(Xinhua) -- President Xi Jinping on
Monday announced a raft of renewed measures to elevate
China-Africa cooperation as more than 50 African leaders
gathered in central Beijing for a major event.
so delighted to have all of you with us," Xi said as he opened
the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
(FOCAC), an occasion he described as the reunion of the
China-Africa big family.
Xi called for efforts to forge an even stronger China-Africa
comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership.
With the next three years in sight, he put forward eight
initiatives and backed it up with a pledge of financing
amounting to 60 billion U.S. dollars.
Among the measures are the import of more non-resource
products from Africa, increased corporate investment, more
direct flights, an environmental cooperation center, an African
studies institute, and security programs fighting pirates and
Calling Africa a "land of great promise" and a continent
"full of hope," Xi said no one can hold back the Chinese people
or the African people as they march toward rejuvenation.
The summit is the third of its kind since FOCAC was set up 18
Liu Guijin, a veteran diplomat who once served as the first
special representative of the Chinese government on African
affairs, said the initiatives were a follow-up to the 10
cooperation plans announced at the last summit in 2015.
"Our policies have been very consistent. We build on past
success and move ahead," Liu said.
On industrial promotion, Xi said a China-Africa economic and
trade expo will be held in China.
A number of economic and trade cooperation zones in Africa
will be built or upgraded.
"We encourage Chinese companies to make at least 10 billion
U.S. dollars of investment in Africa in the next three years,"
Zhu Gongshan, chairman of Chinese energy company GCL Group,
said he would like to scale up investment in Africa, especially
to tap into the huge market potential of solar-power generation.
His company had already set foot in Ethiopia and Djibouti.
"The outlook is good. We as business people have high hopes
and are more willing to invest," he said.
Observers said as a strength of Chinese support,
infrastructure development in Africa will continue to benefit
from concessional loans and credit lines.
Xi specifically pledged support for Chinese companies that
adopt an investment-construction-operation model in
He said China will work with Africa to undertake a number of
key connectivity projects.
That will increase landmark infrastructure rising up across
the continent over the past few years, such as the
Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya and the Maputo
Cross-sea Bridge in Mozambique.
On trade, Xi said China has decided to increase imports,
particularly non-resource products, from Africa, support the
African Continental Free Trade Area, and hold free trade talks
with interested countries and regions.
Xi’s initiatives also cover capacity building, health care,
people-to-people exchange, and peace and security.
Environmental protection also featured high on the agenda.
Xi said 50 aid projects will be undertaken on green
development and ecological and environmental protection in
Africa, with a focus on tackling climate change, marine
cooperation, desertification prevention and control, and
"The speech highlighted what we are all doing now," said Wang
Qingfeng, director of the Nairobi-based Sino-African Joint
Research Center with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Since 2013, the center has put forward more than 45 joint
research programs including biodiversity investigation,
pathogenic microorganism detection, geographic science, and
Kembabazi Barbara Gamukama, a Ugandan student in Beijing,
said she was motivated by Xi’s speech too.
"China will import more from Africa. That means Uganda can
export more coffee, and there are opportunities for Uganda’s
young people looking for jobs," she said.
Despite the geographical distance between them, China and
Africa enjoy a friendship that has stood the test of time.
Profound friendships were first forged among the founding
fathers of China and African countries in the middle of last
century. Signature aid projects like the Tanzania-Zambia Railway
in the 1970s brought the people closer.
Xi expounded at the summit that China 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 their internal affairs;
no imposition of China’s will on them; no attachment of
political strings to assistance; and no seeking of selfish
political gains in investment and financing cooperation.
"China follows the principle of giving more and taking less,
giving before taking and giving without asking for return," Xi
A sign of the China-Africa family getting closer can be seen
by the adding of new FOCAC members.
All 53 African countries with diplomatic ties with China are
Xi led a round of loud applause on Monday as he welcomed the
Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe, and Burkina Faso as the three new
"Africa has chosen China," Burkina Faso President Roch Marc
Christian Kabore told Xinhua before he flew to Beijing.
"It is our choice and we stick to that."
Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who serves as the rotating
chairperson of the African Union for 2018, said the summit comes
at the right time as globalization faces headwinds.
Talking to reporters before the summit, Kagame said there is
a "need for co-operation more than ever" as some countries make
clear their intentions to serve themselves first over other
Xi reiterated China’s stance to safeguard an open world
economy and the multilateral trade system, rejecting
protectionism and unilateralism.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said China’s
cooperation with Africa is fundamental for Africa’s success,
which underpins the success of the world in development and
China and Africa are home to roughly 2.6 billion people,
making up 35 percent of the world’s population.
Xi said China and Africa have long formed a community with a
shared future and will now turn it into a pacesetter for
building such a community for humanity.
"Our goal is to make the world a place of peace and stability
and life happier and more fulfilling for all," Xi said.
Observers and experts
speak highly of President
Xi’s speech at China-Africa summit in Beijing
BEIJING China (Xinhua) --
Political observers, policy researchers and experts on
international affairs spoke highly of President Xi Jinping’s
speech at a high-level meeting between Chinese and African
leaders on Monday.
They believe that the speech has pointed out the direction
for African countries’ participation in building the Belt and
Road jointly and joining hands with China to build a stronger
China-Africa community with a shared future.
In the keynote speech themed "walk together towards
prosperity," President Xi said that China stands ready to
strengthen comprehensive cooperation with African countries to
build a road of high-quality development that is suited to
national conditions, inclusive and beneficial to all.
Constantinos Berhe Tesfu, professor of public policy at the
Addis Ababa University, said Ethiopia is a beneficiary of
The building of industrial parks in Ethiopia and the
expansion work on the Bole International Airport in the capital
city all benefit from the China-proposed Belt and Road
Initiative, he said.
Gedion Jalata, CEO of the Center for Excellence International
Consult in Ethiopia, said the Belt and Road Initiative offered
African countries diversified choices on their paths of
development, provided more opportunities to relevant countries
in the aspects of capital and experience, and strengthened
linkage between Africa and China in the fields of trade and
Blandina Kilama, a senior researcher at the Policy Research
for Development in Tanzania, said more and more Chinese
entrepreneurs have come to invest in Tanzania in recent years,
which created many jobs for the locals.
Historical experience shows that it is in the interests of
Tanzania to consolidate cooperation with China, she said.
Tanzanian lawmaker Dalaly Kafumu said that the key to the
deepening of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation is that
China does not attach political strings to assistance to Africa.
He believes that the increasingly close trade between China
and Africa will inevitably bring more opportunities to African
The building of interconnectivity helps African countries to
alleviate poverty and move toward modernization, while it also
encourages Chinese companies to go abroad, said Denise Kodhe,
executive director of the Institute for Democracy and Leadership
in Africa, a Kenyan think tank.
China understands the fact that each country has its own
national conditions and adopts its own political system; and it
is even more aware that one can not impose its own political
system and development path upon others - something that Western
countries lack, said Pedzisai Ruhanya, director of Zimbabwe
The way China invests in and cooperates with Africa is
appreciated by African countries and is a better way to help
improve African countries’ economy and benefit the African
people, said Ruhanya.
Charles Onunaiju, director of the Center for China Studies in
Nigeria’s capital Abuja, said that Xi encourages two-way
investment between Chinese and African enterprises, which is
It is foreseeable that as more Chinese companies invest in
Africa and introduce technology and management experience to
local companies, the latter will achieve great benefits and
development, Onunaiju said, adding that it will also allow more
"made in Africa" products to enter the international market.
South African president
rejects claims of Chinese ‘colonialism’
BEIJING China (Xinhua) --
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on
Monday dismissed allegations of China practicing colonialism in
Africa, saying China instead has been a partner in boosting
social and economic development on the continent.
Ramaphosa made the remarks in a speech delivered at the
opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on
China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) at the Great Hall of the People
"Since its launch in the year 2000, FOCAC has grown both in
extent and scope," he said.
"It serves as an effective platform for South-South
co-operation focused on the tangible improvement of the quality
of lives of the people of Africa."
"In the values that it promotes, in the manner that it
operates, and the impact it has on African countries, FOCAC
refutes the view that a new colonialism is taking hold in
Africa, as our detractors would have us believe," said the South
African president, who is co-chairing the event with Chinese
President Xi Jinping.
Ramaphosa, who is on a state visit to China until Wednesday,
said FOCAC is concerned with a lot more than trade and
"We are working to build an Africa that is defined by good
governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the
rule of law," he said, calling China-Africa relations a "dynamic
force in the international arena."
He hailed China’s Belt and Road Initiative as complementing
the forum’s goals and Africa’s own development plans over the
next several decades, saying the grand global initiative will
boost trade in Africa.
Lauding China’s economic achievements, Ramaphosa said China
and Africa are working together to "advance growth and
development on the African continent."
"There are many valuable lessons that Africa can learn from
China’s impressive growth model and its approach to meeting the
needs of its people," he said.
He added that the forum "has become an essential platform to
contribute to Africa’s social and economic advancement" and
contributes to promoting multilateralism in an "increasingly
uncertain global environment."
Ramaphosa concluded his speech by saying that FOCAC’s mission
extends beyond China and Africa, because "together we are
working to build a community of a shared future for mankind."
China has been South Africa’s largest trading partner for the
past nine years, and South Africa is China’s largest trading
partner in Africa.
Bilateral trade amounted to 39 billion U.S. dollars last
This is Ramaphosa’s first visit to China as South African
president. He held talks with President Xi on Sunday.