under the leadership of the CPC. He said he hopes China can continue working with other developing countries to create a brighter future.