Viewpoint : Xi Jinping
With similar pasts and a common mission, China and Africa have extended sympathy to and helped each other throughout the years, and together, we have embarked on a distinctive path of win-win cooperation.
On this path, China has taken an open and inclusive approach to cooperation, fully aware that long-term stability, security and development in Africa is not only the longing of its people, but also the responsibility of the international community. Thus, China stands ready to work with other international partners to support Africa in pursuing peace and development.
Our world is undergoing changes unseen in a century, such as the trends towards multi-polarity, economic globalisation, IT application, cultural diversification, the transformation of global governance, the rise of emerging markets and greater balance in global power configuration. The well-being of people in all countries has never been so closely intertwined as it is today.
Let us build a China-Africa community with a shared future. We could seize the opportunity created by the complementarity between our respective development strategies and the opportunities of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). We need to see to it that the BRI, the African Union’s ’s Agenda 2063, the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the development plans of African countries complement each other better.
Since the 2015 Forum on China–Africa Cooperation, many infrastructure projects and economic and trade cooperation zones have been built or are under construction, while our cooperation on peace and security, science, education, culture and health has deepened.
Mutual help and solidarity have defined China-Africa relations over the years. Going forward, we will do more to help Africa pursue development, increase employment and income, and better the lives of its people.
First, China will launch an industrial promotion initiative, wherein we will open a China-Africa economic and trade expo in China; encourage Chinese companies to increase investment in Africa; build and upgrade economic and trade cooperation zones; and strengthen cooperation in local currency settlement. We will support Africa in achieving general food security by 2030, and in formulating and implementing a programme to promote cooperation on agricultural modernisation.
We will also launch an infrastructure connectivity initiative and jointly formulate an infrastructure cooperation plan with the African Union. We will support Chinese firms that participate in Africa’s infrastructure development by way of investment-construction-operation or through other models, with focuses on enhancing cooperation on energy, transport, information, telecommunications and cross-border water resources.
China will also launch a trade facilitation initiative to increase imports from Africa, particularly of non-resource products, and strengthen the exchanges on market regulation and between Customs authorities. We support the building of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and will continue to hold free trade negotiations with interested African countries and regions.
Furthermore, we will launch a capacity-building initiative that shares Chinese development practices and supports cooperation on economic and social development planning. China will also back the opening of a China-Africa innovation cooperation centre to promote youth innovation and entrepreneurship.
To ensure the implementation of these initiatives, China will extend $60bn of financing in government assistance and encourage Chinese firms to invest at least $10bn on the continent in the next three years.
The future of our relations lies in our young people. Many of the measures in these initiatives are designed to help young people in Africa, by providing them with training and job opportunities and opening up space for their development. The day will surely come when the Chinese nation realises its dream of national renewal and Africa realises its dream of unity and invigoration. The above is adapted from a speech given at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September 2018.
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