Beijing: China along with Germany and France can together assist in the development of Africa in a "four-party" framework, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to his European counterparts in a recent online summit.

Xi on Monday made the proposal of a quadrilateral cooperation on Africa, in the form of an invitation to French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to join the development framework Beijing had launched with African countries in May.

During the meet, Xi said that the world more than ever needs mutual respect and close collaboration, rather than suspicion, antagonism or zero-sum game.

China and Europe should "view each other's differences in a correct way, rationally handle divergences, and ensure ties between the two sides move forward," he said, as per a readout by Xinhua news agency.

The Chinese president noted that Africa is a region facing the tasks of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and achieving economic recovery, but is also "the continent with the greatest development potentials."

Separately, the French and German statements made no mention of the "Quad" proposal, however, the Elysee Palace said France and Germany "welcomed China's commitment to contribute to the restructuring of the debt of vulnerable countries," Nikkei Asia reported.

The EU giants also called the development of pharmaceutical production capacities in Africa a "priority."

This three-way meet proposal was made after the Group of Seven (G7) countries launched a Build Back Better World Partnership to counter Beijing's Belt and Road infrastructure-building initiative. According to Nikkei, China is not the only country floating new partnerships in the Indo-Pacific.

On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar addressed the first edition of the Indo-Pacific Business Summit, which saw the participation of over 40 countries including the US, Australia, France, Vietnam, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Fiji.

EAM Jaishankar spoke on the Indo Pacific vision which was "seamless and integrated space disconnected decades ago" but as "many Indian Ocean economies trade further east and as Pacific ones too have displayed a presence south and westwards, we are quite sensibly seeing the landscape for what it really is."

The Minister further explained that "the vision means the overcoming of the Cold War and a rejection of bipolarity and dominance and is an expression of our collective interest in promoting global prosperity and securing the global commons."

MEA Secretary (East) Riva Ganguly Das, who also spoke during the summit, highlighted the importance of a free, open, and rules-based Indo-Pacific in facilitating trade and connectivity in the region.

The event saw participation from Ambassadors and High Commissioners of various countries across the Indo-Pacific, a region spanning from the east coast of Africa to the Pacific island states.

Secretary (East) Riva Ganguly Das also highlighted the initiatives undertaken by India including building cross-border linkages and infrastructure, promoting digital connectivity, Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI), Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), etc.