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Speech at the Reception Marking the 67th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
(September 22nd, 2016)
2016-09-23 14:48

Your Excellency Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology,

Your Excellency Mr. Ahmed Shide, State Minister of Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation,

Distinguished Ambassadors, Representatives of International organizations,

Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Good evening!

 

I am so delighted to have all of you with us here tonight in celebration of the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Mission to the African Union and the Chinese Embassy to Ethiopia, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all and extend my sincere gratitude for your support to China’s development and cooperation between China and the African Union and China-Ethiopia relations.

 

Over the past 67 years, China has witnessed remarkable economic and social achievements. Gone are the days when China was poor, weak and divided. Today, China has become the world’s second largest economy, the largest goods trading power and the biggest trading partner for more than 120 countries and regions! The great strides made since China’s reform and opening up process have not only changed the destiny of the Chinese people, but also made great contributions to peace and prosperity of the world as a whole.

 

While the world is undergoing complex transformation, the global economy is still in deep adjustment and China is under great downturn pressure. Despite numerous challenges both at home and abroad, China maintains its policy of placing development as the top priority and remains firmly committed to deepening reforms and opening up, with a view to ensuring a sound and sustainable economic growth. At present, our country is focused on structural reforms, innovation, new technology, new industries like the “Internet+”, etc., which has provided new driving forces for China’s sustainable development.

 

China’s economy grew at 6.7% during the first half of this year. It is no small accomplishment, given the sheer size of the country’s GDP and the current global economy. It demonstrates once again its role as a key engine of the world economy. Actually, China has contributed to the world economic growth by over 30 percent last year. As the fundamentals of China’s economy remain sound and the general trend is rather promising, we are confident that China can maintain medium-to-high growth rate in the years to come, which will undoubtedly boost the recovery of the world economy in general and bring more opportunities for Africa’s development in particular.

 

Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

China-Africa cooperation is now standing at a new historical starting point. The Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), held in Johannesburg last December, was a milestone event in the history of China-Africa relations and cooperation. In his keynote speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced ten major cooperation plans and $60 billion financial support in the following three years. What was more important, the speech provided new guidelines for the development of China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership.

 

We Chinese often say that planning contributes 10% to the success of an undertaking while 90% of the success lies in implementation. Thanks to the concerted efforts made by both sides, so much has been accomplished regarding the implementation of the outcomes of Johannesburg Summit. In late July this year, the coordinators’ meeting of the implementation of the follow-up actions of the Johannesburg Summit was convened successfully in Beijing. 61 cooperation agreements totaling $18.2 billion were inked. Over the past 9 months since the conclusion of the Summit, China and Africa have signed 245 cooperation agreements in various fields, reaching over $50 billion in total!

 

China-AU strategic partnership has continued to gain new momentum. This year has seen successful visits by H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the AUC and H.E. Dr Joseph Chilengi, Presiding Officer of ECOSOCC to China, as well as in-depth discussions and exchanges on infrastructure, peace and security, human rights and relevant issues of common interest. The Chinese Government has renewed its technical cooperation on the maintenance of the AU headquarters, and will soon launch the project of Integrated Service Center of the African Union. The two sides have been working closely on the “Three Major Networks” of railway, road and regional aviation as well as African industrialization. Much progress has been made in our bilateral cooperation on the establishment of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC). The Chinese side stands ready to render more support for the implementation of Agenda 2063, and join hands with the African Union to raise China-AU Partnership to a new height.

 

Over the past year, the comprehensive cooperative partnership between China and Ethiopia has made great strides. The light-rail and Addis-Djibouti railway are the two latest testaments to the excellent cooperation between the two countries. In fact, Addis-Djibouti railway will be officially inaugurated early next month. We cherish our friendship with Ethiopia, one of China’s most important strategic partners and pilot industrial capacity cooperation demonstration countries on the continent. We will continue to support Ethiopia in its endeavors to achieve greater success in social-economic development. We stand ready to further enhance the multidimensional win-win cooperation with Ethiopia. By expediting the construction of Economic Corridor and manufacturing bases along Addis-Djibouti railway, we hope to give new impetus to the deepening cooperation between our two countries.

 

Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Africa. In today’s world, China and Africa, with highly converged development strategies, share mutual demand and advantages in cooperation. We attach great importance to our relations with Africa and will continue to act on the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith. More solid steps will be taken on our side to implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Summit in order to enrich and promote the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership.

 

Earlier this month, the G20 Summit was successfully held in Hangzhou, China. The gathering was of great significance, because for the first time, the G-20 Summit put the issue of development at the center of the global macro policy framework, came up with an action plan for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and launched an initiative on supporting industrialization in Africa and least developing countries. As the Chinese Ambassador to the African Union, I am very pleased to note that four African heads of state, from Chad, Egypt, Senegal and South Africa were invited. This is something unusual for a G-20 Summit.

 

As Chinese President Xi Jinping recently emphasized that, no matter how the international landscape may change, the resolve of China and Africa to pursue unity and win-win cooperation will never change, and China’s support for Africa’s peace and development will never change.

 

There is an African saying which goes like this: if you want to walk fast, walk alone, but if you want to walk far, walk together. I am confident that as the giant ship of China-Africa cooperation has set sail, with the wisdom and strength of 2.4 billion people of China and Africa, we are bound to reach a brighter destination of prosperity and development.

 

To conclude, I want to propose a toast,

To the 67th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China,

To the prosperity of China and Africa as well as the happiness of Chinese and African peoples,

To the bright future of China-AU and China-Ethiopia relations, and

To the health of all distinguished guests present,

Cheers!

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