Xi greets AU lead­ers on sum­mit

Two-day gath­er­ing in Ethiopia will cover re­form, se­cu­rity and peace

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

BEI­JING — Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping on Mon­day sent a mes­sage of con­grat­u­la­tions to African coun­tries and peo­ples on the con­ven­ing of the 29 th African Union sum­mit in the Ethiopian cap­i­tal of Ad­dis Ababa.

In the mes­sage, Xi said the AU is a ban­ner for unity and self-strength­en­ing of Africa. The AU has ac­tively pro­moted African in­te­gra­tion and has prompted African coun­tries to speak with one voice on ma­jor global and re­gional is­sues, mak­ing re­mark­able achieve­ments, he added.

The sum­mit is be­ing held un­der the theme “Har­ness­ing the De­mo­graphic Div­i­dend through In­vest­ment in the Youth”, African heads of state will de­lib­er­ate on key is­sues in­clud­ing AU fi­nanc­ing and in­sti­tu­tional re­form as well as peace and se­cu­rity on the con­ti­nent in their two-day gath­er­ing.

The sum­mit is the first be­ing held since the AU has elected a new com­mis­sion, with for­mer Cha­dian foreign min­is­ter Moussa Faki Ma­hamat as its new chair­man.

Xi voiced sin­cere hope that the AU will lead African coun­tries to keep mak­ing greater achieve­ments in the cause of pur­su­ing peace and development.

Im­por­tant early har­vests have been reaped in im­ple­ment­ing the out­comes of the Jo­han­nes­burg sum­mit of the Fo­rum on China-Africa Co­op­er­a­tion, which has con­trib­uted to the eco­nomic and so­cial development of Africa, Xi said.

He said the Bei­jing will con­tinue to ad­here to the prin­ci­ples of its African pol­icy — sin­cer­ity, prac­ti­cal re­sults, affin­ity and good faith, will up­hold the val­ues of friend­ship, jus­tice and shared in­ter­ests, and will ac­tively pro­mote align­ment of the Ten Ma­jor China-Africa Co­op­er­a­tion Pro­grams and the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive with the AU’s Agenda 2063, to pro­mote in-depth development of China-Africa com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic co­op­er­a­tive part­ner­ship in the greater in­ter­est of Chi­nese and African peo­ples.

Pro­posed by Xi in 2013, the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive aims to build trade and in­fra­struc­ture net­works con­nect­ing Asia with Europe and Africa on and be­yond the an­cient Silk Road routes. It com­prises the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and the 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road.

Keen in­ter­est

On the sum­mit, the AU hailed China’s in­vest­ment in Africa’s in­fra­struc­ture and ex­pressed its keen in­ter­est in see­ing strength­ened ties.

Abou-Zeid Amani, AU com­mis­sioner for in­fra­struc­ture and en­ergy, ac­knowl­edged China’s huge in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture projects, in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy and en­ergy.

“China is a big player and big part­ner in many sec­tors, such as in­fra­struc­ture and ICT. China is def­i­nitely a big part­ner for Africa’s ma­jor in­te­gra­tion projects. We wel­come the role of China,” Amani said.

“The AU looks for­ward to a more en­hanced and sub­stan­tial co­op­er­a­tion with China,” she said.

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