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Beijing Declaration of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

 

We, the ministers in charge of foreign affairs, foreign trade and international co-operation, economic or social affairs from China and African countries, met in Beijing from 10 to 12 October 2000 for the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation-Ministerial Conference 2000, the first gathering of its kind in the history of China-Africa relations.


We had an extensive exchange of views on international affairs and the state of relations between China and African countries. We agree that the China-Africa Cooperation Forum is a framework for collective dialogue between China and African countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and that to seek peace and development is our common objective.


We realise that at the dawn of a new century, there still exist serious destabilising factors in the world and a huge gap between the rich North and the poor South and that peace and development are far from being fully realised.


We reaffirm that the injustice and inequality in the current international system are incompatible with the trend of the times towards world peace and development, hinder the development of the countries of the South and pose threats to international peace and security. We stress that the establishment of a just and equitable new international political and economic order is indispensable for the democratisation of international relations and for the effective participation of developing countries in the international process of decision-making.


We believe that it is of vital importance to world peace and security to carry out general and complete disarmament and prohibition of all weapons of mass destruction.


We note that globalisation makes all economies more inter-dependent, but it benefits developed countries more while putting most developing countries, especially small and vulnerable economies and the least developed countries in Africa, at a disadvantage and subjecting their economic security or even state sovereignty to severe challenges.


We recall the courageous struggle waged by African countries and people for independence and their commendable post-independence efforts for the growth of their national economy and note that African countries and the African continent as a whole are still faced with many difficulties and challenges in their process of development.


We note, with grave concern, that efforts over the years have failed to bring about political, economic and social stability in some African countries and stress that economic and social factors are at the root of political instability, social tensions and frequent conflicts in Africa. Moreover, the scourge of HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB and other communicable diseases is taking a heavy toll on the human and economic resources of African countries, and the aggravated poverty is seriously hindering the development of Africa.


We stress that the heavy debt burden has impeded the development efforts of African countries and impoverished their economies. We believe that the international community has the responsibility and obligation to help solve the African debt problem.


We are highly appreciative of the stable development of Sino-African relations over the past decades; have full confidence in the future co-operation; and agree that there exists a solid foundation for friendly relations and co-operation between China and Africa, given their time-honoured traditional friendship. We also emphasise that both China and African countries are developing countries with common fundamental interests and believe that close consultation between the two sides on international affairs is of great importance to consolidating solidarity among developing countries and facilitating the establishment of a new international order.


We review the development of co-operation between China and African countries in the economic, trade and other area, and realise that there are considerable potentials for such co-operation. We believe that this co-operation is part of South-South co-operation and that to strengthen this co-operation serves their immediate and long-term interests of both China and African countries.


We hereby solemnly declare that:


1.The purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the Charter of the Organisation of African Unity(OAU), the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and other universally recognised principles governing relations among states must be respected. All countries should have the right to participate in international affairs, on an equal footing. No country or group of countries, has the right to impose its will on others, to interfere, under whatever pretext, in other countries' internal affairs, or to impose unilateral coercive economic measures on others. The North and the South should strengthen their dialogue and co-operation on the basis of equality.


2.The principle of peaceful settlement of international disputes must be adhered to. Disputes between states should be resolved through negotiation, consultation or other peaceful means, rather than through force, or threat of force, including nuclear threat. All the nuclear-weapon-states must undertak