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Report on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions ofthe 2nd Ministerial Conference ofthe Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)

2004/05/14

Since the 2nd Ministerial Conference of FOCAC, the Chinese Government has attached high importance to the implementation of follow-up actions of the Forum. Premier Wen Jiabao himself has been following the work in this regard closely. Soon after his return from Ethiopia, Premier Wen instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce and other ministries and agencies concerned to take effective measures to implement all the items as agreed between him and African leaders during the Forum as well as the follow-up actions provided for in the Forum documents.

The Chinese Follow-up Committee of FOCAC held its first plenary meeting on 19 January 2004 to discuss and make arrangements for the implementation of all the follow-up actions. On 22 April, the Committee held another plenary meeting represented by all constituent agencies to review the follow-up work that had been done and arrange for the work in the next stage. Progress has been made in all follow-up actions mainly in the following aspects:

I. China-Africa political exchanges and cooperation continue to strengthen with frequent high-level visits. On the Chinese side, President Hu Jintao visited Egypt, Gabon and Algeria early this year. Vice Chairman Ismail Amat of NPC Standing Committee, as President Hu's special envoy, attended the Celebration of 10 Years of Freedom of South Africa. And Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing visited four African countries including Sudan, Djibouti, Comoros and Uganda. It is in the plan of the Chinese side to arrange more visits to Africa by other Chinese leaders within the year. Despite the busy schedule and heavy workload of receiving foreign delegations on the part of Chinese leaders, the Chinese side has made great efforts to meet the wishes of African leaders and foreign ministers to visit China. The President of Mozambique and Deputy Prime Minister of Lesotho visited China respectively in April and the President of Madagascar will come to China in May. China is also expecting to receive visits from over 20 African leaders at and above the level of foreign minister in the remaining months of the year.

China and Africa are now having stronger cooperation in the fields of peace and security and in multilateral affairs. China has dispatched two batches of peacekeepers totaling 359 men to Liberia. Another batch more than 200 peacekeepers will arrive before the end of April. China has voted in favor of UN peacekeeping missions in Cote d'Ivoire and Burundi and, in addition, has sent two military staff officers to the UN peacekeeping forces in Cote d'Ivoire.

Africa has also rendered much help to China, especially on the Taiwan question and the issue of human rights. After the local election in Taiwan, many African countries unequivocally reaffirmed their adherence to the One China Policy. Some have also issued statements supporting the stance of the Chinese Government and condemning the so-called referendum held on the Taiwan Island. African countries contributed enormously to China's 11th success in foiling the anti-China resolution on the 60th UN Human Rights Commission. China hereby expresses its sincere thanks to all the countries that have all along given support to China.

II. China has stepped up its cooperation with African Countries in human resources development. The Chinese side has worked vigorously to fulfill its commitments to enhancing the cooperation in human resources development. In 2004, for example, the Ministry of Commerce and its subsidiaries have more than doubled their expenses on training African professionals. The number of management and technical training courses run by the Ministry of Commerce for African trainees has grown from 50 to 92, with expected total enrollment of 1,600 African trainees, an increase by a large margin compared with that of last year. Enrollment of these courses has already started. In addition to the Ministry of Commerce, other Ministries and Agencies, for example, the Foreign Ministry, the CPC International Liaison Department and the Information Office of the State Council, are also organizing professional training programs for Africa. China-Africa cooperation in higher education and occupational education are also being enhanced. In addition, the Chinese side will continue to dispatch training personnel to Africa to give short-term training courses.

III. Substantive progress has been made in the exemption of tariffs for certain exports from the least developed African countries that have friendly relations with China. The inter-ministerial coordinating group has worked out an initial list of African commodities that enjoy tariff-free treatment, which is undergoing necessary procedures for approval. Once the process is completed, the Chinese side will consult with the countries concerned, and start talks regarding the rule of place of origin. The Chinese side is looking forward to the cooperation from African countries concerned regarding the final list of tariff exemption commodities and the talks on the rule of place of origin.

IV. Preparations for the international art festival "Meet in Beijing" were completed, and the preparatory work for "Voyage of Chinese Culture to Africa" is in full swing. "Meet in Beijing", a month-long international art festival with African culture as the main theme, is being held in Beijing between April 27 and May 31.

A large cultural event "Voyage of Chinese Culture to Africa" will be held in Africa by the Chinese side. Its opening ceremony will be held on July 13 in South Africa. The acrobatics troupe from Yunnan Province, the martial arts troupe from Shandong Province, the dance and song ensemble from Hunan Province will visit Africa and give performance. Chinese embroidery and photo exhibitions will also be held. As an extension of the event, the three above-mentioned troupes will also visit nine other African countries respectively.

Under time pressure and constrained by the accommodation ability of performance venues as well as other limitations, both cultural events  "Meet in Beijing" and "Voyage of Chinese Culture to Africa" fell short to cover all friendly African countries though almost half of African countries were included. The Chinese side believes that future activities of this kind will provide opportunity for those which were not invited this time.

V. Eight African countries were added to the list of approved destination status (ADS). At last year's ministerial conference, the Chinese side announced  the ADS of Mauritius, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, and Seychelles. At the beginning of this year, the Chinese side signed an MOU with Kenya, and will sign MOUs with Ethiopia, Tanzania and Seychelles shortly. Negotiations with other countries in this connection are underway.

VI. Some of the agreements reached at the China-Africa Business Conference have already been implemented. The Chinese side attaches importance to the cooperation agreements reached by relevant enterprises, and has been facilitating their implementation. Six of them, including the sugar plant project between China's New Era Co. Ltd and the Koji state of Nigeria, are being carried out.

 

Both the Chinese and African sides attach importance to the establishment of China-Africa Chamber of Trade and Commerce. The Chinese side hopes to see a coordinated position on the part of Africa, and early establishment of a corresponding agency to facilitate the signing of relevant documents with China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, so as to provide favorable environment for the two-way non-governmental economic cooperation and trade.

VII. Preparations for the "China-Africa Youth Carnival" are well underway. The All-China Youth Federation has set up a preparatory committee, and the event will be held in Beijing between August 22-31. The event will include the inauguration ceremony, China-Africa youth cooperation forum and a grand youth festival. China-Africa Youth Beijing Declaration will be adopted during the event. Invitations to 45 friendly African countries were issued in February, and more than 20 countries have replied to attend. The Chinese side is looking forward to early replies from countries that have not yet responded.
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