President Xi Jinping's Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation--Edited Excerpt
  ·  2018-10-10  ·   Source:
Editor's note: The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 3, 2018. At the opening ceremony, President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech. An edited excerpt follows:

Win-win global cooperation

China and Africa have embarked on a distinctive path of win-win cooperation.

China values sincerity, friendship and equality in pursuing cooperation. The country follows a "five-no" approach to regulate its relations with Africa, which is as follows: no interference in African countries' pursuits of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference in African countries' internal affairs; no imposition of China's will on African countries; no pulling of political strings to provide assistance; and no pursuit of selfish political gains when engaging in investment and financial cooperation with Africa. Using this approach, there is nothing to undermine the great unity between the Chinese people and the African people.

China pursues common interests with its interaction with Africa, and puts friendship first in cooperation, underlined by the belief that the sure way to boost China-Africa cooperation is for both sides to leverage their respective strengths. In this way, it is possible for China to complement Africa's development through its own growth, and for both sides to pursue cooperation and common development that benefits both sides. No one could hold back the Chinese people or the African people as we march toward rejuvenation.

China takes a people-oriented approach in pursuing efficient and practical cooperation with Africa, with the interests of the African and Chinese populace at the heart of the matter. It is China's desire to improve the wellbeing of Chinese and African people that strengthens the country's commitment to honoring the promises made to Africa.  This dedication to bringing all-round benefits to both parties makes it impossible to deny the remarkable achievements made in China-Africa cooperation.

China takes an open and inclusive approach to cooperation. China stands ready to work with other international partners to support Africa in pursuing peace and development. No one could stand in the way or obstruct international efforts to support Africa's development.

An even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future

To advance development in both regions, China and Africa should increase political dialogue and policy communication on all levels to enhance mutual understanding and support on issues involving each other's core interests and major concerns. Such all-encompassing modes of communication would boost coordination on major international and regional issues.

We should align the Belt and Road construction with the implementation of the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, whilst balancing these broader visions with the individual development strategies of various African countries.

The two sides should make the enhancing of people's livelihoods the foundation of developing China-Africa relationship. China will do more to help Africa alleviate poverty, increase employment and income, and better the lives of its people.

China and Africa should enhance friendly exchanges, mutual learning and harmonious coexistence of Chinese and African civilizations. This communication would also involve expanding personnel exchanges on art, education and sports, think tanks and media, as well as women and youth.

China champions a new vision of security that is widely available, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable. We will firmly support African countries and the African Union as well as other regional organizations in Africa in solving African issues in the African way.

With regards to environmental issues of the day, China will strengthen exchange and cooperation with Africa on the particulars of climate change, clean energy, prevention and control of desertification and soil erosion, as well as the protection of wild animals and plants.

Eight major initiatives

China will implement eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years and beyond.

--Industrial promotion. A China-Africa economic and trade expo will be set up in China so that Chinese companies are incentivized to increase investment in Africa. China will carry out 50 agricultural assistance programs, provide emergency humanitarian food aid amounting to 1 billion yuan ($147 million) to African countries affected by natural disasters, and send 500 senior agricultural experts to Africa.

--Infrastructure connectivity. China will continue to work with the African Union to formulate a China-Africa infrastructure cooperation plan and give greater support to Chinese companies wishing to improve Africa's infrastructure development by way of investment-construction-operation or through other models.

--Trade facilitation. China will increase imports, especially non-resource products, from Africa and support African countries in participating in the China International Import Expo. The least developed African countries will be exempted from paying exhibition stand fees.

--Green development. China will undertake 50 aid projects on green development. Part of this development is to offer ecological and environmental protection, with a focus on climate change, ocean, desertification prevention and control, and wildlife protection.

--Capacity building. China will set up 10 Luban Workshops in Africa to offer vocational training for young Africans. China will also train 1,000 high-caliber Africans, provide Africa with 50,000 government scholarships, sponsor seminar and workshop opportunities for 50,000 Africans, and invite 2,000 African youths to visit China for exchanges.

--Health care. China will upgrade 50 medical and health aid programs for Africa to modernize the health sector, whilst pursuing flagship projects such as the headquarters of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as China-Africa Friendship Hospitals.

--People-to-people interactions. China will set up an institute of African studies and enhance exchanges with Africa on its civilization. China welcomes Africa's participation in the Silk Road International League of Theaters, the Silk Road International Museum Alliance and the Network of Silk Road Art Festivals.

--Peace and security. China will set up a China-Africa peace and security fund that will continue to provide free military aid to the African Union. A total of 50 security assistance programs will be carried out in the fields including UN peacekeeping missions, fighting piracy, and combating terrorism so that security can be improved and maintained in the area.

China will extend a total of $60 billion of financing to Africa, which will be provided in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by Chinese financial institutions and companies. China will also exempt certain African countries from outstanding debts incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due by the end of 2018. The exemption will be granted to Africa's least developed countries, the most heavily indebted countries, as well as landlocked and small island developing countries that have diplomatic relations with China.

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