09:37, January 26, 2012
BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- China will firmly stand together with African countries while unswervingly pushing forward Sino-African strategic partnership, no matter how the international environment changes, said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun Thursday.
Zhai made the remarks in a signed article on top Chinese political advisor Jia Qinglin's upcoming visit to Africa.
Africa still faced enormous challenges against the backdrop of simmering global finance crisis, and turbulence encountered by several countries in western Asia and northern Africa, which dealt a blow to Africa's peace, stability and development, Zhai said, adding that some outside forces' intervention into Africa's internal affairs impeded the integration process among African countries.
Within this context, there is stronger demand of African countries for stability, development, solidarity and independence, he said.
The international community should pay more attention to Africa's voice and problems, respect its opinions, accommodate its concerns, protect peace, stability and development in Africa, and support Africa's independent settlement of issues in its own region, Zhai said.
He said Jia's visit, first foreign trip paid by Chinese leaders in the Chinese Lunar New Year, will be of great significance in deepening Sino-African ties and cementing the solidarity and cooperation among developing countries, Zhai said.
Jia will declare China's determination on developing Sino-African ties during the trip, he said.
Enhancing solidarity and cooperation with Africa constitutes an important part of China's diplomacy, and will be the long-term strategic choice firmly pursued by China, Zhai said.
China will adhere to the principle of sincerity, friendliness, equality, mutual benefit, solidarity, cooperation and common development in developing Sino-African ties, while making innovation along with changes of the world and the respective situations of the two sides, he said.
Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), will pay a goodwill visit to Ethiopia and attend the opening ceremony of the 18th African Union (AU) Summit from Jan. 27 to 29.
The upcoming AU summit will be held at the newly-built AU Conference Center, which was completed with China's assistance after nearly three years of construction.
The building is an important achievement yielded by the 2006 Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, and is highly praised by the African side.
Founded in 2000 by China and Africa, the FOCAC has formed dialogue and cooperation mechanisms at various levels such as ministerial conferences, senior official meetings and entrepreneurs' conferences.
The AU and Ethiopia are both important cooperative partners of China, as AU is the most representative and important inter-governmental organization in Africa, and Ethiopia has important influence in Africa. Relationship with the AU and Ethiopia is an epitome of Sino-African friendly cooperation, he said.
Zhai said he believes Jia's visit will push forward China-Africa new strategic partnership to develop in a faster and better way, and contribute to world sustainable peace and common prosperity.
According to Chinese Ministry of Commerce, China-Africa trade volume reached 122.2 billion U.S. dollars in the first three quarters of 2011, attaining a year-on-year growth of 30 percent.