Full text: China and Africa in the New Era: A Partnership of Equals

White Paper
The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China on Friday released a white paper titled "China and Africa in the New Era: A Partnership of Equals."

XinhuaUpdated: November 26, 2021

IV. Breaking New Ground in China-Africa Relations

Currently, the global governance system and the international order are changing at an accelerating rate, and the international balance of power is undergoing a profound adjustment. Covid-19 further shows that the fates of all countries in the world are interconnected. Standing at a historical crossroads, China and Africa need to further consolidate their partnership, and build a China-Africa community of shared future in the new era. The two sides will steadfastly reinforce their traditional friendship, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, and safeguard common interests. They will continue to set the pace of cooperation through FOCAC, support the Belt and Road Initiative, bring the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to a higher level, and deliver a brighter future together.

1. Boosting Cooperation Through FOCAC

At the initiative of both China and African countries, FOCAC was inaugurated at its first Ministerial Conference in Beijing in October 2000, with the goals of responding to the challenges emerging from economic globalization, and seeking common development. Over the past two decades, FOCAC has become an important platform for collective dialogue between China and Africa and an effective mechanism for pragmatic cooperation. It has turned into a pacesetter for international cooperation with Africa in the new era.

FOCAC now has 55 members comprising China, the 53 African countries that have diplomatic relations with China, and the AU Commission. The FOCAC Ministerial Conference is held once every three years, rotating between China and African countries and co-chaired by China and an African hosting country, with the co-chairs also taking the lead in implementing conference outcomes. Based on mutual agreements, some of the ministerial conferences have been upgraded into summits. To date three summits (the Beijing Summit in November 2006, the Johannesburg Summit in December 2015, and the Beijing Summit in September 2018) and seven ministerial conferences have been convened. These have yielded rich fruits, releasing a series of important documents to guide cooperation, and promoting the implementation of a series of major measures to facilitate development in Africa and solidify China-Africa friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation.

At the end of November 2021, FOCAC will meet in African co-chair country Senegal. The meeting will evaluate the implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 Beijing Summit, and make plans for friendly cooperation in the next phase. This will be an important diplomatic event for China and Africa to discuss cooperation plans and promote common development, and will be of great importance in promoting post-pandemic economic recovery and development in Africa, China and the world at large. China will work closely with Africa to align China's Second Centenary Goal of building a great modern socialist country by the middle of the century with the AU's Agenda 2063. Together the two sides will plan and discuss the outcomes to be adopted at this FOCAC meeting regarding such key areas as health, investment and trade, industrialization, agricultural modernization, climate change responses and digital economy, and both will make every effort to produce a meeting that will build new consensus, explore new fields of cooperation, and be of benefit to both the Chinese and African peoples.

2. Promoting Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative

As part of the history of the Belt and Road, Africa is a natural partner of the initiative. In the past, the Maritime Silk Road brought Chinese tea, porcelain and development experience to Africa, promoting friendship and mutual learning, and it was thus recorded in history as a road of friendship. Since its inception, the new initiative has earned active support and participation from African countries. The cooperation between China and Africa under the initiative has a bright future.

The Belt and Road Initiative is not a "solo", but an "orchestra" in which the participation of both China and African countries is essential. In December 2015, South Africa became the first African country to sign an agreement on cooperation with China under the Belt and Road Initiative. Leaders of Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Djibouti and Mozambique participated in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2017 and 2019, contributing to the initiative's cooperative mechanism. At the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit, China and Africa agreed to strengthen China-Africa cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. To date, almost all African countries with diplomatic ties with China have already signed agreements on cooperation under the initiative. China and the AU Commission signed the Cooperation Plan on Jointly Promoting the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road between the Government of the PRC and the African Union, the first agreement of its kind signed between China and a regional organization.

In recent years, connectivity between China and Africa under the Belt and Road Initiative has also expanded at a faster pace. A number of transport infrastructure projects have been completed and opened to traffic, including the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway, the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya, No. 1 National Highway of the Republic of the Congo, the Thies-Touba highway in Senegal, the Port Gentil-Omboue coastal road and the Booué Bridge in Gabon, and the first and second phases of the Nigeria Railway Modernization Project. Projects such as the Doraleh Multi-Purpose Port in Djibouti and the Lome Container Terminal in Togo have been successful in increasing entrepot trade. These projects have played an important role in boosting regional connectivity and integration. To date China has signed civil aviation transport agreements with 21 African countries, bilateral airworthiness agreements with 12 African countries, and bilateral intergovernmental marine shipping agreements with eight African countries.

Currently, both China and Africa have entered a new development stage. China is promoting a new development paradigm with domestic economy and international engagement providing mutual reinforcement, and the former as the mainstay. China's development will create more opportunities for Africa's development. With the official launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Africa's economic integration is accelerating, providing more room for growth in China-Africa cooperation. The two sides will focus on boosting quality development and further align the goals of the Belt and Road Initiative with those of the AU's Agenda 2063, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the development strategies of individual African countries. They will build the Belt and Road into a road to peace, prosperity, openness, green development, innovation and cultural exchanges, and create a China-Africa community of shared future in the new era.

3. Raising China-Africa Relations to a New Level

The key to the vitality of China-Africa relations is keeping abreast of the times and developing and innovating relationships. For more than half a century, at every critical juncture, the two sides have employed far-sighted vision and always succeeded in finding new common ground and growth drivers. At this new historical starting point, under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Xi Jinping Thought on Foreign Affairs, China will adhere to the principles of sincerity, affinity, good faith and practical results, uphold the values of shared interests and the greater good, and work together with African countries to advance high-quality cooperation and build a China-Africa community of shared future.

– Laying a solid foundation for friendship and raising mutual political trust to a new level. China and Africa will maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, expand friendly cooperation between political parties, legislative bodies, political advisory bodies, and local governments of the two sides. They will share governance ideas and development experience, and reinforce strategic communication and mutual trust. They will give full play to the positive role of think tanks, media, institutions of higher learning and non-governmental organizations, create a new model of multi-dimensional, multi-level and all-round cultural exchanges, strengthen people-to-people connectivity, and reinforce the traditional unbreakable China-Africa friendship.

– Combating Covid-19 and building a China-Africa community of health for all. China will continue to provide anti-pandemic assistance to African countries, share its experience in coordinating routine epidemic prevention and control with social and economic development, and speed up cooperation with Africa on vaccines. China-Africa health cooperation is not a short-term measure, but a long-term and far-sighted strategy. It focuses on assisting Africa to improve its public health system and its capacity for controlling and preventing major communicable diseases, so as to promote a China-Africa community of health for all in the new era.

– Boosting common development and nurturing new drivers for expanding mutually beneficial cooperation. As China and Africa enter their new stages of development, the advantages of their complementarity have become more obvious and their mutually beneficial cooperation is marked by higher quality, greater impact, and brighter prospects. The two sides will actively support their respective businesses to tap cooperation potential, nurture new growth drivers such as e-commerce, 5G network and green economy, and expand cooperation in future-oriented key fields. They will support the Global Development Initiative and a global community of shared development, so as to achieve high-quality and sustainable common development to the benefit of the Chinese and African peoples.

– Promoting closer international cooperation to establish a fairer and more equitable international order. China and Africa are important forces in safeguarding the common interests of developing countries and in promoting world peace and development. The two sides will further strengthen strategic communication and coordination on international affairs, and firmly safeguard the democratization of international relations. They will make concerted efforts to tackle common challenges facing humanity by fighting epidemics, alleviating poverty, combating terrorism, and dealing with climate change. They will work together to uphold true multilateralism, the common interests of developing countries, the international system with the United Nations at the core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

<  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  >