Traditional China-Africa Friendship Sails Toward New Horizons
Ma Xinmin, Chinese Ambassador to Sudan
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which was successfully held in Beijing on June 24 and 25, 2019 with the presence of roughly 400 representatives from 54 African members, including Sudan. At the coordinators’ meeting which is a major initiative for the two sides to jointly advance the implementation of the outcomes of the Beijing Summit in last September, the two sides deliberated and adopted the outcome document Joint Statement, and compared notes, built consensus and put the way forward for China-Africa cooperation, a solid step forward in promoting the in-depth development of China-Africa win-win cooperation and China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership.
Remaining action-oriented, the coordinators’ meeting will push for new achievements in implementing the outcomes of the Beijing Summit. Different from other international mechanisms on cooperation with Africa, the FOCAC is not a talking shop but a task force. In pursuit of concrete results, the coordinators’ meeting focuses on the synergy of strategies and policies of China and Africa. Since the FOCAC Beijing Summit was concluded last year, the Chinese and African sides have worked closely to intensify integration and coordination with a focus on the eight major initiatives and advance the arrangement of the 60 billion US dollars in an orderly manner, and jointly pushed the implementation of the outcomes of the Beijing Summit for early harvests. The two sides witnessed the signing of over 200 cooperation agreements during the coordinators’ meeting and the subsequent First China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, and will carry out 880 cooperation projects under the formulated country-specific lists in the coming three years.
With the aim at win-win cooperation, the coordinators’ meeting will push for new progress in the mutually beneficial China-Africa cooperation. Ready to show consistent support for development and revitalization of Africa, China will assist Africa in tackling the three bottlenecks of underdeveloped infrastructure, inadequate human capital and lack of financial resources on a priority basis. China will make greater efforts to expand the cooperation potentials in green development, capacity building, health care, people-to-people exchange, peace and security, etc. and advance China-Africa cooperation to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results on an ever-larger scale, in wider areas and at higher levels. China remains Africa’s largest trading partner for 10 consecutive years, with the trade volume between China and Africa surpassing the $200-billion mark again in 2018 and the value of various Chinese investment in Africa totaling more than $110 billion. In spite of the current complex external environment facing China-Africa relations, both sides demonstrate their firm support for bilateralism and free trade and show their resolve to pursue China-Africa solidarity and cooperation that could be shaken by no one.
Aimed at delivering benefits to our people, the coordinators’ meeting will help lift the traditional China-Africa friendship to a new level. Making lives better for our people is what we aim to achieve in growing China-Africa relations. In keeping with the principle of upholding justice while pursuing shared interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, China will build an interconnected partnership between the two sides through “Belt and Road” cooperation, and improve the cooperation landscape via the implementation of the outcomes of the Beijing Summit in order to tap the potential for greater cooperation between the two sides. China will further increase its investment in a wide range of sectors, including education, health, agriculture and environmental protection, in African countries, and prompt China-Africa cooperation to be more focused on livelihood-related fields, in a bid to provide more opportunities to improve the livelihood and well-being of African people and allow both Chinese and African people to participate in, contribute to and benefit from China-Africa cooperation. This is a lofty mission that we, China and African countries, must fulfill together, and is also a positive response to what the 2.6 billion Chinese and African people aspire for.
In the pursuit of building an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future, the coordinators’ meeting will bring new substance to China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership. Having long been a community of with a shared future, China and Africa are committed to building an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future, a common choice of the both sides and a pursuit of stronger China-Africa solidarity and cooperation. In the future, the two sides will fully implement the strategic consensus reached by the leaders of the two nations at the Beijing Summit and strengthen the building of an all-round bilateral relationship featuring “joint responsibility, win-win cooperation, happiness for all, common cultural prosperity, common security, and harmonious co-existence”. China, determined to contribute to African development with its own development and committed to promoting the deepened integration of the Chinese Dream and the African Dream, will play a positive and leading role in the sustained progress in building a community with a shared future for mankind across the entire world and contribute to realizing the dream as early as possible of building a world of lasting peace, common security, common prosperity, openness and inclusiveness, and beauty.
As an ancient Chinese saying goes, “a single flower does not make spring”. The coordinators’ meeting draws up a blueprint for the future China-Africa cooperation and also provides an opportunity for the two sides to jointly deal with the existing challenges and seek new development in the comprehensive strategic partnership. China and Africa agree on the need to keep to the fundamental direction of building a China-Africa community with a shared future, remain committed to Belt and Road Cooperation between China and Africa, uphold the just cause of multilateralism, and promote the spirit of equal and open cooperation. China hopes to work with the Sudan government to grasp the historical opportunity of implementing the outcomes of the Beijing Summit and jointly developing the Belt and Road Initiative, to deepen mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation between the two sides and open up new prospects for China-Sudan relations.