Beijing, 29 November 2021 (TDI): Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the opening ceremony of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The Chinese President congratulated the Senegalese President and government for hosting the conference in Dakar.

Xi Jinping highlighted that this year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of Chinese relations with the African countries. He stated that since the commencement of China-Africa relations, the two sides have strengthened their relations by deepening mutual trust and enhancing cooperation. He stated that the sincere friendship between the two sides and win-win benefits have strengthened the relations between the two sides.

Xi pointed out that China is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the restoration of its lawful seat in the United Nations. He thanked the African partners for supporting China to get a seat in the UN. He stated that this ironclad friendship between the sides will be carried forward by generation to generation of the two sides.

The Chinese President highlighted his address at the FOCAC Beijing Summit in which he aimed to build a China-Africa shared community based on shared values with a shared future. The two partners have strengthened their relationship in the last three years. He made four proposals for the future of China-Africa cooperation.

First; fighting COVID-19 with solidarity

Xi stated that human protection should be their first priority. They should enhance their anti-pandemic cooperation to save people’s lives. Xi stressed that they will make sure that the people of Africa can easily access the vaccines. China has been consistently providing vaccines to the African countries and will continue to do so to achieve the complete vaccination as soon as possible.

Second; deepening practical cooperation

The Chinese President urged to deepen the China-Africa cooperation. He stated that the two sides should find new channels to expand cooperation in the fields of trade and investment. Xi also said that the two sides should also share their experience of poverty eradication. He also highlighted his vision of the Global Development Initiative to achieve sustainable development. Furthermore, the African countries are welcomed in this landmark initiative.

Third; promoting green development

Xi stated that the world is facing the unprecedented challenge of climate change. No one is safe until everyone is safe, he added. Therefore, the world needs to cooperate on climate change to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible. The world should promote green development and adhere to the Paris Agreement.

Fourth; upholding equity and justice

Aside from the above, the Chinese President also urged to promote multilateralism in the world. Multilateralism is a key to the peace and prosperity of the world. Therefore, it should be the priority of the world.

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He stated that peace, development, equity, justice, democracy, and freedom are common values of humanity and represent the abiding aspirations of both China and Africa. He said that China-Africa should denounce unilateral actions and promote multilateralism to safeguard the interests of the developing countries.

China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035

Xi Jinping emphasized the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035. Under this vision, he highlighted the first-three-year plan of the vision.

China and Africa will cooperate in the field of health in the coming three years to ensure human safety. Moreover, China will continue to help Africa in the pandemic by providing vaccines and other medical supplies.

China plans to provide 1 billion more vaccines to the African nations. Aside from that China will begin 10 health and medical projects for the African countries along with sending medical personnel and public health experts to the region.

Besides the health sector, China will also collaborate with Africa for poverty elimination. It aims to undertake poverty reduction and agricultural projects as well as send agricultural experts to Africa. A number of China-Africa joint centers for modern agrotechnology demonstration, exchange, and training will be set up in the African villages for this purpose.

Under the trade promotion program, the two partners will endeavor to open “green lanes” for African agricultural exports to China. Moreover, it will provide 10 billion US dollars of trade finance to support African export. A China-Africa industrial park for Belt and Road cooperation will be built as well.

Future Joint Collaboration

Also, China will commence connectivity projects for Africa in collaboration with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). In the realm of investment promotion and digital innovation, China intends to provide financial as well as economic support for mutual advantage. It will initiate industrialization programs that will support the African SMEs in the long run. Furthermore, digital economy projects will also be introduced including e-commerce platforms.

With regards to climate change, in the coming years, China and Africa will undertake green development and environmental protection projects in the region. It will also support the development of the “Great Green Wall” to achieve low-carbon development. For capacity building, the two partners will collaborate through training workshops and seminars. A “Future of Africa” project on vocational education will be implemented, as well.

China will promote cultural and people-to-people exchange programs for a strong relationship. Chinese film festivals in Africa and African film festivals in China along with youth and women services forums will be ensured.

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Lastly, China will provide military assistance to the African Union. It will also conduct joint military exercises. The two partners will mutually collaborate to maintain peace and stability in the region.

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In his concluding remarks, Xi Jinping shared his optimism that China and Africa will make the FOCAC Conference a success, jointly, with the objective of assisting 2.7 billion Chinese and Africans.