Beijing declaration, action plan adopted at FOCAC summit

World Today

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa right, and Senegalese President Macky Sall, left, attend the Beijing Summit Of The Forum On China-Africa Cooperation – Joint Press Conference at the Great Hall of the People Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Pool Photo via AP)

A declaration and an action plan were adopted Tuesday at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

CGTN’s Zou Yun reports on the two day China-Africa summit where President Xi Jinping unveiled eight major initiatives for the next three years as China aims to build a closer community wand shared future with Africa.

The “Beijing Declaration — Toward an Even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future” and the “FOCAC Beijing Action Plan (2019-2021)” were adopted at the two-phase round table meeting chaired respectively by Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the African co-chair of the forum.

 “Strong message that China and Africa will go hand in hand in years to come,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.

Xi made the remarks at a joint press conference with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Senegalese President Macky Sall at the end of the two-day summit. Senegal will succeed South Africa as the African co-chair of FOCAC.

Xi: China-Africa ties ‘at their best in history’

Leaders of FOCAC members attending the summit reviewed implementation of the outcomes of the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg summit and drew a blueprint for future China-Africa cooperation, said the Chinese president.

“We agreed that the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. Economic globalization is deepening in an increasingly multi-polar world. The future of the world’s people has never been so closely linked,” Xi stressed, adding that mankind faces lots of common challenges.

To confront the challenges together, China and Africa will join hands to build a China-Africa community with a shared future that features joint responsibility, win-win cooperation, happiness for all, common cultural prosperity, common security and harmonious coexistence, Xi said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, left, during the 2018 Beijing Summit Of The Forum On China-Africa Cooperation – Round Table Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (Lintao Zhang/Pool photo via AP)

“Together we will better uphold the common interests of China and Africa, boost the strength of developing countries, and make the world a more balanced and better place for everyone to live in,” he said, noting that this will set a good example for the building of the community with a shared future for mankind.

The leaders also agreed that “China-Africa relations are at their best in history,” he stressed.

China, Africa to synergize development strategies

China and Africa will strengthen the alignment of development strategies and polices, said Xi.

“We will synergize China’s Belt and Road Initiative with African Union’s Agenda 2063, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and national development strategies of African countries,” he elaborated.

The focus will be on the implementation of the eight major initiatives, namely industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health care, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security, Xi noted, adding that the initiatives will give a stronger impetus to China-Africa cooperation.

Xi: Africa’s voice needs to be heard

“We agreed that Africa is entitled to achieving development and invigoration. This requires both hard work of the African people and support from the international community,” Xi pointed out.

China-Africa cooperation is part of the international cooperation with Africa and follows the principle of mutual benefit, openness and inclusiveness, Xi stressed.

“We hope that Africa’s international cooperation partners could learn from each other, leverage their respective strength, build synergy, and jointly contribute to peace and development in Africa,” he said.

Xi went on to stress that while conducting cooperation with Africa, all parties of the international community should respect the sovereignty of African countries, listen to Africa’s voice, take Africa’s stance seriously, and deliver on the promises made to Africa.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the 2018 Beijing Summit Of The Forum On China-Africa Cooperation – Round Table Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. (Lintao Zhang/Pool photo via AP)

‘Action-oriented type of partnership’

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stressed that FOCAC is an action-oriented type of partnership between China and Africa during the press conference.

He noted China’s promised $60 billion’ funding support in 2015 has been delivered and allocated to projects.

Ramaphosa believed China and Africa partnership is one of the most meaningful partnerships in the world because it is based on win-win cooperation.

FOCAC is a platform to accelerate development in Africa and many achievements have been made over the past 18 years, he added.

Ramaphosa thanked Xi and the Chinese people for the warm welcome African leaders received in Beijing.

He said it’s heartening to witness the spirit of cooperation between China and Africa during deliberations.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during a joint press conference for the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum On China-Africa Cooperation at the Great Hall of the People on Tuesday Sept. 4, 2018, in Beijing, China. The two-day summit in Beijing bringing together the leaders of China and 53 African nations ended Tuesday, with a joint declaration. (Lintao Zhang/Pool via AP)

As the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative provides the African continent with great opportunities, Ramaphosa said African countries all collectively accept and praise the initiative, hailing it a best way to address Africa’s challenges.

Describing people as great assets, the South African president said China and African countries agreed to increase people-to-people exchanges, especially among women and young people.

He pointed out that China and African countries agreed to work more closely together and share technologies and achievements and listed a series projects including the China-Africa cooperation center for ocean science and blue economy, the China-Africa research center for the development of green agriculture, the China-Africa energy technological cooperation center and the China-Africa geo-science cooperation center.

Ramaphosa spoke highly of China’s openness, saying that China is Africa’s number one trading partner and the Chinese government agreed to increase Africa’s value-added exports to China.

He also said the summit reaffirmed that a stable, peaceful and rule-based global order is critical for China and Africa’s collective development and prosperity and reaffirmed the importance of multilateralism.

Sall: Africa adheres to one-China policy

Senegalese President Macky Sall said he is “happy” that his country has become the incoming African co-chair of FOCAC, while acknowledging the “outstanding work” of Ramaphosa over the years. 

Sall noted that mutual understanding and mutual benefits are principles shared by African countries and China, stressing that Africa as a whole will continue to firmly adhere to the one-China policy. 

He recalled Xi’s visit to Senegal in July last year, during which the two sides reassured their commitment in deepening the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. 

The Senegalese president then looked to the future. “Nothing will distract our relationship,” he said, hoping to see “greater prospects” in the upcoming years while having more engagements in the private sectors.

“We will push our relationship to a higher level,” Sall said.

According to Sall, the relationship between China and Africa has entered a “golden age.” The president also said he appreciates China’s $60 billion’ financial support, which will be provided in the form of government assistance, as well as investments and loans by financial institutions and companies. 

Story by Xinhua and CGTN.