On the evening of August 24 local time, President Xi Jinping and South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa co-chaired the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue in Johannesburg.
President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech entitled “Joining Hands to Advance Modernization and Create a Great Future for China and Africa”. (Full text of the speech was released separately.)
President Xi Jinping pointed out that it was his 10th visit to the continent. In 2013, he was there in Africa for his first foreign visit after becoming Chinese President and announced the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith for China’s Africa policy. Over the past 10 years, China has stayed committed to this principle. Together with the African friends and drawing strength from the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, the two sides have pressed ahead on the path of solidarity and cooperation, stood for justice amid shifting global dynamics, and looked out for each other in face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two sides have taken China-Africa relations to new heights and entered the new stage of jointly building a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future.
President Xi Jinping pointed out that China is pursuing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Africa is making all-out efforts to build a new Africa that enjoys peace, unity, prosperity and strength. China and Africa must work together to create a sound environment for realizing their respective development visions; to promote a just and equitable international order, unequivocally oppose vestiges of colonialism and hegemonism in all forms, firmly support each other in defending core interests, and stand strong by the just calls of developing countries; to safeguard a peaceful and secure global environment, implement the new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, advocate the resolution of differences and disputes through dialogue and cooperation, facilitate the political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues, safeguard world peace and stability, and protect the security of the global eco-environment; to build an open and inclusive world economy and an open world economy where developing countries are better involved in the international division of labor and share the fruits of economic globalization, and to overcome estrangement between civilizations through exchanges and promote inclusiveness and mutual learning between civilizations.
President Xi Jinping emphasized that there are various paths leading to modernization. The African people have the most say on which path suits Africa best. Advancing modernization through integration is the independent choice made by African countries and people. On this path to modernization, China has all along been a firm supporter, and walking side by side with Africa. Looking ahead, China will work with Africa to enhance the synergy of their development strategies and continue to support Africa in speaking with one voice on international affairs and continuously elevating its international standing. China will work actively to support the AU’s full membership in the G20. China supports making special arrangements on the U.N. Security Council reform to meet Africa’s aspiration as a priority. China will call on multilateral financial institutions to enhance the say of African countries.
To chart the course for China-Africa practical cooperation in the next stage and assist in Africa’s integration and modernization, President Xi Jinping made the following three proposals:
First, China will launch the Initiative on Supporting Africa’s Industrialization. China will better harness its resources for cooperation with Africa and the initiative of businesses to support Africa in growing its manufacturing sector and realizing industrialization and economic diversification. In implementing the nine programs under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), China will channel more resources of assistance, investment and financing toward programs for industrialization.
Second, China will launch the Plan for China Supporting Africa’s Agricultural Modernization. China will help Africa expand grain plantation, encourage Chinese companies to increase agricultural investment in Africa, and enhance cooperation with Africa on seed and other areas of agro-technology, to support Africa in transforming and upgrading its agricultural sector. China will host the second Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Agriculture in Hainan this November and will provide additional emergency food assistance to some African countries in need.
Third, China will launch the Plan for China-Africa Cooperation on Talent Development. China plans to train 500 principals and high-caliber teachers of vocational colleges, and 10,000 technical personnel with both Chinese language and vocational skills for Africa every year. China will invite 20,000 government officials and technicians of African countries to participate in workshops and seminars. To support Africa in strengthening education and innovation, China will launch the China-Africa Universities 100 Cooperation Plan and 10 pilot exchange programs of China-Africa partner institutes.
President Xi Jinping noted that the world today is undergoing transformation and turmoil, and changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace. At this point of history, all countries face the tasks of how to address the deficit in development, overcome security challenges and increase mutual learning between civilizations. China and Africa, through their creative explorations for modernization, are giving answers to the questions of the times, and making joint efforts to advance the great endeavors of win-win cooperation, harmonious coexistence and shared prosperity of civilizations.
President Xi Jinping highlighted that next year, China will host the FOCAC meeting, where China and Africa may come together again and draw up new plans for development. He expressed confidence that China and Africa will carry forward the traditional friendship, strengthen solidarity and coordination, and bolster cooperation across the board. As China and Africa join hands to advance modernization, they will deliver a better future for the Chinese and African people, and set a fine example in the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
The African leaders spoke highly of the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue co-hosted by China and South Africa, and thanked China for supporting African integration and assisting African countries in times of need. Africa-China relations are based on solidarity, friendship and mutual respect. Chinese investment in and cooperation with African countries has played an important role in boosting Africa’s development, and China is Africa’s indispensable cooperation partner in its quest for modernization. The African side highly commended and welcomed the new initiatives put forth by President Xi Jinping, namely, the Initiative on Supporting Africa’s Industrialization, the Plan for China Supporting Africa’s Agricultural Modernization, and the Plan for China-Africa Cooperation on Talent Development. These three proposals once again show that China is a genuine friend and partner who always bears in mind Africa’s concerns and needs. The African side spoke highly of and expressed full support for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative put forth by President Xi Jinping, and expressed readiness to build a strong synergy between the AU’s Agenda 2063, the national development strategies of African countries and the BRI. The FOCAC is an efficient platform for South-South cooperation, and the African side is ready to work with China to continue advancing the forum’s institutional development. The African side is firmly committed to the one-China policy. Africa and China will firmly support each other in upholding their sovereignty, security and development interests, strengthen collaboration in international affairs and on multilateral occasions, raise the representation and voice of developing countries, and uphold the common interests of the developing world.
The meeting adopted and issued the Joint Statement of the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue. The Chinese side released the Initiative on Supporting Africa’s Industrialization, the Plan for China Supporting Africa’s Agricultural Modernization, and the Plan for China-Africa Cooperation on Talent Development.