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Hu Jintao Delivers an Important Speech in Dar es Salaam

2009/02/16

On the morning of February 16, 2009, President Hu Jintao delivered an important speech to a welcome conference attended by people from various sectors of Dar es Salaam. He stressed the Chinese people cherish their traditional friendship with Africa in the past, now and in the future, always take the African people as completely trustworthy and all-weathered friends and will maintain brotherhood and partnership with the African people forever.

Held in an auditorium of Dar es Salaam, the conference was immersed in a joyous atmosphere. The national flags of China and Tanzania erected along the two sides of the flower-decorated stage. On the blue backdrop were the Chinese and English words “Warm Welcome to His Majesty President of the People’s Republic of China to Tanzania.” At about 9:15 a.m. local time, President Hu, accompanied by Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, arrived at the auditorium. All the audience stood up and applauded enthusiastically.

In his speech entitled Work Together to Open a New Chapter of China-Africa Friendship, Hu said the Chinese and African people had fought shoulder to shoulder against colonialism and for national liberation in the African continent since the 1950s. From then on, we have engaged in various forms of cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. Today, we join hands to forge ahead to realize the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the rejuvenation and progress of China and Africa. China-Africa friendship has written a glorious history of more than half a century. Similar historical experience and identical objectives link the fate of the Chinese and African people closely and enable the two sides to withstand the test of time and fluctuating international situation. He reviewed the development of China-Africa relations since 2006 when the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was held and then introduced the implementation of the eight policy measures of the Chinese government aiming at strengthening pragmatic cooperation with Africa and supporting the development of African countries. He pointed out the implementation of those measures had brought about tangible benefits to the African people and opened a promising future for China-Africa cooperation.

The world is experiencing profound changes and reshuffle, he noted. World multi-polarization and economic globalization are in a continuous process of development, seeking peace and development and promoting cooperation are the trends of the times, and the international situation generally remains stable. Meanwhile, the uncertain and unstable factors in the international political and economic fields increase remarkably. The global financial crisis is exerting increasing influence on the economies around the world. The developing countries are most seriously impacted by the crisis. As developing nations, China and African countries are strategically important partners to each other. We completely understand the desire and need of African countries and extend full support to Africa for its efforts of seeking peace and stability and realizing the UN MDGs at an early date.

Hu stressed China and Africa especially need support and work with each other at hard time to override the difficulties. China expects to make concerted efforts with Africa in the following areas in particular. First, cementing solidarity and extending mutual support to cope with the international financial crisis. We well understand the difficulties of our own and African friends as well. On behalf of the Chinese government, he promised solemnly that China will faithfully implement the assistant measures concerning Africa defined at the Beijing Summit, continue to increase assistance within its capacity, reduce or exempt debts of African countries, expand trade with them and reinforce China-Africa pragmatic cooperation. China is also ready to enhance exchanges and cooperation with them on how to prevent and manage financial crisis.

Second, improving mutual trust and consolidating the political foundation of China-Africa traditional friendship. China hopes to step up high-level contacts, strengthen strategic dialogue and communications and enhance mutual understanding and trust with African countries. China firmly supports the efforts of African countries and the African Union (AU) of maintaining national sovereignty and solving their own problems independently, will continue to take an active part in the UN peace operations in Africa and play a constructive role of settling conflicts and hot issues and maintaining peace and security in Africa.

Third, lifting up the mutually beneficial and practical trade and economic cooperation between China and Africa. China is willing to boost trade with Africa, take care of Africa’s concerns and take preferential measures to increase import from Africa. The Chinese government encourages and supports the competitive Chinese businesses to invest in Africa, create more jobs for the local people, increase technology transfer to the continent and urge them to shoulder greater social responsibilities and live in harmony with local communities.

Fourth, widening exchanges and deepening cultural and educational cooperation. The development of China-Africa relations serves the interest of people of both sides and the cooperation outcomes should naturally be shared between them. We stand ready to strengthen exchanges with African countries in the fields of culture, education, health, sports and tourism, increase contacts of youth, women, civil organizations, media and academic institutions of the two sides, reinforce cooperation on human resources and make China-Africa friendship deeply rooted in the hearts of people.

Fifth, collaborating closely and stepping up coordination in international affairs. We expect to deepen cooperation with African countries in such multilateral organizations as the UN and the World Trade Organization to address global challenges like climate change, food security, poverty alleviation and development. We also hope to participate jointly with them in developing international economic, financial and trade rules and pushing forward the international economic order in a fair and just manner.

Sixth, intensifying cooperation to advance the development of FOCAC. We want to strengthen the institutional construction of FOCAC and make full play of FOCAC’s political role of boosting China-Africa relations. We will continue to make concerted efforts with African countries to completely implement the follow-up activities of the Beijing Summit.

Hu said China-Africa friendship today is the outcome of efforts of generations of Chinese and African people and its tomorrow will rest upon the youth of both sides. The young generation is the hope of development and the future of friendship of China and Africa. We will work with African countries to continue to support exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese and African youth. He expressed confidence that the friendship will be carried forward in the hands of the youth.

He finally stressed it is our glorious historic mission of consolidating friendship and strengthening cooperation between China and Africa. Let’s join hands together and forge ahead to push forward the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa and open a new chapter of China-Africa friendship.

Delivering a speech of thanks, Kikwete spoke highly of Hu’s warm speech on China-Africa relations. He said China always extends support and help to Tanzania and Africa at the most urgent moment without any condition attached. Tanzania and Africa appreciate such support and help. China-Tanzania and China-Africa relations develop so rapidly and stably because they are built on the basis of mutual respect and complete equity. He extended cordial congratulations on Hu’s successful visit to Tanzania and said his country values relations with China and will make every effort possible to work with China to deepen the bilateral friendly cooperation and lift the bilateral relations to a higher level.

About 1,200 people from all sectors of Dar es Salaam attended the welcome gathering. Hu’s speech received warm feedback from the audience who all stood up and applauded loudly at the end of the speech.

Ling Jihua, Wang Huning and Dai Bingguo were also present at the conference.

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