|JOINT COMMUNIQUE OF THE MINISTERIAL POLITICAL CONSULTATIONS BETWEEN CHINA AND AFRICA|
In accordance with the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Action Plan (2007-2009) of November 2006, the Foreign Ministers of China and 48 African countries, or their representatives, held their first political consultations in New York on the 26 of September 2007.
The meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Ahmed Abou EL Gheit, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Chair of the 4th Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC, and Co Chair H.E. Mr. Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China. Minister Abou EL Gheit delivered an opening statement, followed by Minister Yang Jiechi who gave a speech on behalf of China. Ministers from Cameroon, Kenya, Libya, Niger, and Zambia delivered speeches as representatives from the five sub-regions of Africa. At the end of the meeting, Minister Abou EL Gheit made his concluding remarks.
During their deliberations, the Ministers followed up and reviewed the implementation of the Declaration of the Beijing Summit of the FOCAC and Beijing Action Plan and assessed the progress achieved so far. They had extensive exchange of views on the advancement of the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa, launched during the Beijing Summit of 2006. They also discussed major international and regional issues of mutual interest.
In this regard, the Ministers :
1. Expressed deep appreciation for the historical contribution of the FOCAC Beijing Summit, to cementing China-Africa traditional friendship, deepening mutual trust, expanding genuine cooperation and forging a new era of China-Africa strategic partnership, strengthening the South/South cooperation, promoting common development and establishing a harmonious world.
2. Commended the progress achieved so far in implementing the Declaration of the Beijing Summit and the Beijing Action Plan, and renewed their commitment to further promote the new type of strategic partnership binding both China and Africa.
3. Highlighted the significance of the political consultations between Foreign Ministers of China and Africa, and their importance as a new effective follow up mechanism in strengthening the new type of strategic partnership, enhancing their political dialogue and consolidating their joint cooperation in international and regional issues.
4. Reaffirmed the strong deep-rooted relations that exist between the two parties and emphasized that the FOCAC, which encompasses all fields, is unique, as it is based on "Partnership" among developing countries. In this context, the Ministers underlined the importance of exploring in an innovative way various types of cooperation in light of specific conditions of African countries, including trilateral cooperation, in order to further strengthen their South/South cooperation, and as a means to expand the scope of cooperation and maximize the benefits for both parties.
5. Reiterated their resolve to further consolidate their cooperation, to fulfill their obligations and commitments as reflected in the Beijing Action Plan, and reaffirmed their determination to pursue the efforts to translate these commitments into concrete actions and projects that meet the relevant needs of African countries and regions, in particular in the fields of infrastructure, agriculture, public health, education, and information technology, and tourism, in addition to all other areas stipulated in the Beijing Action Plan.
6. Commended China's commitment to increase development assistance to Africa to the best of her ability, double the volume by 2009 compared to its size in 2006, and her commitment to continue to cancel African debt, and promptly fulfill debt relief commitments, notwithstanding the fact that China herself is a developing country.
7. Valued the potentiality of China-Africa trade development, commended China's pledge to increase the number of export items to China eligible for zero-tariff treatment from African countries, and underlined the need to further increase trade between China and Africa, and promote the access of African exports to the Chinese market.
8. Agreed that both parties should exert more efforts to encourage public and private Chinese investments in Africa, including in the infrastructure and agriculture fields and to continue to take positive steps to create an increasingly conducive environment for such investments. In this regard, the African side welcomes China's launch of the China-Africa Development Fund.
9. Agreed to enhance Sino-African dialogue at the level of African regional/sub-regional organizations and harmonize FOCAC programs with the priorities of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), with the aim of supporting the positive role and the accomplishments of the African Union, NEPAD and all other African sub-regional organizations, in building up Africa's capacity, through unity, peace, stability, regional integration and economic development.
10. Agreed to promote peace building in Africa conducive to stability, sustainable development, and the welfare of Africa's peoples, particularly through supporting Africa's peacekeeping and peace building capacities and endeavors. The African side appreciated the important role that China is playing in maintaining peace and stability in Africa and welcomed her appointment of a special representative on African affairs.
11. Pledged to work together towards the early conclusion of the Doha Round of Negotiations and the adoption of a balanced and significant package that will boost global economic development.
12. Called on the international community to work actively to build an international environment conducive to poverty alleviation and development in African countries in order to enable them to achieve the Millennium Developments Goals.
13. Reiterated their resolve to continue their regular consultation and dialogue on regional and international issues of mutual interest, and further strengthen their close coordination in the international fora, for the benefit of both sides and the international community at large.
14. Reiterated adherence to the one China policy and opposition to Taiwan's attempt to "join" the United Nations under whatever name.
In conclusion, Minister Abou EL Gheit briefed the Ministers on the preparation for the 4th Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC to be held in Egypt in 2009. The Ministers expressed their appreciation for Egypt's efforts in this regard.