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President Xi Jinping's Congratulatory Message and State Councilor Yang Jiechi's Keynote Speech to The Opening Ceremony of the Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of The Follow-up Actions of the Johannesburg Summit of The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

2016/07/29

Your Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Foreign Minister of Chad as Chair of the African Union,
Your Excellency Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Foreign Minister of
South Africa as Co-chair of FOCAC,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi,
Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng,
Ministers, Delegates and Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends,

It is my privilege to read to you Chinese President Xi Jinping's congratulatory message to the Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The message reads:

"On the occasion of the opening of the Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit, I would like to express, on behalf of the Chinese government and people and in my own name, warm congratulations and sincere welcome to the delegates and guests from African countries.

"The Johannesburg Summit last December opened a new era of win-win cooperation and common development between China and Africa, and marked a milestone in the history of China-Africa relations. African leaders and I had an in-depth discussions on our cooperation, upgraded the China-Africa relationship to a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, put forward ten cooperation plans for the next three years, and drew a new blueprint of win-win cooperation and common development for China and Africa.

"I am pleased that over the past six months, China and Africa worked together to overcome the negative impact of the sluggish world economy, reached consensus on jointly implementing the outcomes of the summit, and achieved tangible results in our cooperation. This helped to invigorate China-Africa cooperative development.

"This coordinators' meeting is an important step taken by China and Africa to implement the consensus of Chinese and African leaders and the outcomes of the FOCAC Summit. It is a significant measure to boost China-Africa cooperative development. The meeting demonstrates to the world once again that no matter how the international landscape may change, the resolve of China and Africa to pursue unity and win-win cooperation will never change, and China's support for Africa's peace and development will never change. The weak performance of the world economy brings both opportunities and challenges to the economic development of China and Africa. We must stand shoulder to shoulder and march forward hand in hand. As a Chinese saying goes, "unity of two brothers gives them the strength to cut through metal." I hope that at this opportune meeting, the two sides will exchange views, compare notes, build consensus and promote cooperation. By pooling wisdom and strength, and advancing China-Africa friendship and cooperation across the board, we will see to it that the summit outcomes will benefit the 2.4 billion people of China and Africa in a more expeditious and equitable manner.

"China values China-Africa relations. We will continue to act on the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, take solid steps to implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Summit, and further enrich and grow the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership.

"I wish the coordinators' meeting a complete success."

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

China and Africa have always been good friends, good partners and good brothers. As a famous Chinese saying goes, "What a great delight to receive friends from afar!" On behalf of the Chinese government and people, I would like to extend the most sincere welcome to the African brothers and sisters coming from afar, and express hearty congratulations on the opening of the Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit.

Last December, in the spirit of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, China and Africa jointly organized a "perfect and extraordinary" FOCAC Summit in Johannesburg. At the landmark gathering, President Xi Jinping gave a comprehensive and systematic account of China's new thinking and new approach regarding relations with Africa, announced the elevation of the China-Africa relationship to a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, and called for strengthening and consolidating the five pillars of China-Africa relations, namely political equality and mutual trust, win-win economic cooperation, mutually enriching cultural exchanges, mutual security assistance, and solidarity and coordination in international affairs. He also proposed ten cooperation plans for the next three years with a focus on helping Africa achieve industrialization and agricultural modernization, and pledged US$60 billion of financial support. This new blueprint of cooperative development drawn by Chinese and African leaders will usher in a new era of win-win cooperation and common development for the two sides.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We Chinese often say that planning contributes 10% to the success of an undertaking while 90% of success lies in implementation. In this first year after the Johannesburg Summit, it is our shared expectation to see the early implementation of its outcomes so as to deliver more benefits to the Chinese and African people. We are delighted to see that over 30 African countries have established internal coordination mechanisms and designated ministerial-level coordinators to implement the outcomes. Presidents and Prime Ministers of several countries have even taken on the responsibility themselves.

In the six months since the Johannesburg Summit, China and Africa have adopted swift and effective actions to implement the outcomes, and have made major, gratifying progress. High-level visits and personnel exchanges and cooperation have increased notably in this regard, and friendly and win-win cooperation in economic, financial, cultural and security sectors and in international affairs has been fruitful, bringing real benefits to the Chinese and African people. Yesterday, the two sides signed a number of cooperation agreements. Combined with those signed since last December, there have been 243 agreements worth US$50.7 billion, including US$46 billion of Chinese direct investment in and commercial loans to Africa, accounting for 91% of the total value of the agreements. To our delight, the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Africa is full of vigor and vitality. It has lived up to FOCAC's commitment to equality, mutual benefit, efficiency and practical results, and points to the vast potential and great prospects of friendly and win-win cooperation between China and Africa.

The purpose of China initiating the coordinators' meeting at this time is, by taking stock of the delivery of summit outcomes, to align our thinking, build consensus, overcome challenges and difficulties, share experience and promote cooperation, so that we can pool the wisdom and strength of both sides and give a leg up to the implementation work. This will present a new historic opportunity for the cooperative development of China and Africa.

We are glad to see that both sides are committed to win-win cooperation and common development. Today, over 100 Chinese and African ministerial-level officials are gathering in Beijing to discuss cooperation and development. The meeting has far exceeded our expectations in terms of the size and level of participation as well as the number of deliverables. I have no doubt that this meeting will lend strong impetus to the delivery of summit outcomes and help the people of China, Africa and the whole world see the vast prospects of our cooperation and development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The world is experiencing unprecedented transformation. The global economy is undergoing profound adjustment, the international landscape and order are evolving at a faster pace and the trend toward a multipolar world faces new challenges. However, peace and development remain the dominant theme of the times and the rise of developing countries' collective strength and influence has not and will not falter. The 21st century is not only a century for China and Asia, but also one for Africa. Joining hands, the 2.4 billion Chinese and African people will show the world our strong determination to promote solidarity through cooperation and pursue win-win outcomes through development. This will further enhance the overall strength of China, Africa and developing countries as a whole and mark an important contribution to building the new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. The solidarity and cooperation between China and Africa not only bears on our own future and destiny, but will have a far-reaching impact on global peace and development and the evolution of the international landscape.

As we meet today, China is implementing its 13th Five-Year Plan and working to realize the "two centenary goals" and the Chinese Dream of great national renewal. China will remain committed to the path of peaceful development and calls for common commitment to such a path, so that together we could build a community of shared future and interests for all mankind.

In the meantime, the commitment of African countries toward seeking strength from unity and to African integration has gathered irreversible momentum. Agenda 2063, a blueprint for Africa's development, has been drawn and industrialization and modernization have become the common goals of African countries.

In this new era, China and Africa face golden opportunities. Our development strategies are highly compatible, we each have distinct advantages, and we need each other for our cooperative development. China will continue to abide by the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, and implement all the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit. On this basis, we will work with Africa to strengthen the five pillars of China-Africa cooperation and push forward our comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership. To this end, I would like to suggest the following:

First, to forever remain good brothers sharing weal and woe, we must provide greater political guidance for our relationship. This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Africa. Through six decades, China and Africa have forged ahead in both good and difficult times. China-Africa relations have stood the test of time and international vicissitudes. We need to carry on this proud tradition, maintain the sound momentum of high-level exchanges, share experience of national governance, enhance mutual understanding and support for each other's core interests and major concerns, and firmly uphold our common interests. African countries have voiced support for China's just position on the South China Sea issue and rendered invaluable political support to the Chinese side. It is greatly valued and appreciated by China!

Second, to forever remain good partners for common development, we must improve mutually beneficial cooperation. We should seize the historic opportunity of synergizing the development strategies of China and Africa, prioritize industrialization and agricultural modernization with a focus on production capacity cooperation and industrial partnership, deepen our mutually beneficial cooperation on industry, agriculture, infrastructure development, human resources development, investment, trade, financial services and so on to bring greater benefit to our people. China will pursue common, intensive, green, safe and open development together with Africa, and make sure that the cooperation projects in Africa will generate economic and social benefits and meet the standard of sustainable development. We will plan and implement major infrastructure projects in tandem with industrial cooperation and development in Africa, work to transform and upgrade China-Africa cooperation, support Africa's accelerated industrialization and agricultural modernization, and help Africa realize independent and sustainable development.

Third, to forever remain good friends of one heart and mind, we must increase inter-civilization exchanges. We should strengthen people-to-people cooperation in such areas as health, education, culture, science and technology, tourism and sports. We need to expand exchanges and visits between youth, women, civil society, media and academia so as to promote mutual learning between the two civilizations, boost mutual understanding and appreciation between the Chinese and African people, pass China-Africa friendship from generation to generation and secure stronger public support for China-Africa friendship.

Fourth, to forever remain guardians of peace and stability, we must strengthen security cooperation. China firmly supports African countries in addressing African problems in African ways and in seeking political solution to internal differences through dialogue and consultation. China will continue to take a constructive part in African peace and security affairs, help African countries and the AU build capacity for peacekeeping, maintaining stability and countering terrorism, and support African countries in enhancing law-enforcement capacity from border control, army and police to customs and taxation. We will take an active part in UN peacekeeping operations in Africa and contribute more to Africa's peace and development.

Fifth, to forever remain protectors of our common interests, we must broaden cooperation in international affairs. China has similar positions and common interests with Africa on major international and regional issues. We need to firmly uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, jointly work for a more just and equitable international order, and oppose the practice of the strong bullying the weak or wanton interference in other countries' internal affairs. China and Africa should strengthen communication, coordination and cooperation on UN reform, climate change, food security, poverty reduction, development and other global issues so as to safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The curtain has been drawn on a new era of China-Africa win-win and cooperative development. Let us build on the success of this coordinators' meeting, work in a concerted, down-to-earth and innovative fashion, meet each other half way, strive for early and satisfactory delivery of the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit, and bring greater benefits to the people of China and Africa.

In conclusion, I wish this meeting full success.

Thank you.

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