Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong Delivers a Work Report at the Plenary Session of the Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Beijing Summit of FOCAC
On June 25, 2019, the plenary session of the Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was held. Co-chairman of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the FOCAC and Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong delivered a work report on the progress of the implementation of the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and cooperation ideas for the next stage. Representatives of 54 African members of the FOCAC attended the plenary session.
Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong expressed that since the FOCAC Beijing Summit was held nine months ago, the Chinese and African sides have worked together, intensified integration and coordination with a focus on the eight major initiatives, and jointly pushed the implementation of the outcomes of the Beijing Summit for remarkable progress and early harvests. First, China-Africa high-level exchanges and political mutual trust have reached a new height. Both sides have supported each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns and intensified coordination in regional and international affairs. In response to the attempts of some countries outside the region to discredit, attack, interfere in and contain China-Africa cooperation, both sides have jointly and forcefully refuted those baseless comments. Second, new progress in improving the quality and efficiency of China-Africa economic and trade practical cooperation has been made. The eight major initiatives of the Beijing Summit and the arrangement of the 60 billion US dollars have been advanced in an orderly manner. Cooperation in infrastructure construction has been implemented stably. A large number of projects have been completed or have seen marked progress. The effect on economy, society and people's livelihood has been released rapidly. We have also developed new ways in investment and financing cooperation. By upholding the principle of high-quality and sustainable development, the Chinese side has led Chinese enterprises to increase investment in Africa and introduced new models for financing cooperation. Third, new prospects have been opened up in bilateral people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The China-Africa Institute was inaugurated officially. The eighth China-Africa Think Tank Forum will be held in the second half of the year. The Chinese side responded immediately to join rescue in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi which were hit by the tropical cyclone disaster, showing the profound China-Africa friendship which shares weal and woe. Fourth, bilateral peace and security cooperation shows new highlights. With a commitment to helping Africa strengthen its own peacekeeping capability, the Chinese side supports the initiative of "Silence the Guns in Africa" and supports the United Nations in providing financial support for the independent peacekeeping of the African Union (AU). The Dialogue on the Implementation of China-Africa Peace and Security Initiative was held successfully. The Chinese side accelerated its pace on making the implementation plan for the China-Africa Peace and Security Fund, and will hold the first China-Africa peace and security forum in July in Beijing.
Chen Xiaodong expressed that increasing downward pressure in the current global economy, resurging unilateralism, protectionism and bullying and rising uncertainties in the international landscape all pose threats to the implementation of the outcomes of the Beijing Summit. Both sides should adhere to the fundamental direction of building a community with a shared future, uphold the development path of the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, firmly safeguard the fair stance of multilateralism and remain committed to the cooperation spirit of equality and openness. We should take the Coordinators' Meeting as an opportunity to push China-Africa comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to new levels again.
First, carry forward traditional friendship to jointly build an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future. Both sides should well implement the strategic consensus of the leaders of both sides, continue to support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns, maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, enhance exchanges in areas including state governance and administration, policy consultation, and development planning and increase spending in such areas as education, health care, agriculture and environmental protection.
Second, firmly grasp opportunities to promote the high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative between China and Africa. The Chinese side is willing to precisely align the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative with the AU's Agenda 2063 and development strategies of various African countries. We will also precisely align the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative with the process of African integration and support the construction of free trade zone on the African continent. More African countries are welcome to participate in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Third, firmly plant our feet on the ground and push for the implementation of the outcomes of the Beijing Summit in a scientific and efficient manner. We should give full play to the coordination role of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the FOCAC and the follow-up implementation mechanism of the African side, to press ahead with the country-specific plans in a sound way. We should take economic and social benefits as our guidance to push forward major infrastructure and industrial development projects. We will encourage investment-construction-operation cooperation to elevate operation and management levels of projects.
Fourth, strengthen unity and coordination to safeguard the common interests of China, Africa and developing countries. The Chinese side will continue to support the African side in playing a greater role in international affairs, speak up for the African side on international occasions, steadily implement military assistance for the AU and the Group of Five for the Sahel, and work with the African side to jointly defend multilateralism and international justice and fairness.
Co-chairman of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the FOCAC and Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming, and Senegalese Foreign Minister Amadou Ba whose country holds the African chair of the FOCAC made reports on the implementation of the outcomes of the Beijing Summit and cooperation ideas in the next stage from the perspective of economic and trade cooperation and the African side respectively. Representatives from the five African sub-regions, the AU Commission as well as African countries attending the plenary session made statements. They spoke highly of the implementation of the outcomes of the Beijing Summit and put forward their views and suggestions on the work in the next stage. At the end of the plenary session, a joint statement was adopted.
After the plenary session, a closing ceremony and a joint press conference of the Coordinators' Meeting were held. Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan and Senegalese Foreign Minister Amadou Ba delivered speeches respectively at the closing ceremony. Vice Minister of Commerce Qian Keming, Senegalese Foreign Minister Amadou Ba and Senegalese Coordinator Oumar Demba Ba jointly met the press. They introduced the situation of the plenary session and its outcomes and then answered questions from journalists.