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15th "Lanting Forum" Held in Foreign Ministry Foreign Minister Wang Yi Delivers Keynote Speech

2015/11/26

On November 26, 2015, the 15th "Lanting Forum" with the theme "President Xi Jinping to Chair the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)" was held in the Foreign Ministry. Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a keynote speech titled "Carrying Forward Our Cause and Forge Ahead into the Future to Promote Comprehensive Development of China-Africa Friendly Cooperation". About 300 people including foreign envoys in China, representatives from international organizations in China, business representatives from China and other countries, experts and scholars and journalists attended the forum.

In his speech, Wang Yi expressed that the Johannesburg Summit of the FOCAC to be held from December 4 to 5 in South Africa will be co-chaired by President Xi Jinping and President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma of South Africa. Heads of state and government and representatives of the African countries as well as Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission will gather together. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the FOCAC. The summit for the first time to be held in the African continent is of milestone significance to carrying forward the development of China-Africa relations.

Wang Yi pointed out that China-Africa relations are the "most fundamental basis" of China's diplomacy and China-Africa friendship is a tradition of its diplomacy. In 2013, President Xi Jinping chose Africa as the destination of his first foreign visit after he took office as Chinese President. He put forward the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith for China's Africa policy as well as the correct viewpoint of righteousness and benefit and solemnly announced that China is always a reliable friend and sincere partner of African countries, charting the course for the development of China-Africa relations. When Premier Li Keqiang visited Africa in 2014, he proposed the cooperation initiatives of "Six Major Projects" and "Three Major Networks", mapping out the blueprint of China-Africa cooperation. Both China and Africa are satisfied with the smooth development of bilateral relations and hold that China-Africa cooperation is necessary to each side and enjoys huge potential and broad space. Both sides agreed to elevate the sixth ministerial meeting of the FOCAC to be held in South Africa this year to a summit to jointly discuss the long-term plan for China-Africa cooperation under the new circumstances. This is a common aspiration of African countries, a realistic need in the development of China-Africa relations and a due part to reinforce the solidarity among developing countries.

Wang Yi expressed that the theme of the summit is "China and Africa Join Hands for Win-Win Cooperation and Common Development".

The first key word is "join hands", which is a concept rooted in the traditional friendship and mutual support between China and Africa. The two sides are always a community of shared destiny. In the middle of the last century, the Chinese people who took the lead in winning national liberation rendered full support for African countries' righteous fight against colonialism and struggle for national independence and liberation. The people of China, Tanzania and Zambia relied on their own strengths and built the remarkable Tanzania-Zambia railway in less than 6 years. The African brothers stood up to tremendous pressures and steadfastly supported the People's Republic of China to restore its legitimate seat in the United Nations (UN). Last year when the Ebola epidemic broke out in and plagued Western Africa, China immediately sent the most-needed goods and materials to people in the affected areas, flying across three continents and half of the globe. It also sent top medical experts and personnel to get through the hard times together with those people. The people of China and Africa once suffered from similar hardships and walked through arduous journeys, hence they can feel each other's heart and share weal and woe, and join hands to pursue common goals and dreams.

The second key word is "win-win cooperation", a notion providing strong power for the development of China-Africa relations. China-Africa cooperation is a successful example of win-win development between developing countries. China has been the largest trade partner of Africa for 6 years in a row. The trade volume between China and Africa in 2014 was 220 billion USD, 22 times as much as that in 2000 when the FOCAC was launched. China's investment stock in Africa has exceeded 30 billion USD, 60 times as much as that in 2000 when the FOCAC was launched, and has been growing at an annual rate of over 20 percent in recent years. China-Africa cooperation is mutually beneficial. China never takes unilateral benefits as the goal but rather commits itself to realizing Africa's independent and sustainable development. China-Africa cooperation is comprehensive. When helping Africa develop economy, China attaches greater importance to creating a peaceful and stable environment for the long-lasting development of Africa. China will strengthen cooperation with Africa in counter-terrorism and combat against extremism. China-Africa cooperation is built on the basis of equality and free will. China has never attached political conditions, never put forward demanding requirements, never intervened in African countries' internal affairs and never made empty promises to its African brothers. China-Africa cooperation will not take the old path of the traditional powers or sacrifice the ecological environment and long-term interests of Africa as the cost.

The third keyword is common development. Such a concept will usher in a beautiful vision for China-Africa relations. China has put forward new goals and new ideas for its economic growth in the next stage. According to the "African Dream" described in the Agenda 2063, the African countries are uniting for self-development and revitalization. The "Chinese Dream" and the "African Dream" accord with each other and can be docked completely. Combination of China's comparative advantages in development experience and production factors and Africa's comparative advantages in natural and human resources and market will generate the strong effect of "one plus one is bigger than two".

Wang Yi expressed that President Xi Jinping will deliver in the opening ceremony of the summit a keynote speech with a vision for the whole Africa, in which he will systematically expound China's new concepts, new policies and new propositions in developing its relations with Africa, and announce a series of important measures for China-Africa cooperation in a certain period to come. The summit will deliberate and approve two outcome documents: the Declaration of the Johannesburg Summit of the FOCAC and the Johannesburg Action Plan of the FOCAC, expound both sides' opinions and propositions on China-Africa relations as well as major international and regional issues, and make comprehensive planning for China-Africa cooperation in various fields in the forthcoming three years. President Xi Jinping will also exchange in-depth views with African leaders present at the summit on bilateral relations and international and regional topics of common interest on a series of multilateral and bilateral occasions.

Wang Yi stressed that the summit will be a grand event aiming to carry forward the cause and forge ahead into the future, deepen cooperation and focus on people's livelihood. Leaders of China and the African countries will plan from the comprehensive and strategic perspectives the prospects of China-Africa relations under the new situation, center on the two most urgent tasks of accelerating industrialization and agricultural modernization in Africa, and vigorously remove the two bottlenecks of backward infrastructure and insufficient talents. The leaders will focus on helping the African countries build the three systems of industrialization, food security and public health prevention and control, so as to work out the three major problems of employment, food and health. The leaders will also push China-Africa practical cooperation to upgrade from general trade to production capacity cooperation, from project contracting to investment and management, and from assistance to independent development, in efforts to achieve common development and shared prosperity of the two sides. The summit will pay more attention to people's livelihood, attach greater importance to inputting in the field of poverty-reduction and favor for the least developed countries, women, children and other groups in need of assistance and support, and more comprehensively embody its features of "co-consultation, co-contribution and sharing", so as to constantly provide impetus and vigor for the long-term development of China-Africa cooperation.

In closing, Wang Yi expressed that as President Xi Jinping has noted, common development is the real development and sustainable development is the good development. This summit will send out China's strong signal of valuing, respecting and supporting Africa to the international community, in the hope of continuing to push various parties of the international community to enhance their confidence in Africa and increase input in the continent. The Chinese side stands ready to, in the principle of "raised, agreed and led by Africa", carry out trilateral, quadrilateral and multilateral cooperation with the parties, so as to join hands to make greater contributions to the peace and development in Africa.

Special Representative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs Zhong Jianhua, former Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Zhou Yuxiao, South African Ambassador to China Dolana Msimang, Ambassador of Madagascar to China Victor Sikonina, and Dean of the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University Liu Hongwu delivered a special speech respectively from the perspectives such as significance of the FOCAC, China-Africa industrial cooperation, and China-Africa people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and communicated and interacted with guests present.

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