New Era

China’s top diplomat: China, African countries need to build stronger community with shared future


On November 12, 2020, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech entitled Build on Twenty Years of Proud Achievemen­ts and Open up a New Chapter in China-Africa Relations at the reception commemorat­ing the 20th anniversar­y of the Forum on ChinaAfric­a Cooperatio­n (FOCAC).

Wang Yi said twenty years ago, Chinese and African leaders gathered in Beijing to inaugurate FOCAC. A new era was thus opened for China-Africa relations. Over the two decades, by acting along the prevailing trend of peace, developmen­t and cooperatio­n, FOCAC has establishe­d itself as a pacesetter for cooperatio­n with Africa, a champion of multilater­alism, and a fine example of mutually beneficial cooperatio­n. FOCAC has come a long way in strengthen­ing China-Africa solidarity and friendship, boosting common developmen­t of China and Africa, and enhancing the friendship between the Chinese and African peoples.

Wang Yi said while the past two decades have been extraordin­ary for FOCAC, they have also seen the Chinese people striving for national rejuvenati­on and African countries pursuing strength through unity. In this great historical journey, China and Africa have always been there for each other. We have shown the world that with hard work, countries who are still in the process of developmen­t can build a better life for their people; and with self-reliance and exploratio­n, China and African countries can find our own path toward prosperity that suits our national conditions.

Wang Yi said the world is undergoing changes unseen in a century, and COVID-19 is accelerati­ng the evolution of the internatio­nal order. How to make sure that China-Africa relations will seize the trend of the times and scale new heights? How to build on our achievemen­t and further upgrade and enhance China-Africa cooperatio­n? How to enable FOCAC to meet the challenges and achieve progress in creative ways? To answer these questions, China would like to share the following propositio­ns with our African friends.

First,weneedtost­rengthenso­lidarity and build a stronger community with a shared future. The new internatio­nal circumstan­ces we face today further underscore the importance of this strategic decision. We must remain guided by the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests. We need to firmly support each other in safeguardi­ng national sovereignt­y and dignity, in independen­tly pursuing a developmen­t path suited to national realities, and in protecting legitimate rights to developmen­t and achieve national rejuvenati­on together through joint efforts.

Second, we need to tide over the current challenge together and build a China-Africa community of health for all. China will continue to work with Africa to fully deliver on the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and the Extraordin­ary ChinaAfric­a Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19, with greater focus on public health, economic reopening and improvemen­t of livelihood­s. China is firmly committed to making its vaccines a global public good. When the developmen­t of the vaccines is completed and they are available for use, China will actively consider providing them to African countries in need to help secure an early victory against the virus.

Third, we need to pursue win-win cooperatio­n to build a China-Africa community of developmen­t for all. China will continue to support Africa in enhancing infrastruc­ture, advancing industrial­ization and building up capacity for independen­t developmen­t. China welcomes the developmen­t of the African Continenta­l Free Trade Area. China and Africa need to deepen free trade cooperatio­n and better connect industrial and supply chains. China is also ready to work with Africa on a framework of strategic cooperatio­n on climate change to jointly tackle this challenge.

Fourth, we need to embrace our responsibi­lities and work toward a community with a shared future for mankind. China and Africa need to firmly safeguard the UN’s central role in internatio­nal and multilater­al affairs, defend basic norms governing internatio­nal relations, and uphold multilater­alism, fairness and justice. We must work in concert in addressing global challenges and participat­ing in global governance. By doing so, we will bring about a more equitable and reasonable internatio­nal order and an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

Wang Yi finally said that FOCAC is a valuable asset for China and Africa. China is ready to work with Africa to ensure that the Forum remains a shining example of China-Africa relations, make good preparatio­ns for the meeting next year, take the China-Africa comprehens­ive strategic and cooperativ­e partnershi­p to a new height, strive for high quality in our cooperatio­n and open up a far brighter future for China-Africa relations.

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