Foreign Minister Wang Yi Articulates a Seven-Point Proposition to Upgrade China-Africa Cooperation
At a joint press availability with Tanzanian Foreign Minister Palamagamba Kabudi in Chato on 8 January 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi was asked about the implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit, as 2021 is the concluding year for the follow-through efforts, and the potential priorities at the next FOCAC meeting.
Wang Yi said that the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit was a full success and a new milestone in China-Africa friendship and cooperation. He gave a brief review of what has been accomplished during the past two years:
China and Africa have worked closely on all eight major initiatives, namely industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health care, people-to-people exchange, and peace and security. Over 70 percent of the Summit outcomes have been delivered.
China and Africa have steadily advanced the Belt and Road cooperation. Despite the pandemic, over 1,100 cooperation projects have kept going and nearly 100,000 Chinese technicians and engineers worked dutifully under the limitations caused by COVID-control. Their efforts contributed in important ways to the economic and social well-being of the local communities.
China and Africa have further enhanced their people-to-people ties. The China-Africa Institute was inaugurated. A number of Confucius Institutes have been opened in African countries. Interactions in the fields of culture, arts, sports, health, tourism and between young people have been most fruitful. Eleven pairs of sister cities have been newly established, bringing the total number to 150.
Wang Yi said that COVID-19 has not kept China and Africa from advancing their cooperation. China and Africa plan to have the next FOCAC meeting in Senegal later in the year. China will communicate closely with African friends. In light of the new developments, new imperatives and new opportunities in their cooperation, China and Africa will make good preparations on the deliverables of the meeting to upgrade and enhance their cooperation.
China will step up health cooperation with Africa to jointly defeat the coronavirus. China is prepared to help Africa on major disease prevention, in a joint effort to build a healthy Africa.
China will step up industrial capacity cooperation with Africa, promote clustering and synergy of cooperation projects and make them more advanced in industrial operations and more locally based. China is prepared to help Africa enhance its home-grown production capacity, in a joint effort to build a strong African manufacturer.
China will step up cooperation with Africa on regional connectivity, and explore free trade cooperation with Africa. China is prepared to help Africa increase its infrastructure, trade and financial connectivity, in a joint effort to build a connected Africa.
China will step up agricultural cooperation with Africa, including on food production, storage and transportation. China is prepared to help Africa enhance food security, in a joint effort to build a bumper African harvest.
China will step up digital cooperation with Africa. With its technological strengths, China is prepared to help Africa seize the opportunities of ICT revolution, in a joint effort to build a digital Africa.
China will step up environmental cooperation with Africa in pursuit of sustainable development. China is prepared to help Africa on climate change response, in a joint effort to build a green Africa.
China will step up military and security cooperation with Africa, and promote political settlement of hot spot issues in Africa. China is prepared to help Africa enhance peace-keeping and counter-terrorism capacity, in a joint effort to build a secure Africa.
Wang Yi expressed his confidence that with joint efforts from both China and African countries, FOCAC cooperation will continue to produce fruitful outcomes and make still bigger contributions to an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future.