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  Home > FOCAC Archives > The 2nd Ministerial Conference > Follow-up Actions
Talking Points for Director-general Xu Jinghu at the Consultation between the Secretariat of Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and African Diplomatic Envoys in China
2005/05/24

 

 

This year around, China-Africa friendship and cooperation continues to move forward in a stable and sound manner, with ever deepening collaboration across the board, especially in the following aspects.

I. China and Africa have sustained the momentum of frequent high-level exchange of visits.

Over the past 17 years, the Chinese Foreign Minister kicks off every new year by visiting Africa. Last January, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing paid an official visit to Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius and Lesotho. During his stay in Mauritius, he attended the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.

Shortly after the Chinese Spring Festival, Vice Premier of the State Council Zeng Peiyan visited Kenya, the Republic of Congo and Angola. In Nairobi, Kenya, he was invited as a special guest to the UN Environment Program's 23rd Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum and also attended the Conference on China-Africa Environmental Cooperation. In April this year, Cao Gangchuan, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, State Councillor and Defence Minister of China, visited Egypt and Tanzania.

Between January and April of this year, President Isaias of Eritrea, President Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Obasanjo of Nigeria and current President of the African Union (AU), Prime Minister Berenger of Mauritius, Speaker of the National Assembly of Madagascar Lahiniriko and Foreign Minister Adeniji of Nigeria visited China. These visits further promoted the in-depth development of China-Africa friendship and cooperation in the various areas.

II. China and Africa, both being active participants of the Asia-Africa cooperation, have contributed their vital share to the success of the Asia-Africa Summit.

The Asia-Africa Summit and the Golden Jubilee Commemoration of the Bandung Conference in 2005, a grand gathering for leaders from Asia and Africa in the new century, are of great significance in fostering solidarity and cooperation among developing countries in Asia and Africa and facilitating peace and development in the Asia-Pacific region. Chinese President Hu Jintao, who attended the summit together with many African heads of state, put forward China's proposals and propositions on building a new Asia-Africa partnership of long-term stability and rich content to keep abreast with the times.

The cooperation between China and Africa is an important component of Asia-Africa cooperation. President Hu's proposals will also serve as guiding principles for cementing friendship and cooperation between China and Africa and steering the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to greater success.

On the sidelines of the summit, President Hu Jintao met with Algerian President Bouteflika, Ghanaian President Kufuor and Sudanese President Bashir on separate occasions. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met respectively with his counterparts from Egypt, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Gabon, Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Somali and Uganda and the finance minister from Zambia. The two sides exchanged opinions on bilateral relations, China-Africa cooperation and relevant international issues on which they reached broad consensus.

III. China and Africa have further strengthened their cooperation in peace, security and international affairs.

In March this year, China decided to join the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Sudan, rendering its support to Sudan's peace process with real actions. In the coming weeks and months, Chinese engineers, medical and transportation detachments, military observers, civilian police, and political officers will arrive in Sudan. On the question of Darfur, China ardently supports a leading role of the African Union. To back up the AU's peacekeeping efforts there, China provided certain financial assistance at the beginning of this year. In April, the 218 Chinese peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been replaced. At present, there are a total of 843 Chinese military staff serving in eight areas of UN peacekeeping operations in Africa, among whom 776 are peacekeepers and 67 are military observers.

The cooperation between China and the AU and major sub-regional organizations in Africa have been strengthened. In March this year, China was among the earliest countries to appoint a representative to the AU. After appointing representatives to COMESA and ECOWAS, China appointed its ambassador to Botswana as its representative to SADC at the beginning of this year. Not long ago, China's Assistant Foreign Minister Lv Guozeng visited the headquarters of the League of Arab States and the AU for exchange of opinions concerning major world issues and bilateral cooperation.

IV. Trade, economic cooperation and collaboration in human resources development have been fruitful.

In 2004, China-Africa trade recorded US$29.462 billion, a year-on-year increase of 58.9%. Another 127 agreements were inked on China's economic assistance to African countries. Direct investment from China to Africa amounted to US$135 million last year alone. By the end of 2004, China's total direct investment to Africa reached US$625 million on a cumulative basis. China basically concluded the work on zero-tariff treatment to some Least Developed Countries in Africa, twenty-five of which have started to enjoy such benefits on 190 export items to China since 1 January 2005.

In 2004, China received altogether over 2,400 trainees from Africa for various training programs and enrolled 332 African students in China's universities. Several hundred Chinese experts went to Africa to offer training programs on subjects such as farming and pasturing, fishery, Chinese acupuncture and solar energy, which helped to lay a solid foundation for meeting the target of "training 10,000 people in 3 years for Africa". China also launched the program of encouraging young volunteers to serve in Africa. This year the Chinese side will further intensify its training efforts.

Taking into consideration the suggestions from the diplomatic envoys, the Secretariat of the Follow-up Committee has stepped up efforts on training African diplomats and journalists. In September 2004 and April 2005, the Secretariat held two workshops for African journalists which were attended by 46 journalists from 44 African countries. In October last year, the Secretariat organised the China-Africa Seminar on Human Rights. The Secretariat has decided to host a seminar for consular officers from both sides in the latter half of the year, and will sponsor within this year another two 3-month-long training programs for African diplomats, one in English and the other French.

V. Cooperation between China and Africa in other areas has progressed smoothly.

China-Africa cooperation has continued to break new grounds. Last February, the Conference on China-Africa Environmental Cooperation, co-sponsored by the State Environmental Protection Administration of China, the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum and the UN Environment Program, was held in Nairobi, Kenya. China's Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan addressed the Conference and put forward initiatives for broader bilateral exchanges, closer technical cooperation and more intensified training programs for Africa on environmental protection, thus marking an official launching of China-Africa environmental cooperation. The Conference represents the first cooperation initiative between the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and a UN organization, and is a fresh experiment by the Forum for a more diversified form of cooperation.

On cooperation in tourism, following eight other African countries, Uganda formally became a country with Approved Destination Status (ADS) last April, adding the number of ADS countries in Africa to 12.

On cooperation in the financial sector, following its investment in the African Development Bank and the Southeast African Development Bank, the People's Bank of China became a shareholder in the West African Development Bank (WADB) in November 2004. The Chinese side has also pledged US$1,000,000 to set up a bilateral technical cooperation fund with WADB.

 

 

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