President Hu Jintao’s Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Summit of the Forumon China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Nov.4, 2006
Your Excellency Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Distinguished colleagues and guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
Our meeting today will go down in history. We, leaders of China and African countries, in acommon pursuit of friendship, peace, cooperation and development, are gathering in Beijing today to renew friendship, discuss ways of growing China-Africa relations and promote unity and cooperation among developing countries. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people and in my own name, I wish to extend a very warm welcome and deep appreciation to you for attending the Summit. I also want to extend, through the African leaders present today, the cordial greetings and best wishes of the Chinese people to the brotherly African people. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was jointly set up by China and Africa in October 2000, a major initiative taken to promote traditional China-Africa friendship and cooperation. In the six years since then, two ministerial conferences have been held, first in Beijing and then in Addis Ababa. Today, the Forum serves as an important platform and effective mechanism for conducting collective dialog, exchanging experience in governance and enhancing mutual trust and cooperation in practical terms between China and African countries.
Dear colleagues and friends, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of diplomatic ties between People’s Republic of China and African countries. Though vast oceans keep China and Africa far apart, the friendship between our peoples has a long history and, having been tested by times, is strong and vigorous. In the long course of history, the Chinese and African peoples, with an unyielding and tenacious spirit, created splendid and distinctive ancient civilizations. In the modern era, our peoples launched unremitting and heroic struggle against subjugation, and have written a glorious chapter in the course of pursuing freedom and liberation, upholding human dignity, and striving for economic development and national rejuvenation. The progress and development of China and Africa are a major contribution to the advancement of human civilization.
During the past five decades, the Chinese and African peoples have forged close unity, and our friendship has flourished. China-Africa exchanges and cooperation have grown in all fields and yielded fruitful results. In international affairs, China and Africa enjoy trust and cooperate closely to uphold the legitimate rights and interests of the developing world.
In all these years, China has firmly supported Africa in winning liberation and pursuing development. China has trained technical personnel and other professionals in various fields for Africa. It has built the Tanzara Railway and other infrastructural projects and sent medical teams and peacekeepers to Africa. All this testifies to the friendship cherished by the Chinese people towards the African people. We in China will not forget Africa’s full support for restoring the lawful rights of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations. Nor will we forget the sincere and ardent wish of African countries and people for China to realize complete and peaceful reunification and achieve the goal of building a modern nation.
Today, China-Africa friendship is deeply rooted in the hearts of our two peoples, and our friendship has endured the test of time and changes in the world. This is because we have never strayed from the principles of enhancing friendship, treating each other as equals, extending mutual support and promoting common development in building our ties.
—Friendship provides a solid foundation for reinforcing China-Africa friendly ties. We both value our traditional friendship and are committed to enhancing it.
—Treating each other as equals is crucial for ensuring mutual trust. We both respect the development path independently embarked upon by the other side. We both are serious in addressing each other’s concerns and are eager to benefit from each other’s practice in development.
—Mutual support is the driving force behind the ever growing China-Africa cooperation. We both wish to see progress in the development endeavor of the other side and sincerely support such endeavor. And we are engaged in comprehensive cooperation.
—Common development is the shared aspiration of the Chinese and African peoples. We are committed to pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation to bring the benefits of development to our peoples.
Dear colleagues and friends, the world today is undergoing profound and complex changes. But peace, development and cooperation remain the calling of the times. There is a growing trend towards multipolarity and economic globalization. Science and technology are making daily advance, regional cooperation is deepening and there is increasing interdependence among nations. All these have created rare development opportunities for the international community. On the other hand, imbalance in global development, widening gap between North and South, the combination of traditional and non-traditional security threats as well as increasing factors of instability and uncertainty standing in the way of peace and development all pose a daunting challenge to developing countries in their pursuit of sustainable development.
China is the largest developing country, and Africa is home to the largest number of developing countries. Our combined population accounts for over a third of the world total. Without peace and development in China and Africa, there will be no global peace and development.
In this new era, China and Africa share increasing common interests and have a growing mutual need. The forging of a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership is determined by the dynamics of China-Africa cooperation, and it represents our wish to promote global peace and development.
Building strong ties between China and Africa will not only promote development of each side, but also help cement unity and cooperation among developing countries and contribute to establishing a just and equitable new international political and economic order. To enhance this new type of strategic partnership, China will strengthen cooperation with Africa in the following fields:
First, deepen political relation of equality and mutual trust. We will maintain high-level contacts and mutual visits, establish a regular high-level political dialog mechanism and conduct strategic dialog to enhance mutual political trust and traditional friendship and achieve common progress through unity.
Second, broaden win-win economic cooperation. We will give full play to our respective strength, enhance economic and trade ties, broaden areas of cooperation, support cooperation between our business communities, upgrade cooperation in human resources development and explore new ways of cooperation so that both sides will share the benefits of development.
Third, expand exchange for cultural enrichment. We will strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges to increase mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples and particularly between our younger generations. We will enhance exchanges and cooperation in education, science and technology, culture, public health, sports and tourism to provide intellectual motivation and cultural support for China-Africa cooperation.
Fourth, promote balanced and harmonious global development. We will enhance South-South cooperation and promote North-South dialog. We urge developed countries to honor their promises on market access, aid and debt relief. We should strive to meet the Millennium Development Goals and steer economic globalization in the direction of creating prosperity for all.
Fifth, strengthen cooperation and mutual support in international affairs. We are committed to upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respecting diversity of the world and promoting democracy in international relations. We call for enhancing international security cooperation based on mutual trust and benefit and addressing each other’s concerns through consultation and coordination so that we can jointly respond to threats and challenges to global security.
Dear colleagues and friends, China values its friendship with Africa. To strengthen unity and cooperation with Africa is a key principle guiding China’s foreign policy. China will continue to support Africa in implementing the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and in its effort to
strengthen itself through unity, achieve peace and stability and economic revitalization in the region and raise its international standing.
Both China and Africa are cradles of human civilization and lands of great promise. Common destiny and common goals have brought us together. China will remain a close friend, reliable partner and good brother of Africa.
Let’s join hands and endeavor to promote development in both China and Africa, improve the well-being of our peoples and build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity!