Remarks at the Group Meeting with the Heads of African Delegations Attending the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the FOCAC Beijing Summit
H.E. Yang Jiechi, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs
Beijing, 24 June 2019
Your Excellency Amadou Ba, Foreign Minister of Senegal,
Ambassadors and Diplomatic Envoys,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening! On the eve of the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the FOCAC Beijing Summit, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese side, a very warm welcome to all African friends attending tomorrow’s meeting!
The FOCAC Beijing Summit held last September was a great success and a new milestone in China-Africa relations, as it ushered in a new era of an even stronger community with a shared future between China and Africa. Through the close communication and coordination we have had since the Summit, significant progress has been made in many areas of our cooperation, getting our follow-up actions off to a good start and sustaining and leveraging the good momentum created by the Summit. Such progress would not have been possible without the dedication of all of you present today. I want to salute and thank you for your good efforts.
China and Africa enjoy a time-tested friendship and great cooperation potential. This bodes well for a brighter future of China-Africa relations.
– Entering the new era, China-Africa relations are gaining stronger momentum. Since 2013 when President Xi Jinping took office, he has visited Africa four times, and in return, more than 120 visits to China have been made by African leaders in the bilateral or multilateral context. At the FOCAC Beijing Summit, China and Africa agreed to jointly build an even stronger community with a shared future, thus charting the course for China-Africa relationship to scale a new height and playing an exemplary role in building a community with a shared future for mankind.
China-Africa cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is advancing at a faster pace. A total of 40 African countries and the AU Commission have signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China; African countries were well represented at the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation; and more vigorous efforts are being made to develop synergy between the Belt and Road cooperation, the 2063 Agenda of the African Union, and the development strategies of individual African countries. Africa has thus become one of the most active and steadfast partners in the Belt and Road cooperation, adding strong impetus to the growth of China-Africa relations.
– Entering the new era, China-Africa relations are growing on a more solid political foundation. China and Africa have stayed close partners for each other, sharing weal and woe together. We can always count on each other’s strong support for following development paths suited to our realities or on issues involving each other’s core interests and major concerns. This is an indication of our ever-deepening political trust. The dynamic multi-tiered interactions we have seen following the Beijing Summit between our governments, political parties, legislatures, local authorities and people and the in-depth exchanges we have had on governance experience have all played their part in lifting our comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to an unprecedented level. In its relationship and cooperation with Africa, China upholds the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and that of pursuing the greater good and shared interests. China supports African countries in handling African affairs with an African approach. It is fair to say that China and Africa have never been so determined and confident about our joint pursuit of cooperation and development. Such resolve and confidence could be shaken by no one.
– Entering the new era, China-Africa relations are defined by more wide-ranging cooperation. Two-way trade surpassed US$200 billion again in 2018, with China continuing to be Africa’s largest trading partner for the tenth year in a row and investing upwards of US$110 billion in Africa. Since the launch of the eight major initiatives, good progress has been made in allocating the US$60-billion funding and in carrying out infrastructure and production capacity projects that are important to Africa. A China-Africa Institute has been inaugurated, and a Dialogue on the Implementation of China-Africa Peace and Security Initiative held. China has provided emergency assistance to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi in the wake of tropical cyclones. These are only a few examples of our cooperation in areas of think tank exchanges, peace and security, and disaster relief and reduction, which is making new progress and reaching a new level.
– Entering the new era, China-Africa relations are acquiring greater relevance. In a world that is undergoing major changes rarely seen in a century, the need for developing countries to strengthen solidarity in their pursuit of development is more pressing than ever. The fruitful China-Africa cooperation has become a pacesetter for international cooperation with Africa and for South-South cooperation. Against the backdrop of mounting unilateralism and protectionism and challenges to the international order and economic globalization, China and Africa are staying our course in line with the historical trend. Together, we are upholding multilateralism and the free trade system, defending the international system with the United Nations at its core and the basic norms of international law and international relations centered on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and promoting reforms to make the global governance system more just and equitable, thus contributing positive energy to world peace and development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Over the last seven decades, the Chinese people have worked under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and acted in unison to overcome one challenge after another and to score remarkable development achievements. We have found a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Going forward, China will stay committed to deepening all-round reform, to pursuing high-quality development, and to opening up wider. We will continue to follow the path of peaceful development, promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and make new contributions to a better and more prosperous world.
China and Africa are indispensable for each other’s quests for development and rejuvenation. We have stood shoulder to shoulder in trying times like brothers do and forged a friendship more precious than gold. We will stay true to this friendship and work in concert for a brighter future of China-Africa relations.
Proceeding from this new starting point, we need to build on our mutual trust, cherish our traditional friendship, increase high-level exchanges, and cement further the political foundation of our ties. In implementing the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and advancing the Belt and Road cooperation, we can seek greater mutual benefits and keep upgrading our cooperation to new levels. We need to increase cultural exchanges and mutual learning and expand cooperation in such areas as education, culture, science and technology, tourism, and sports to bring our people closer together. We need to enhance solidarity and coordination as we continue to work closely on major regional and international issues, promote a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and shape the international order and global governance system in a way that serves the interest of developing countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The timing of this Coordinators’ Meeting cannot be more opportune. It gives us an opportunity to pool wisdom, share experience, compare notes and advance cooperation. Let us strive for concrete outcomes that can contribute to an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future and send to the whole world a strong message of China and Africa pursuing development and progress together. I wish the Meeting a full success.