Remarks by State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan At the "Africa Day" Reception
Your Excellency Ambassador Eleith-Elle Etian, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in China,
Your Excellency Ambassador Passi Pierre of the Republic of Congo, Current President of the African Union,
Heads of Diplomatic Missions,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we are meeting here to mark the 43rd "Africa Day". On this memorable occasion, I would like to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people, our warm congratulations to you, and through you, to the governments and people of African countries.
Forty-three years ago, the African leaders, acting with political courage and foresight, founded the Organization of African Unity (OAU). It was a declaration to the world about Africa's determination to fight for national liberation and independence. The "Africa Day" has become a symbol of freedom, liberation, and a rallying call for unity and development for Africa and its people.
Today, the shadow of colonialism and racism has dissipated in Africa. A new and dynamic Africa, in pursuit of peace, development and cooperation, has emerged. However, while on the march, Africa is yet to free itself from conflicts, poverty and disease. The African Union, founded to meet this new challenge, carries forward the great tradition of the OAU and shoulders the important mission of Africa rejuvenation. Since the founding of the African Union, the continent has made encouraging progress, marked by greater peace, steady economic growth and accelerated integration.
With abundant natural resources and industrious people, Africa has huge potential for development. We are fully confident that an independent and united Africa will make more achievements in its great endeavour for peace, development and cooperation. And we are sure that every "Africa Day" will have more to deliver to both Africa and the world.
Distinguished Diplomatic Envoys,
The establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Egypt in 1956 inaugurated the development of diplomatic relations and friendly cooperation between New China and African countries in the past 50 years. Our friendship and cooperation have stood the test of time and the tremendous changes in the world in the past half century. Indeed, China-Africa cooperation has become a model of South-South Cooperation.
The year 2006 is a year of special significance for China-Africa relations. China's African Policy, issued early this year, expounds China's policy of promoting closer relations with Africa in a new era. In particular, it calls for the forging of a new type of strategic partnership with Africa featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchange.
During his successful visit to Africa last month, President Hu Jintao reiterated China's call for more bilateral exchange and consultation, greater mutual trust, stronger cooperation of mutual benefit and closer coordination on international issues between China and Africa. His visit boosted the all-round growth of new China-Africa strategic partnership.
Premier Wen Jiabao will soon visit seven countries in Africa. This will be another key event in China-Africa relations, which I am sure will further the traditional friendship and cooperation between China and Africa in the new era.
The Beijing Summit and the Third Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, scheduled for November, will be a historic meeting in the annals of China-Africa relations. The Chinese and African leaders will meet in Beijing to renew friendship, discuss ways to promote cooperation and development and plan for the future. I am confident that with our joint efforts, China-Africa friendship will continue to boom.
China-Africa relations have stayed vibrant and strong because we have treated each other as equals and with sincerity and cooperated and worked together for mutual benefit and common development. The past 50 years have seen frequent high-level visits between the Chinese and African leaders and active exchanges between the governments, parliaments, political parties and NGOs of the two sides. They have greatly strengthened China-Africa friendship and mutual trust. Over the past 50 years, China and Africa have worked actively to develop cooperation based on mutual benefit, and have forged close business ties. We have also supported and cooperated with each other on important regional and global issues, contributing significantly to upholding the common interests of developing countries and the establishment of a fair and equitable new international order.
Both China and Africa are faced with new opportunities for development as well as challenges in the new era. China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, and be firm in pursuing peaceful development. We will remain committed to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. The Chinese Government values China's traditional friendship with Africa. China will remain a good friend, good brother and good partner of Africa.
Looking back, we are greatly encouraged by the dynamic and vigorous growth of China-Africa friendship. And we look forward to working closely with you to usher in a brighter future of China-Africa friendship and strengthen the new China-Africa strategic partnership.
May Africa enjoy development and prosperity!
May the African people enjoy happiness!
May China-Africa friendship be ever lasting!