Highlights from Xi’s speech at FOCAC Beijing summit

2018 Beijing Summit

President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing on Monday.

Here are the highlights:

China, Africa embark on path of win-win cooperation

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

Africa’s development has great potential and the continent is full of hope. The China-Africa friendship and cooperation have broad vistas, and China and Africa can forge an even stronger comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, Xi said.

China values sincerity, friendship and equality in pursuing cooperation. Over 1.3 billion Chinese people have partnered with the over 1.2 billion African people in pursuing a shared future, he said.

The country follows a “five-no” approach in its relations with Africa: no interference in African countries’ pursuit 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 attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Africa, Xi said. “No one can undermine the great unity between the Chinese and African people.”

China pursues common interests and puts friendship first in cooperation. China believes the sure way to boost China-Africa cooperation is for both sides to leverage their respective strengths and for China to complement Africa’s development through its own growth, and for both sides to pursue win-win cooperation and common development, Xi said. “No one can hold back the Chinese or African people as we march toward rejuvenation.”

China takes a people-oriented approach in pursuing practical cooperation with efficiency. With top priority given to the interests of the Chinese and African peoples, China advances its cooperation with Africa to improve the wellbeing of Chinese and African peoples and deliver more benefits to them. “We will fully honor the promises we have made to our African brothers,” Xi said. “No one could, out of imagination or assumption, 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, Xi said. “No one can stand in the way or obstruct international efforts to support Africa’s development.”

Xi announces $60 billion of financing to Africa

China will extend a total of $60 billion of financing to Africa, Xi said.

The financing will be provided in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies, Xi said.

The financing includes $15 billion of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, $20 billion of credit lines, the setting up of a $10-billion special fund for development financing and a $5-billion special fund for financing imports from Africa. Chinese companies are also encouraged to make at least $10 billion of investment in Africa in the next three years.

China has honored its 2015 promise to provide Africa with funding support totaling $60 billion, Xi said, adding that the financing has been either delivered or arranged.

China decided to provide the funding support at the FOCAC Johannesburg summit to ensure the successful implementation of ten China-Africa cooperation plans adopted at the summit.

Since the Johannesburg summit, China has fully implemented the ten cooperation plans, with a large number of railway, highway, airport, port and other infrastructure projects as well as a number of economic and trade cooperation zones built or under construction, Xi said.

China-Africa cooperation on peace and security, science, education, culture, health, poverty reduction, people’s welfare, and people-to-people exchanges has deepened, Xi said.

The ten cooperation plans have brought huge benefits to the people of Africa and China. They have fully demonstrated the creativity, rallying power and efficiency of China and Africa, and lifted China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to new heights, Xi said.

China to implement eight major initiatives with African countries

Xi said China will implement eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years and beyond, covering fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, and green development.

On industrial promotion, Xi said a China-Africa economic and trade expo will be set up in China and Chinese companies are encouraged 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.

On infrastructure connectivity, Xi said China will work with the African Union to formulate a China-Africa infrastructure cooperation plan and support Chinese companies in taking part in Africa’s infrastructure development by way of investment-construction-operation or through other models.

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

On green development, Xi said China will undertake 50 aid projects on green development, and ecological and environmental protection, with a focus on climate change, ocean, desertification prevention and control, and wildlife protection.

On capacity building, Xi said 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.

On healthcare, Xi said China will upgrade 50 medical and health aid programs for Africa, with a focus on flagship projects such as the headquarters of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention and China-Africa Friendship Hospitals.

On people-to-people exchanges, Xi said China will set up an institute of African studies and enhance exchanges with Africa on 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.

On peace and security, Xi said China will set up a China-Africa peace and security fund and continue providing 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.

Building stronger China-Africa community with a shared future

Xi called for the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future that assumes joint responsibility, pursues win-win cooperation, delivers happiness for all, enjoys cultural prosperity, ensures common security, and promotes harmony between man and nature.

Building a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future will set a model for the building of a community with a shared future for humanity, he said.

China and Africa should increase political dialogue and policy communication at various levels, enhance mutual understanding and support on issues involving each other’s core interests and major concerns, and boost coordination on major international and regional issues, said Xi.

Xi called for the alignment of the Belt and Road construction with the implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the development strategies of various African countries.

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

Xi called on the two sides to enhance exchanges, mutual learning and harmonious co-existence of Chinese and African civilizations, and expand personnel exchanges on culture and art, education and sports, think tanks and media, as well as women and youth.

China champions a new vision of security featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and 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, said Xi.

Xi said China will strengthen exchange and cooperation with Africa on climate change, clean energy, prevention and control of desertification and soil erosion, as well as the protection of wild animals and plants.

China opposes protectionism, unilateralism

Xi said China will resolutely safeguard an open world economy and the multilateral trade system, while rejecting protectionism and unilateralism.

Facing uncertainty and unpredictability in global growth, China will remain committed to opening-up and grow an open economy for win-win cooperation, Xi said.

“Any one who isolates himself on an island has no future,” said Xi.

Xi reaffirms China’s commitments to peace, development

Xi reiterated the country’s commitments to peace and development, which are “the call of the times.”

“China takes as its mission making new and even greater contribution to mankind,” Xi said.

He added China is ready to work with international partners in building the Belt and Road.

China will also get actively involved in global governance and stay committed to the vision of consultation, cooperation and benefit for all in global governance, Xi said.

Moreover, China will remain committed to opening-up, according to Xi.

“We firmly believe that peace and development are the theme and the call of the times,” Xi said, urging the international community to respond to that call with solidarity, wisdom, courage and a sense of mission.

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