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Keynote Speech by Ambassador LIU Yuxi at the Seminar “Look into the future -- the new era of China-Africa cooperation”
2021-10-20 22:36


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to this webinar. The eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in Senegal by the end of the year. Every FOCAC meetings is a grand gathering for China and Africa, as we are good friends, good brothers and good partners of each other. Today’s webinar is like a warming up activity of the grand gathering. Hope everyone could share your insights by looking into the new era of China-Africa cooperation.

China-Africa friendship has withstood various tests and grown even stronger as time goes by. Back in the days when Africa was fighting for national independence and liberation, we were comrades in arms and forged a close friendship. When Africa pursues economic revitalization, we are partners seeking win-win outcomes through cooperation. Facing the Covid-19 now, we support each other and become a shining example of solidarity in fighting pandemic.

FOCAC are our own platform for collective dialogue and mechanism for practical cooperation. It has bolstered high-level interactions and political trust between China and Africa, delivering a leap in China-Africa relations from "a new type of partnership" to "a new type of strategic partnership" and to "a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership". For the twenty one years since the establishment of the FOCAC, the trades between China and Africa and China's investment in Africa have expanded by 20-fold and 100-fold, respectively. China has built more than 6,000 kilometers of railway lines, 6,000 kilometers of roads, nearly 20 ports and more than 80 large power facilities in Africa, assisted Africa in building over 130 medical facilities, 45 gymnasiums and 170-plus schools, dispatched a total of 21,000 medical team members to 48 African countries and treated about 220 million patients in Africa.

Even with the pandemic, China has remained Africa’s largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years. Direct Chinese investment in Africa has been steady, reaching US$3 billion in 2020 alone. Many Chinese engineers and technicians chose to stay at their posts in Africa despite the pandemic; and over 1,100 cooperation projects have maintained operation. Solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon to defeat COVID-19,  and the sunshine of cooperation will surely dispel the haze of the pandemic. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, in response to African needs, China has urgently provided various kinds of assistance including materials, vaccines and expert teams to 53 African countries and the African Union . China-Africa economic and trade cooperation and our solidarity provide strong support to economic reopening and recovery in Africa.

For now, over 85 percent of the eight major initiatives announced at the 2018 Beijing FOCAC Summit have been implemented, 70 percent of the US$60 billion supporting funds have been disbursed or earmarked, and a large number of cooperation projects have been launched or completed. All this provides a strong buttress for Africa to achieve economic recovery.The eighth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC will stand on the new developments, new imperatives and new opportunities and upgrade our cooperation. The conference will focus on cooperation areas such as health, industrial capacity, regional connectivity, agricultural, digital sector, environmental, military and security, personnel and skills training. It will announce corresponding pragmatic cooperation actions in this regard.

China is the largest developing country and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries.The collective revitalization of developing countries is the most distinctive feature of our times and an important symbol of the progress of human society as a whole. Development is the master key to solve all problems. The ultimate way out for many regional hot spots lies in development. Africa has achieved political independence through hard struggle, and are striving for economic independence and development.

Chinese President Xi Jinping solemnly proposed the Global Development Initiative at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. He called on the international community to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for more robust, greener and more balanced global development, and foster a global community of development with a shared future. This major Initiative has set out a blueprint for the development of countries and international cooperation, and pointed out the way forward for global development and international development cooperation.

China and Africa also jointly proposed the Initiative on Partnership for Africa's Development this year, emphasizing that Africa is not an arena for superpower games but a major stage for international cooperation. As supporting African development is a shared responsibility of the international community, all countries should carry out cooperation with Africa on the premise of respecting Africa's sovereignty and listening to Africa's voice, give full play to their respective advantages and pool efforts in an effective way, and do more beneficial and practical work for the well-being of the African people. Some countries should neither attach political strings to assistance, nor impose their will on African countries.

The two important initiatives will synergy with Agenda 2063 of the African Union, address challenges through development, and help African countries achieve development goals to speed up the realization of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Africa is a continent full of potential and with bright prospect. It is believed that with the joint efforts of China and Africa, the mechanism of FOCAC will lead China-Africa cooperation to blossom and bear fruit again and again, and make new contributions to building a even closer China-Africa community with a shared future. China is willing to stick together with African brothers and form a new chapter in China-Africa friendly cooperation.

Wish this webinar a full success.

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