Work Report by Foreign Minister Wang Yi At the Plenary Session of the Coordinators' Meeting On the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of The Johannesburg Summit of The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
Your Excellency Dr. Awad Ahmed Mohamed Elgaz,
Assistant to the President of Sudan,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In accordance with the agreed agenda, let me deliver to you a report, on behalf of the Chinese government, on the overall progress of the implementation of the outcomes of the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit and ideas and proposals for advancing cooperation for the next stage.
The FOCAC Summit last December was a historic gathering, a milestone in China-Africa relations. At the Summit, President Xi Jinping gave a comprehensive and systematic account of China's new thinking and approach regarding relations with Africa, announced the elevation of the China-Africa relationship to a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, called for strengthening the "five pillars" of cooperation, proposed the ten cooperation plans for the next three years with a focus on helping Africa achieve industrialization and agricultural modernization, and pledged a total of US$60 billion of financial support. This Summit, together with the updated blueprint for the future growth of China-Africa relations, opened a new era of win-win cooperation and common development, and set the direction for strengthening unity and cooperation between China and Africa.
We are pleased that the two sides have attached high importance to the implementation of the outcomes of the Summit, acted promptly to take forward the five pillars and ten plans of cooperation, and made substantial progress in enhancing friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation across the board. China has delivered on its commitments and made every effort to advance follow-up actions. And on the African side, a high-level internal coordination mechanism has been set up among over 30 countries to increase synergy with China for the implementation of Summit outcomes. Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, encouraging progress has been made in turning the outcomes into reality.
First, China and Africa have increased high-level mutual visits and enhanced political mutual trust. This year, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Yu Zhengsheng and State Councilor Yang Jiechi visited Africa. On the African side, the presidents of Nigeria, Mozambique, Morocco, Togo and the Republic of Congo have paid state visits to China, and more presidents will come before the end of the year. Interactions have been increasingly frequent between governments, political parties, legislatures and militaries of China and Africa, with over 100 visits at or above the provincial and ministerial level, creating a rare boom in mutual visits.
China and Africa enhanced political mutual trust and backed each other on issues concerning their core interests and major concerns. China has firmly supported African countries in independently exploring a development path suited to their own national conditions and spoken out for Africa on international occasions. And African countries have openly endorsed China's just position on issues concerning China's core interests, especially regarding the Taiwan question and recent developments in the South China Sea. China deeply appreciates such valuable political support.
Second, China and Africa have advanced mutually beneficial cooperation across the board and achieved encouraging early harvests. Despite the prolonged sluggish performance of the world economy, mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Africa has been flourishing. The FOCAC Johannesburg Summit brought such cooperation to a new stage. China is now deeply involved in Africa's industrialization and agricultural modernization with a focus on financing and investment cooperation.
The China-Africa Fund for Production Capacity Cooperation is up and running with an initial contribution of US$10 billion. The Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs has been bolstered with US$5 billion of additional funding. Close to 10 Chinese financial institutions have provided financing support to the development of African countries and conducted cooperation in the form of currency swap with Morocco, Kenya, Nigeria,and the Republic of Congo. Chinese assistance has reached all friendly African countries. Chinese emergency food assistance has been or will be provided to 14 drought-hit African countries.
Rapid progress has taken place in China-Africa production capacity cooperation. China-Africa Production Capacity and Investment Cooperation Forums have been frequently held. China, for the first time, hosted country-specific investment promotions on the occasion of state visits by countries such as Nigeria and Togo. We established platforms for countries like Ethiopia to attract business investments from China. We encouraged provincial governments with strong industrial capacity, including those of Guangdong and Jiangsu, to visit South Africa, Ethiopia and other key countries to explore investment opportunities for production capacity cooperation.
We have signed framework agreements for production capacity cooperation with six countries, including Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. A significant number of large-scale infrastructure projects in rail, road, port, airport, electricity, water supply and telecommunications are well underway. The Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway, Africa's first electrified railway financed and constructed by China, will be operational soon. The Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway is expected to be turned over next year. China and six East African countries have reached agreement on jointly building an East African information expressway.
Partial statistics show that China and Africa have signed over 180 various cooperation agreements with a total value of US$32.5 billion since the Summit. This includes US$29.1 billion of commercial loans, accounting for nearly 90% of the total amount. During this Coordinators' Meeting, our two sides signed another 60-odd cooperation agreements worth US$18.2 billion, among which US$14.8 billion, or over 80%, takes the form of contractual investment by Chinese enterprises in Africa. Investment-led cooperation is becoming a main driver for business cooperation, marking a new stage of higher quality of economic cooperation and trade between China and Africa.
Third, China and Africa maintained robust people-to-people and cultural exchanges with various highlights. The two sides carried out regular people-to-people exchanges in areas such as culture, education, medicine, health, science, technology and tourism, among media, think tanks, universities and youth, and at local levels. China held "Happy Spring Festival" activities in 14 African countries. Over 30 cultural groups from the two sides have exchanged visits. China-Africa education and human resource cooperation keeps deepening. Over 40,000 African students have studied in China. The delegation of young teachers from 15 prestigious Chinese colleges visited Africa for the first time. Chinese young diplomats exchanged visits with their South African and Kenyan counterparts. Over 200 young leaders of African countries are coming to China for the China-Africa Youth Gala. The People-to-People Friendship Action has launched 58 programs covering 37 African countries. Thirty-seven China-Africa joint research exchange programs have been implemented. Correspondents for mainstream media of 27 African countries have been deployed to China for reporting and exchanges. Bilateral and multilateral media and think tank exchanges between China and Africa have been undertaken in various forms.
China has reached agreement with the African Union Commission on cooperation with the African Center for Disease Control and with countries such as South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria on scientific and technological cooperation. The China-Africa science and technology partnership 2.0 will be officially launched, heralding a new phase of cooperation in science and technology. Rapid progress has been made in the development of sister provinces and cities between China and Africa. China has newly approved direct flights by airlines of seven African countries, including Angola, to China. In the first half of this year, there has been a steady rise in the number of visits to China from African countries, and Chinese citizens paid 774,000 visits to Africa as the first stop of their trips, up by 33.6% year on year. The figure will only grow at a faster pace and by a bigger margin.
Fourth, security cooperation has seen notable progress with markedly enhanced positive impact. China has been more actively helping African countries in strengthening their national defense, stability and counter-terrorism capacity building, supporting the AU in speeding up the building of the African Standby Force, and taking part in the effort of IGAD and the East African Community to advance the peace process in South Sudan and Burundi, greatly intensifying its constructive participation in the good-offices for resolving African hotspots.
China continues to take an active part in UN peacekeeping and anti-piracy operations in Africa. The China-initiated UN Security Council Debate on Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea in the Gulf of Guinea received active response from the international community. China has contributed the largest number of peacekeepers in Africa among the P5 of the Security Council. Currently, there are over 2,400 Chinese peacekeepers in seven UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. China continues to participate in escort and anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and waters off the Somali coast. Some Chinese peacekeepers made the ultimate sacrifice. This year, three Chinese peacekeepers lost their young and precious lives for the peace and security of Africa. I wish to pay tribute to each and every one of them.
Fifth, cooperation in the international arena is ever-closer between China and Africa, reflecting a shared commitment to equity and justice. China never fails to speak up for Africa at multilateral occasions, calling on the international community to increase their attention to and input in Africa. We support giving priority to African countries in expanding representation at the UN Security Council and other organizations. China and Africa are coordinating and collaborating ever more closely on major regional and international issues, such as Security Council reform, climate change, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and counter-terrorism, jointly upholding the common and fundamental interests of China, Africa and the rest of the developing world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This Coordinators' Meeting is far beyond expectations in terms of level and scale of participation and outcomes. It speaks volumes about the vibrancy and dynamism of China-Africa cooperation, about the strong commitment of China and Africa working together in good faith to overcome difficulties, and about the firm resolve of China and Africa to seek win-win cooperation for common development. We hope that this Coordinators' Meeting will go a long way to facilitating full implementation of the Summit outcomes in a more timely and effective manner and further enriching China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership. To this end, we should enhance coordination, consolidate the "two foundations", follow the "five principles of cooperation", and speak in one voice.
First, we need to consolidate political trust and people's friendship as two foundations for China-Africa relations. We should keep the momentum of high-level exchanges, strengthen political guidance, improve consultation mechanisms, expand exchanges at various levels among governments, political parties, legislatures and militaries, and step up the sharing of governance and development experience. All this will increase political trust and provide strong political support for the sound development of China-Africa relations.
The two sides need to enhance exchanges among youth, women, media, universities and think tanks and at sub-national level so as to bring the hearts of Chinese and African people closer and promote policy coordination between China and Africa. This will lay a solid popular foundation for China-Africa friendship and cooperation.
Second, we need to follow the five principles of cooperation for common, intensive, green, safe and open development with a view to implementing the follow-up actions of the Summit focusing on security, good organization and effectiveness. We should, first and foremost, uphold the vision of common development, seek greater synergies between Chinese and African development, realize win-win cooperation, and deliver the benefits of cooperation to as many people as possible on both sides, the African people in particular. We should pursue intensive development, conduct comprehensive feasibility studies of cooperation projects, promote the development of large-scale infrastructure projects and industries in a coordinated way to ensure that the projects will generate economic and social benefits and avoid bringing new debt risks to Africa.
We should pursue green and sustainable development, strengthen ecological cooperation and wildlife protection, enhance Africa's law enforcement capacity for environmental protection, promote environment-friendly cooperation on production capacity in a joint effort to protect Africa's eco-environment and long-term interests. We should pursue safe development, strengthen security cooperation, jointly foster a peaceful and stable environment for China-Africa cooperation and development in the long run, and truly protect investors' safety and lawful rights and interests. We should pursue open development, strengthen international collaboration,and welcome the concerted efforts of international community to contribute to Africa's peace and development.
Third, we need to speak in one voice and resolutely uphold the fundamental interests of developing countries. The international landscape and governance system are and will continue to undergo profound and complex changes with new problems and challenges emerging from time to time. In such a context, China and Africa should enhance coordination and collaboration, demonstrate mutual understanding and support on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns, firmly uphold fairness and justice, and make international order and governance system more just and equitable. In September, China will host the G20 Hangzhou Summit, and in such capacity has invited heads of state of South Africa, Chad, Egypt and Senegal to attend the Summit. China has placed development high on the G20 agenda given the fact that this is the first year for implementing the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. China and other G20 members have agreed to formulate an action plan on the implementation of the Agenda 2030 with a view to generating stronger momentum for worldwide implementation and promoting sound development of the developing countries. China and Africa will send a strong message of peace, cooperation and development to the rest of the world and make new contribution to world peace and development.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We have achieved a good beginning and initial progress in implementing the Summit outcomes. This Coordinators' Meeting will inject strong impetus into our efforts to accelerate the process. Let us forge ahead in concerted efforts to convert more outcomes of the FOCAC summit into benefits for the 2.4 billion Chinese and African peoples.