Ushering in a New Era of China-Africa Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Over the past seven decades, China has been committed to independence, peaceful development and win-win cooperation in its diplomacy, and embarked on a path of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. We are proud that, despite the vicissitudes of the international landscape, China and Africa have always stood together through thick and thin, forging a community of shared interests and shared future.
China and Africa have always been natural allies in upholding fairness and justice. In the past, China and Africa fought side by side for national independence and liberation against imperialism and colonialism. Today, China and Africa are fighting hands in hands against poverty for common propeity, upholding multilateralism and opposing hegemonism, bullying and unilateralism. On issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns, such as the restoration of China's lawful seat in the United Nations, issues relating One China priciple, the South China Sea and human rights, African countries have always firmly supported China and never been absent.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), President Xi Jinping has visited Africa four times, during which he paid state visits to many African countries. President Xi chaired two Summits of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and put forth the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and values of friendship, justice and shared interests, thus ushering in a new era of China-Africa win-win cooperation for common development.
President Xi Jinping has put forward “Ten Cooperation Plans” and “Eight Major Initiatives” for China-Africa cooperation, which mainly aim to break through the three bottlenecks holding back Africa’s development, namely, backward infrastructure, lack of professional and skilled personnel, and short of capital resource, and synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of African countries so as to achieve China-Africa win-win cooperation for common development.
China has become a major driver for the rapid rise of Africa. In 2018, China's trade with Africa grew by 20% against the odds, with imports from Africa up by 30%. China-Africa trade volume has increased from over $10 billion in 2000 to $204.19 billion, and the total stock of China’s investment in Africa has increased from less than $1 billion to over $110 billion. Now more than 30% of Africa's infrastructure projects, including 80% of its communication infrastructure, are financed and built by China.
China is the guardian of peace and security in Africa. China is the second largest contributor to UN peacekeeping funds and the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN security council. 75% of China's peacekeeping dues go to Africa, and 80% of China's peacekeepers are deployed in Africa. Over the years, more than 2,000 Chinese peacekeepers have been conscientiously discharging their peacekeeping responsibility in seven African regions.
China and Africa are good brothers sharing weal and woe. After the devastating earthquake hit Wenchuan, China in 2008, Equatorial Guinea and other African countries flew with their cash donations to Beijing. When Ebola broke out in West Africa in 2014, and some Western countries closed their airlines and evacuated their people, President Xi Jinping launched the largest humanitarian aid operations in Africa since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. We not only required the Chinese diplomats and experts to fullfil their repective reposibilities in the affected areas, but also chartered 23 flights to dispatch emergency epidemic prevention and fighting materials, experts and medical personnel to the affected areas, leading the international assistance in fighting Ebola in Africa.
President Xi Jinping has always treated African brothers with sincerity and won a large number of true friends in Africa. I have participated in President Xi Jinping's meetings with African leaders for many times, and witnessed two FOCAC Summits and the charisma of President Xi Jinping. During the 2018 Beijing FOCAC Summit, President Xi Jinping held bilateral meetings with all the 52 African leaders attending the Summit. Whenever he meets with African leaders, President Xi is always very hamble to listen to them, no matter how big or small the country is or how long the talks last. Each and every African leader was deeply touched as President Xi not only gave them philosophical guidance but also exchanged feelings with them from hearts to hearts.
China's major-country diplomacy has entered a new era. It is our firm belief that under the guidance of Xi Jinping thought on diplomacy, China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership will achieve steady progress and set a role model for building a community with a shared future for mankind.