|Remarks by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi At the Second Round of Ministerial Political Consultations Between China and Africa|
|New York, 23 September 2010|
Your Excellency Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Ibrahim A. Hassan
Your Excellency Chairman Jean Ping,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I declare the beginning of the second round of ministerial political consultations between China and Africa.
At the important moment when the United Nations meets for the High-level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we are once again gathered here to exchange views on major international and regional issues and draw up plans for deeper China-Africa cooperation in the future. Our meeting today is indeed of great significance. I wish to first extend sincere thanks and warm welcome to all the colleagues present.
Last November, the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was successfully held in Sharm El Sheikh of Egypt. It marked a new starting point of China-Africa relations. In less than one year, notable results have been achieved in delivering the outcomes of the conference, thanks to our joint efforts. The eight new measures announced by China are being followed through across the board. Steps have been taken to implement the measures regarding debt relief, tariff exemption, concessional loans and the establishment of a special loan for small and medium-sized African businesses. The China-Africa Science and Technology Partnership and China-Africa Joint Research and Exchange Program have been launched in succession. And good progress has been made in building the clean energy facilities, agricultural technology demonstration centers and China-Africa friendship schools in Africa. Under the guidance of FOCAC, China and Africa have strengthened political exchanges, deepened practical cooperation and expanded cultural and people-to-people interactions. The two sides now have an even stronger will to advance the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership. I am confident that with the concerted efforts of China and Africa, the outcomes of the FOCAC ministerial conference will be implemented in a comprehensive and effective way and China-Africa cooperation will reach a new high.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are witnessing complex and profound changes in the international situation. The world is moving further towards multi-polarity and economic globalization, and the global architecture is going through major adjustments and transformation. The trend of the times towards peace, development and cooperation has gained stronger momentum. And multilateralism and greater democracy in international relations now enjoy more popular support. On the other hand, the underlying impact of the international financial crisis is still being felt and the fragility and imbalance of world economic recovery has become more evident. International and regional hotspot issues keep flaring up. And global issues such as climate change, energy and resource security, food security and public health security have been thrown into sharp relief. There still exist many destabilizing factors and uncertainties in the international situation.
Africa faces both important opportunities and severe challenges in pursuing peace and development. In recent years, the situation in Africa has on the whole been moving in the positive direction. Peace and stability have been strengthened and the economy has shown good momentum of recovery. African countries have intensified efforts to seek greater strength through unity and actively participated in international affairs. Their collective influence on major global issues has been on the rise. Yet we are also aware that peace and stability in some parts of Africa is still fragile. Some long-standing hotspot issues remain unresolved, and non-traditional security threats, including terrorism, piracy, communicable diseases and climate change, are looming large. The impact of the international financial crisis on the African economy and society has added to Africa’s difficulty in achieving the MDGs as scheduled.
A harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity would not be possible without peace and development in Africa. We believe that development is the foundation for peace in Africa. Conflict and poverty often come hand in hand and form a vicious cycle. If Africa is to achieve durable peace and stability, it needs to speed up economic and social development and let all the people share the benefits of development. We support African countries in peacefully settling their disputes through consultation and negotiation, and encourage them to vigorously pursue development by giving full play to their strength in resources and advantage of being a late starter. We maintain that the development path of Africa should be a choice for the African people to make. Every country needs to take a path suited to its national conditions if it wants to achieve development. We respect the sovereignty of African countries and their right to independently choose their development paths. We believe that the African people have the wisdom and ability to achieve economic prosperity and social progress through their own unremitting efforts. We call on the international community, developed countries in particular, to earnestly fulfill its responsibility of helping Africa achieve development, faithfully honor its commitment of aid increase, debt relief, market access and technology transfer, work for positiFZSve, comprehensive and balanced outcomes at the Doha round negotiations, and create a favorable external environment for the development of African countries. It is of particular importance for developed countries to deliver as soon as possible their commitments of financial support and technology transfer to Africa for combating climate change, and help Africa build stronger capacity for adapting to and tackling climate change.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the UN MDGs, and we are gathered here at the UN General Assembly with the important mission of pushing for their attainment. At the High-level Plenary Meeting on the MDGs yesterday, Premier Wen Jiabao set out the Chinese government’s position on the issue of development, and announced a series of important measures that China will take in support of the development of other developing countries. We hope that the international community will build up political consensus, increase input in development, secure development resources, and take more effective actions to help Africa meet the MDGs at an early date.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China-Africa cooperation is an important force for peace and development in Africa and the world at large. China-Africa relations have gone through historic changes and moved beyond the bilateral scope. Our relations now impact the course of world development. We should further enhance China-Africa cooperation from a strategic perspective and pursue common development. We should work together to raise the overall status of developing countries in international political and economic landscape and to build a more just and equitable international political and economic order. China stands ready to strengthen unity and cooperation with Africa in the following aspects:
First, expand multilateral cooperation and actively meet global challenges. We should jointly push forward the reform of international economic and financial systems, support stronger representation and voice of developing countries in international financial institutions, and work to reinforce the development and poverty reduction functions of these institutions. China supports a bigger role for Africa in international economic affairs and stronger representation and voice of Africa in the G20 and IMF. We will continue to strengthen cooperation with Africa on major global issues. China and Africa should work together to encourage the international community to be attentive to the needs of developing countries and jointly uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries. China will, within the framework of South-South cooperation and FOCAC, work with Africa to speed up the building of a China-Africa partnership in addressing climate change and push for positive outcomes at the Cancun conference.
Second, deepen practical cooperation and speed up the implementation of the MDGs. We should make concerted efforts to facilitate a shift in the international economic order and trading system that is conducive to developing countries, and create a sound external environment for them in meeting the MDGs. We should urge the international community, developed countries in particular, to step up support and input in development. China will earnestly implement the important measures announced by Premier Wen for supporting the development of developing countries and the outcomes of the Fourth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC to help Africa raise capacities for self-development and achieve the MDGs.
Third, enhance security cooperation and promote enduring peace in Africa. China will lend strong support to the African Union (AU) and other regional organizations in building their peacekeeping capacities, and call on the international community, the UN in particular, to scale up support for the AU’s peacekeeping operation in Somalia. China opposes any attempt to disrupt and impede the peaceful resolution of hotspot issues in Africa, and supports the AU’s position on the International Criminal Court’s indictment against the Sudanese leader. China will continue to play a constructive role through multiple channels in helping resolve the hotspot issues in Africa and take an active part in the UN peacekeeping operations in Africa.
Fourth, improve cooperation mechanism and further expand the scope of FOCAC development. FOCAC is both a fruit of China-Africa friendship, and an important platform and “propeller” for deeper China-Africa cooperation. It plays an irreplaceable role in China-Africa relations, and has become a well-known “brand” in international cooperation with Africa. China and Africa have the shared responsibility to keep FOCAC in good shape, improve its institutional building, enrich its substance, and explore innovative models of cooperation, so that FOCAC can, in keeping with the trend of the times, play a bigger role in promoting China-Africa relations and bring greater benefits to the people of China and Africa.