Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
Over the three years since the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the Chinese side and the African side earnestly implemented the Beijing Action Plan of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (2007-2009), actively carried out various follow-up actions of the Beijing Summit, especially the Chinese Government's eight policy measures to enhance practical cooperation with African countries, and vigorously boosted the new China-Africa strategic partnership. China-Africa cooperation now covers more areas and enjoys a more solid foundation and broader prospects.
Political relations and regional peace and security
China and African countries continued to exchange high-level visits regularly and enjoyed greater political mutual trust. After the Beijing Summit, President Hu Jintao, Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), Premier Wen Jiabao, Chairman Jia Qinglin of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and other state leaders visited 36 African countries in total, and 36 presidents, vice presidents, prime ministers and speakers from Africa visited China. Leaders of China and African countries had frequent bilateral meetings in multilateral fora such as the United Nations (UN).
Diplomatic consultation and dialogue
Following the agreement reached by leaders of China and African countries at the Beijing Summit, foreign ministers of the two sides held the first political consultation on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in September 2007. This officially launched the China-Africa regular political dialogue mechanism at foreign minister's level within the FOCAC framework and opened a new avenue for China and countries in Africa to strengthen collective political dialogue and conduct dialogue and coordination on major issues.
Upholding the tradition of making Africa the first destination of overseas visits every year, the Chinese foreign minister visited, after the Beijing Summit, 16 countries in Africa, including Egypt, South Africa, Rwanda, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Eritrea and Zambia. Foreign ministers of 15 African countries, including Tunisia, Burundi, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, Mali, C?te d'Ivoire, Niger and Central Africa, visited China.
China has put in place mechanisms of political consultation or strategic dialogue with foreign ministries of 28 countries in Africa. In addition to exchange of visits by foreign ministers following the Beijing Summit, China held foreign ministry consultations with 11 countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Sudan, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Mauritania and Algeria, and strategic dialogue with South Africa and Nigeria.
Cooperation between parliaments, political parties and local governments
After the Beijing Summit, 20 NPC delegations visited Africa and 21 parliamentary delegations from Africa visited China. To date, the NPC has set up regular exchange mechanisms and carried out activities with the Egyptian People's Assembly and the National Assembly of South Africa. China has established bilateral parliamentary friendship groups with 18 African countries.
In May 2008, the FOCAC Chinese Follow-up Committee invited members of parliamentary friendship groups of 11 African countries to China, making China-Africa multilateral parliamentary exchanges under FOCAC possible for the first time. Such exchanges and cooperation served to strengthen experience sharing on governance and promote all-round growth of China-Africa relations.
The Communist Party of China continued to carry out exchanges with political parties of African countries on the basis of the principles of independence, full equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. The Chinese side sent 25 delegations or groups to Africa and received 67 delegations of African political parties after the Beijing Summit.
China and African countries established another 24 pairs of sister provinces/states or twin cities, bringing the total number to 98. The Chinese side hosted four seminars on cooperation between twin cities and their local governments, set up the mechanism of lecture tours in China by African diplomatic envoys, and has organized three such tours in six provinces and cities, building a new platform for greater exchanges and cooperation between China and African countries at the sub-national level.
Consular and judicial cooperation
The Chinese side established bilateral consular consultation mechanisms with Kenya, Egypt, Senegal and Nigeria after the Beijing Summit and has since held eight rounds of bilateral consular consultation with the four countries and South Africa. The Chinese side invited senior police officers from a number of African countries to China for training programs. Law enforcement authorities of the two sides stepped up cooperation in combating transnational crimes, exit and entry control and upholding the lawful rights and interests of their respective citizens.
Cooperation in international affairs and major issues
The two sides continued to show support for each other and work closely in international affairs. Strengthening coordination between the two sides on issues such as development, human rights, UN reform, the Doha Round, climate change, and running for positions in international agencies helped to increase the overall strength and say of the developing world and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.
Speaking out for African interests and development as always, China unequivocally supported African countries' legitimate concerns and righteous position at the UN, the G20 Summit and the G8+5, and actively urged the international community, developed countries in particular, to attach importance to African development and deliver on their assistance commitments in real earnest.
Countries in Africa stayed committed to the one China policy and stood firmly behind China on issues related to Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang and other major issues. African governments and people also rendered vigorous support to China, in various forms, in its earthquake relief and rescue efforts and its efforts to host the Beijing Olympic Games, the Paralympics and the Shanghai World Expo. The Chinese side appreciates such friendly support.
China's cooperation with the African Union and sub-regional organizations of Africa
China further strengthened its relations with the African Union (AU). NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo visited the AU headquarters and Chairperson of the AU Commission Jean Ping paid two visits to China. China-AU strategic dialogue mechanism was officially launched and two rounds of dialogue were held. Construction of the AU conference center with Chinese Government assistance has started and is now well under way. The Chinese side continued to donate to the AU to support its institutional building and peacekeeping operations.
China actively engaged in cooperation with the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and sub-regional organizations of Africa. NEPAD training programs with Chinese funds progressed smoothly in some African countries. Delegations from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the East African Community paid successful visits to China. China and ECOWAS successfully co-hosted the China-ECOWAS Economic and Trade Forum, China-Africa Modern Agriculture Cooperation Forum and other events.
(7) Cooperation in the field of peace and security
China continued to take an active part in the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa. Since the Beijing Summit, China's deployment of peacekeeping troops and police to Africa has totaled 6,281 person-time, with 1,629 Chinese soldiers and police officers remaining in service in six UN peacekeeping missions in the region. China actively supported post-war reconstruction in relevant countries and strengthened cooperation with them on the establishment of the UN Peace Commission.
In order to support the efforts of Africa to maintain regional peace and security, the Chinese Government appointed a Special Representative on African Affairs, actively participated in the resolution of, and strengthened, with the African side, consultation and coordination on Darfur and relevant issues of significance to peace and security in Africa.
To quash the piracy in Somalia and uphold security off the African shores, China has deployed four batches of naval fleet to carry out escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast since January 2009, ensuring the safe passage of more than 100 batches of ships.
2. Economic relations
(1) Consultation and cooperation mechanisms
Both China and Africa continued to attach importance to offering at the governmental level better planning, guidance and coordination for economic and trade cooperation, and promote sound and steady growth of bilateral business ties. Following the Summit, China established bilateral joint/mixed economic and trade commissions with Senegal, Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Malawi, and held bilateral meetings within such mechanism with 22 African countries including Sudan, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, and Mozambique.
(2) Investment and business cooperation
China's investment in Africa grew steadily and extended to more sectors. Mutual investment agreements were signed with Mali and Seychelles, bringing the total to 31. Direct investment from Chinese businesses to Africa totaled US$5.49 billion in cash flow in 2008 and US$7.81 billion in reserve by the end of the year. During the first half of 2009, non-financial direct investment from China to Africa reached US$552 million.
The China-Africa Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry carried out a number of activities, including the China-Africa Business Cooperation Conference in Egypt in May 2007 attended by more than 500 Chinese and African entrepreneurs and the China-Africa Business Forum in Tanzania in April 2008, where more than 300 Chinese and African delegates explored ways to strengthen cooperation between private companies of China and Africa. The Secretariat of the Chinese Council for the China-Africa Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CAJCCI) was established in Beijing and the CAJCCI liaison office was set up in Wuhan, China.
As an encouragement and backing to Chinese corporate investment in Africa, the Chinese Government supported Chinese financial institutions to establish the China-Africa Development Fund, which was launched in June 2007 with an initial investment of US$1 billion. The Fund decided to invest more than US$500 million in 27 projects covering agriculture, electric power, construction material, mining, machinery, and industrial parks, with a potential to stimulate nearly US$4 billion in corporate investment from China to Africa.
Construction is underway for the six Chinese overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in countries including Zambia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Egypt, and Ethiopia. Some of the zones have witnessed progress in attracting investment, with businesses moving in and production projects getting started.
China-Africa trade grew rapidly between 2007 and 2008. In 2008, two-way trade topped US$106.8 billion, hitting the target of US$100 billion set by Chinese and African leaders at the Beijing Summit for the end of 2010 two years ahead of schedule. The bilateral trade experienced a relatively sharp fall in 2009 due to the international financial crisis, registering US$44.99 billion from January to July, a 28.7% decrease compared with the same period last year.
To promote imports from Africa, China exchanged notes with 31 least developed African countries on tariff exemption for 478 commodities destined for China (under the 8-digit code of the 2009 Customs Tariff of China) and went into effect successively starting from 1 July 2007. China also held two African Commodity Exhibitions to promote African exports to China.
China took an active part in the donation drive of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and its Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, and enhanced cooperation with major regional financial institutions in Africa. The AfDB held its annual board meeting in Shanghai in May 2007. In May 2008, the People's Bank of China (PBC) and the AfDB jointly held a seminar on experience in rural finance development. In September the same year, China formally pledged to participate in the plan to increase the resources of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank). In June 2009, the PBC sponsored the 73rd board of directors' meeting of the West Africa Development Bank (BOAD).
Commercial cooperation between Chinese and African financial institutions continued to expand. In October 2007, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) acquired a 20% stake of the Standard Bank of South Africa for US$5.46 billion, making it China's largest financial investment project in Africa. Through its extensive network of branches and correspondent banks in Africa and by way of financial product innovation, the Bank of China (BOC) provided a full range of financial services including international settlement, international payment, trade financing and syndicated loans to both Chinese and African enterprises, which greatly facilitated business cooperation and promoted trade and investment between China and Africa. The Export and Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) and the China Development Bank (CDB) actively cooperated with African partners through credit extension and syndicated finance.
Bilateral mechanisms for agricultural cooperation between China and relevant countries have been established and constantly developed. Following the Beijing Summit, China signed bilateral agricultural cooperation agreements with ten plus African countries, sent 104 senior agricultural experts to 33 African countries including Morocco, Guinea, Mali, the Central African Republic and Uganda, and started the construction of all 10 agricultural technology demonstration centers, making vigorous efforts to help African countries develop their agriculture.
China continued to strengthen cooperation with African countries under the framework of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) through sending a total of 665 experts to 7 countries to provide technical guidance and train technical personnel.
After the Beijing Summit, China signed with some African countries technological cooperation agreements to support the promotion and employment of advanced, applicable technologies in Africa. China responded to the initiative of "Connect Africa" positively, attended the Connect Africa Summit in Rwanda, encouraged competitive Chinese telecommunication businesses to take part in the relevant infrastructure construction in African countries, giving strong support to the efforts of African countries to build information society and narrow the digital divide.
(7) Cooperation in air transportation and quality supervision
Following the Beijing Summit, China launched direct air services from Beijing to Lagos and Luanda, and planned to open direct air route to Khartoum. In addition, airlines from five countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Algeria have launched regular direct flight service to China. Currently, 36 flights are scheduled each week between China and Africa.
At the 36th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in September 2007, China promised to make an annual contribution of US$100,000 to the ICAO's Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa from 2008 to 2011 in an effort to help improve civil aviation safety in African countries. Approximately US$200,000 of Chinese donations has been delivered to date.
Cooperation in quality inspection continued to grow. China signed with seven countries including Algeria, South Africa, Sudan, Burundi, Malawi, Morocco and Egypt cooperation agreements covering industrial product inspection, agricultural product quarantine and food safety.
3. Social Development
(1) Development assistance and debt relief
China continued to provide development assistance to Africa as its ability permits, and priority was placed on enhancing support in social and cultural sectors and areas concerning people's well-being and public welfare to bring about tangible benefits to the local people. China will have doubled its assistance to Africa by the end of 2009 compared with the figure from 2006.
After the Beijing Summit and until September 2009, China had delivered to African countries US$2.647 billion of concessional loans to support 54 projects in 28 countries and US$2 billion in preferential export buyer's credit to support 11 projects in 10 countries. Already underway are the constructions of 39 projects covering ten plus areas including telecommunications, transport, energy, electric power, water conservancy, construction projects, aviation, mining, agriculture and industry.
China signed protocols on debt cancellation with 33 heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries in Africa having diplomatic relations with China, writing off their debts of interest free loans that matured at the end of 2005.
(2) Human resources development
To meet Africa's practical needs, China will have, between the Beijing Summit and the end of this year, trained for African countries over 15,000 professionals in business, education, health, science and technology, culture, agriculture, poverty reduction, customs, quality inspection, telecommunications, environmental protection, maritime affairs and media.
To honor the commitment made at the Beijing Summit, China pledged to build 96 new rural schools and provide teaching equipment for 30 schools in Africa based on consultations with African countries. Up to now, the teaching equipment for the 30 schools has been delivered and the construction of 91 out of the 96 schools has started, of which 66 have been completed. Construction of the remaining five will start by the end of this year.
To help developing countries cultivate high-level talents, the Chinese side held two MPA (master of public administration) programs for developing countries in Peking University and Tsinghua University with the participation of 42 students from 16 African countries. China also worked vigorously to help African countries train professionals and technicians. A vocational school built by China and the Ethiopian Government jointly was opened in September this year.
Since the Beijing Summit, the Chinese Government increased the fellowship quota for African countries year by year. The number of fellowship recipients increased by 700 year-on-year both in 2007 and 2008 and by 600 in 2009. There are 4,000 African students studying in China under the fellowship, doubling the number of 2006.
Now, 23 Confucius Institutes or classrooms have been opened in 16 African countries including Egypt, Benin, Botswana, Togo, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Kenya, Liberia and Rwanda, helping African countries with the teaching of the Chinese language.
To deliver on its pledge made at the Beijing Summit, the Chinese side will help 28 African countries build hospitals based on consultation with African countries. The construction has been started on 26 of the hospitals and will start by the end of this year for another 2 . The Chinese side has also delivered medical equipment to Mauritius and Niger as promised.
The 30 malaria prevention and treatment centers that China built in African Countries have all opened. The Chinese side has provided anti-malaria medicine to 36 African countries seriously affected by malaria for three consecutive years.
Since November 2006, the Chinese side has sent 1,200 medical workers to 42 African countries and regions, including four medical teams sent to Chad, Senegal, Angola and Malawi. The Chinese side also provided a large amount of medicine and medical devices to African countries.
4. Cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation
Cultural exchanges and mutual learning is an important component of the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa. Since the Beijing Summit, 15 African governmental cultural delegations have visited China. China signed annual plans for the implementation of cultural agreements with 15 African countries. The Chinese cultural centers set up by China in Egypt, Mauritius and Benin have become an important window for the African people to understand China and the Chinese culture.
Since the Beijing Summit, 734 members of Chinese artistic troupes from 20 provinces and cities have visited Africa to stage performance and take part in 27 art festivals and celebrations held by African countries. The Chinese side has invited a total of 370 artists from 21 African countries to perform in China and participate in international art festivals hosted by China.
China and Africa have held "Culture in Focus" activities on each other's soil, which has become a highlight in China-Africa cultural exchanges. In October 2008, the activity "African Culture in Focus 2008" was successfully held in Shenzhen. From April to October 2009, China staged the "Chinese Culture in Focus 2009" in more than 20 African countries. These events showcased the Chinese and African cultures and fruits of cultural exchanges from different angels and strongly promoted the development of China-Africa cultural exchanges.
Since 2007, the African Cultural Visitors Program launched by China's Ministry of Culture has been further substantiated. A total of 61 African cultural officials and personages have been invited to China in six groups to participate in activities like the Roundtable Conference on Cultural Policy, the Africa Guest Painters Visit China Project, and Museum Professionals on Work Replacement and Research, thus deepening the cultural exchanges between China and Africa.
In 2009, the monthly magazine Africa was launched by the Chinese-African People's Friendship Association, opening a new window on the African continent for the Chinese people.
Increasing cultural exchanges have not only strengthened the bond of friendship between China and Africa, but also contributed to mutual learning between different cultures in the world.
Youth exchange has become an important part of China-Africa friendship and exchanges. By the end of September 2009, a total of 281 young Chinese volunteers have been to such African countries as Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, the Seychelles, Tunisia, Mauritius, Eritrea, Liberia and Ghana, to provide medical, health, sports, agricultural, educational and other services, making unique contribution to friendship between the Chinese and African peoples.
During his visit to Africa in early 2007, Chinese President Hu Jintao announced the plan to invite 500 African young people to visit China in the following three years. According to this plan, the All-China Youth Federation has invited 500 African young people to visit China in three groups after the Beijing Summit. A group of 177 youth representatives from 48 African countries and the AU Commission attended the third China-Africa Youth Festival successfully held in Beijing in August 2009.
There are growing exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and African women organizations, as evidenced by frequent exchange of visits by women's delegations. All China Women's Federation (ACWF) has established five women training and exchange centers in Lesotho, Djibouti, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Mauritius and provided 28 batches of material assistance to women organizations of 14 African countries.
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation - Women's Forum sponsored by ACWF and Egyptian National Council for Women was held in October 2009 in Cairo. Women representatives from 28 African countries attended the forum and jointly released the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation - Women's Forum Declaration 2009, marking a new milestone in China-Africa women's cooperation.
Nine African countries including Algeria, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Gabon, Rwanda, Mali, Mozambique, Benin and Nigeria were added to the list of destinations for outbound group travel of Chinese citizens after the Beijing Summit, bringing the total number to 27. In 2007, 234,400 Chinese citizens made Africa their first stop in overseas trips, up by 36% over the previous year. This number grew by 21.8% in 2008, totaling 322,000.
(5) News Media
Remarkable progress has been made in exchanges between Chinese and African news media, and many groups of African press officials and media professionals visited China for exchanges. Chinese radio and television programs have landed in more African countries and China-Africa exchanges on radio and television have moved forward smoothly.
(6) Beijing Olympic Games and Paralympic Games
Chinese and African athletes made wonderful achievements in the 29th Summer Olympic Games and the 13th Paralympic Games in Beijing from August to September 2008, adding new splendor to China-Africa friendship.
African athletes strived to win 12 gold medals, 14 silver and 14 bronze in the Summer Olympic Games and 48 gold medals, 29 silver and 24 bronze in the Paralympic Games. It was the first time for some African countries to win medals in the history of the Olympic Movement.
5. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
The smooth operation of FOCAC mechanisms has served as a strong boost to the implementation of follow-up actions of the Beijing Summit. Since the Beijing Summit, the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee has held eight consultations with African diplomatic corps in China and the Sixth Senior Officials Meeting has been successfully held. Since the beginning of this year, the two sides have further strengthened their consultation and cooperation within the FOCAC framework and made good progress in preparing for the Fourth Ministerial Conference and the Seventh Senior Officials Meeting.
China and Africa are committed to promoting FOCAC development in the course of innovation to enrich and give new vigor to the Forum. In addition to the regular political dialogue mechanism of foreign ministers and multilateral parliamentary exchanges, China and Africa have launched a number of events within the FOCAC framework featuring exchanges between youth, women, press, and non-governmental friendship organizations. It is worth noting that Malawi has become the 50th member of FOCAC.