Unswervingly Pushing Forward China-Africa New Strategic Partnership
Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun
From January 27 to 29, 2012, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Jia Qinglin will attend, at invitation, the opening ceremony of the 18th African Union (AU) Summit and pay an official visit to Ethiopia. During the visit, Jia will exchange views with the AU and Ethiopian leaders on the bilateral ties, deliver a speech oriented towards Africa and the world at large during the opening ceremony of the 18th AU Summit and attend the inauguration ceremony for the AU Conference Center built with Chinese assistance. As the first visit of Chinese national leaders in the Lunar Year of the Dragon and a major event in China-Africa relations this year, it has great significance to further deepening China-Africa new strategic partnership and strengthening the solidarity and cooperation among developing countries.
AU is the most important and representative intergovernmental organization and Ethiopia is a country with major influence in Africa. They both have profound traditional friendship with China and important partners of China in Africa and in international affairs. China-AU strategic partnership and China-Ethiopia comprehensive partnership have developed significantly in recent years. Under new circumstances, the two sides have stronger desire to strengthen solidarity and cooperation.
China's relations with the AU and Ethiopia are the miniature of China-Africa friendly and cooperative relations. China and Africa have supported each other in the fight for national liberation, cooperated sincerely on the road of development and rejuvenation, collaborated closely in international affairs and established profound friendship over the past more than half a century. The launch and development of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), especially the success of the FOCAC Beijing Summit has opened a new chapter of China-Africa new strategic partnership since the beginning of the new century. The bilateral political, economic and cultural cooperation develops comprehensively and deeply and has reached unprecedented width and depth. Chinese and African people enjoy closer exchanges and deeper mutual understanding and friendship. China and Africa have reinforced cooperation to cope with such global challenges as climate change, push forward the reform of international financial and economic system and promote the democratization of international relations and effectively maintained our common interest. China-Africa relations have grown beyond the limit of bilateral ties and exert deep influence upon the world.
The world today is experiencing major development, major changes and major readjustments and the rise of developing countries as a whole is unstoppable. Africa in general has improved peace and security and regional cooperation and integration move forward steadily. Africa's development is being accelerated and the momentum is encouraging. However, Africa is still faced with arduous challenges on the way ahead. In particular, the spread of the international financial crisis and the upheaval in West Asia and North Africa have posed impacts upon peace, stability and development of Africa. The interference of some external forces in Africa's internal affairs hinders the development and integration of African countries. Countries in Africa are making a louder voice for stability, development, solidarity and independence.
As China-Africa relations develop rapidly and the African and international situations experience complex changes, what position China takes and what voice China makes draw close attention from the African countries and the international community. China always believes that peace and development in Africa are correlated with peace and development of mankind and bring opportunities for world peace and development. The international community should pay greater attention to Africa, listen to it, respect its views, take care of its concerns, firmly maintain its peace, stability and development and supports it to solve its problems on its own.
Chairman Jia's visit to the AU and Ethiopia aims at showing to Africa and the international community that China will resolutely stand side by side with African countries and unswervingly push forward China-Africa new strategic partnership no matter how the international situation fluctuates and join hands with the international community to make active contributions to promoting peace, development and solidarity in Africa. It is worth pointing out that after nearly three years of construction the AU Conference Center built with Chinese assistance is completed as scheduled and the 18th AU Summit will be held in the building. The Center is a major result of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and a vivid embodiment of China's support for Africa. It makes the long-cherished wish of African countries to come true and is highly appreciated by the African side. Together with the winding Tanzania-Zambia Railway, they will be enshrined in the glorious history of China-Africa friendship and light up the past, present and future of China-Africa relations.
To strengthen solidarity and cooperation with Africa is an important component of Chinese diplomacy and a long-term strategic choice of China. While developing relations with Africa, China always follows the principles of sincere friendship, equal treatment, mutual benefit, solidarity, cooperation and common development. In response to changes in the international situation and the situation of China and Africa, China will make explorations to inject new vigor into the bilateral ties. We will respond to the call of the time, carry forward China-Africa relations, expand and deepen the bilateral cooperation and enhance the welfare of the Chinese and African people.
I believe that Jia's attendance at the 18th AU Summit and visit to Ethiopia will achieve full success with the joint efforts of both sides, push forward China-Africa new strategic partnership from a new historical starting point and make contributions to the lasting peace and common prosperity of the world.