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Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong Attends the Eighth Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum

2019/08/26

On August 26, 2019, Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the Eighth Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum.

Chen Xiaodong expressed, this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. For the past 7 decades, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people have successfully blazed a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In particular, during the 7 years since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Chinese people have scored historic achievements and opened up a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core. While ensuring our own development, the Chinese people have always moved forward with African people side by side, setting an example for a shared future. The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was held successfully in September, 2018, ushering in a new era for the China-Africa comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. At the Summit, President Xi Jinping put forward the "four-point commitment" and the "five-no" principle, which was hailed by the African friends as China's new version of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in nowadays Africa.

Chen Xiaodong noted, over the past year, China and Africa have risen up to challenges and made concerted efforts, pushing the follow-up actions of the FOCAC Beijing Summit for substantial progress. China and Africa witnessed new highs in high-level exchanges and political mutual trust, new progress made in the upgrading and improvement of practical cooperation in economy and trade, new prospects in people-to-people and cultural exchanges and new highlights in peace and security cooperation. In the next phase, the Chinese side is willing to make joint efforts with the African side, and uphold the general direction of building an even stronger community with a shared future between China and Africa set out at the FOCAC Beijing Summit. Efforts should be made to actively implement the strategic consensus of leaders of both sides and the outcomes of the Summit, consolidate the foundation of friendship and mutual trust, expand mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation, and safeguard multilateralism, fairness and justice. Such efforts will enable us to constantly enrich the connotation of China-Africa comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Chen Xiaodong stressed, the new era has raised new requirements for China-Africa think tanks cooperation. It is hoped that the scholars of think tanks of both sides will focus on building an even stronger community with a shared future between China and Africa, and actively carry out research on the joint system, in a bid to contribute ideas and suggestions to the implementation of the follow-up actions of the Summit. Both sides must endeavor to strengthen cultural and people-to-people links, so as to contribute wisdom to consolidating our traditional friendship. Both sides need to work together to shape a narrative that reflects our shared values to foster a favorable public opinion environment for the development of China-Africa comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

China-Africa Think Tanks Forum is an important sub-forum under the framework of the FOCAC. Since its inception in 2011, it has been convened eight times. This meeting was hosted by the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the FOCAC and organized by the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University in collaboration with the China-Africa Institute and the China Institute of International Studies. Over 300 people including experts, scholars, media professionals from China, 53 African countries and the African Union as well as diplomatic envoys of African countries to China were present.

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