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  Home > Topics > China's African Policy
Remarks at Reception Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Inauguration of Diplomatic Relations between New China and African Countries and the Release of China's African Policy
2006/01/12

 

Your Excellency Ambassador Etian, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in China,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

At the beginning of the new year, we gather here in grand celebration of the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and African countries and the release of China's African Policy. This is a happy and significant event in the history of China-Africa friendship.

In May 1956, the People's Republic of China established diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level with the Arab Republic of Egypt, launching the process of mutual recognition between the People's Republic and African countries and marking a new stage of development of China-Africa ties. Since then, newly independent African countries, one after another, have set up diplomatic relations with China. As things stand now, China has diplomatic ties with 47 African countries.

We are happy to see that over the past half a century, despite profound changes in our respective countries, China-Africa friendship on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence has withstood the test of global vicissitudes. It has grown from strength to strength and continued to demonstrate fresh vigor and vitality.

Over the past half a century, China and African countries have offered each other trust, understanding and support. China provided both firm moral and selfless material support to African countries in their tough struggle against colonial rule and fight for national independence. Since they gained independence, China has, as always, supported African countries in their unremitting efforts to safeguard state sovereignty and national independence and develop their economy, making its due contribution to political stability, economic growth and social progress of Africa. Today China-Africa friendship and cooperation have covered political, economic, trade, cultural, educational, health, military and other fields and continued to widen and deepen.

At the same time, African countries have also given China tremendous support. We will never forget the great contributions that African countries made in helping restore the legitimate seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations. We will not forget the strong support given by African countries to China in defeating anti-China draft resolutions eleven times in the UN Human Rights Commission. We will not forget that African countries uphold the one-China principle and support the reunification of China by opposing the inclusion in UNGA's agenda of the so-called proposals on Taiwan's return to or participation in the UN thirteen times at the UNGA General Affairs Committee and repeatedly rejecting attempts made by Taiwan to squeeze into international institutions where statehood is required. Nor will we forget the valuable support rendered to China by African countries on many issues including in its bid for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. Given our all-weather relationship, genuine cooperation and fraternal affection, China and Africa are good friends, good partners and good brothers. Although we are separated by great distances, our hearts are always closely connected.

Over the past half a century, we have seen continuous mechanism innovation and diverse formats in the friendly relations and cooperation between China and Africa. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation jointly established by the two sides in October 2000 has become an effective mechanism and major platform for China-Africa collective dialogue and practical cooperation against the new backdrop. This fall, the Forum will hold a summit and the third ministerial conference in Beijing. We warmly welcome African leaders to Beijing for the meeting and look forward to discussions on the important matters in China-Africa friendship and cooperation in the longer term. We are confident that the summit and the ministerial conference will be a successful historical gathering that highlights solidarity and practical cooperation and take China-Africa friendship and cooperation under the new circumstances to a higher level.

Excellencies,

Friends,

The Chinese government has always attached importance to Africa and regarded furthering and consolidating the friendship and cooperation with African countries as the bedrock of China's foreign policy. Chairman Mao Zedong paid close attention to the cause of liberation of African countries and peoples. It was during his meeting with former Zambian President Kaunda that he had put forward his well-known "three worlds" theory. To assist African people in economic development, he decided in person on major Chinese assistance projects for Africa. The Tanzara, symbol of the great friendship between China and Africa and for which a number of Chinese and African experts and technicians sacrificed their precious lives, was constructed with his approval. Late Premier Zhou Enlai paid three visits to Africa. He put forward the five principles on China's relationship with African and Arab nations and the eight principles on China's foreign aid which laid the foundation for China-Africa friendly relations and cooperation. He once quoted a line from an ancient Chinese poem, which reads "loyal souls could rest in peace wherever they fall", to cultivate a great sense of dedication and sacrifice among the Chinese technicians and experts and encourage them to help African countries with their nation building endeavor with utmost sincerity. Mr. Deng Xiaoping cherished special and warm feelings towards Africa. He would have open and candid discussions with visiting state leaders from Africa on the international situation and development in Africa and China like an old friend each time they met. President Jiang Zemin made three trips to the African continent. The five-point proposal that he made on the 21st century-oriented friendly relations and cooperation between China and African countries lent great impetus to the friendship and cooperation between the two sides in a new era. During his visit to Africa in 2004, President Hu Jintao made a three-point proposal on strengthening China-Africa relations, namely carrying on traditional friendship and promoting new development in China-Africa relations, adhering to mutual benefit and mutual assistance and facilitating common prosperity, developing closer cooperation and safeguarding the rights and interests of developing countries. The proposal has become a major principle in guiding the in-depth development of China-Africa friendship and cooperation under the new circumstances.

In the past half a century, China's African policy has also undergone an evolutionary process marked by continuous substantiation and adjustment along with the development and changes in Africa, China and the international situation. China's African Policy that is released today gives full expression to China's independent foreign policy of peace and its pursuit of peace, development and cooperation and can be read as a policy statement of the Chinese Government to further consolidate and develop China-Africa friendship and cooperation in the new era. It demonstrates to the world our firm commitment to carry forward the tradition of China-Africa friendship and step up all-round cooperation with Africa. I believe that this document will help open more channels, add new elements and inject fresh impetus to our efforts in promoting China-Africa friendship. It will not only advance China's relationship with Africa, but will also trigger more attention and interest among the international community in developing cooperation with Africa, which will contribute to greater harmony and balanced development of the world.

The Chinese Government will, on the basis of this document, work with African countries to build and develop a new China-Africa strategic partnership in line with the following principles.

First, equality and mutual trust in the political arena. China and Africa should be strategic partners that trust and support each other. The two sides should increase high-level exchange of visits and dialogue, promote personnel exchanges and foster a stronger bond of friendship among the people. They should abide by the principles of equality, non-interference in internal affairs and respect for each other's road of development. It is also important for the two sides to enhance mutual support and coordination in international affairs, jointly promote democratization of international relations and safeguard and promote the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.

Second, mutual benefit in economic cooperation. China and Africa should cultivate a partnership that builds on their complementarity and ensures win-win results. The two sides should work for closer South-South cooperation and South-North dialogue and guide economic globalization towards balanced development, universal benefits and win-win outcome. More efforts should be made to promote economic cooperation and trade between the two sides in diverse forms to expand the trade volume and optimize the trade structure. The Chinese Government will faithfully implement the five measures put forward by President Hu Jintao at the Meeting on Financing for Development during the 60th UNGA session, aimed at helping developing countries accelerate their development. We will continue to encourage and support Chinese companies in making investments in Africa. We also warmly welcome investments and operations by African businesses in China.

Third, cultural exchange and mutual learning. China and Africa should become equal partners in promoting prosperity and advancement of the human civilization. The two sides should step up cultural exchanges, advocate and promote tolerance and dialogue on an equal footing among diverse civilizations so that they will draw on each other's strengths and join hands in building a harmonious world.

Excellencies,

Friends,

Looking back, we see a long history of China-Africa friendship that is made up of moving episodes. Looking into the future, we see brilliant and encouraging prospects of China-Africa cooperation. Let's join hands in facilitating a sound and in-depth development of China-Africa friendship. I am confident that with the care and nurturing from both sides, the tree of China-Africa friendship will yield more bountiful fruits.

Thank you.

 

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