(Xinhua) -- Leaders of China and Africa have gathered
here once again to explore new opportunities for mutually
beneficial cooperation and reinvigorate plans to build an even
brighter future together.
Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined
a blueprint on Monday at the opening ceremony of the 2018
Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC),
marking a new starting point for friendly engagement between the
largest developing country and the promising continent.
African leaders said they will align
their countries’ development strategies with the China-proposed
Belt and Road Initiative in order to boost development synergy,
promote win-win cooperation and build a closer partnership with
China on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
FOCAC has provided a platform to boost
the Africa-China partnership in the past 18 years, which will
lead to closer ties and more achievements, African leaders said
at the High-Level Dialogue Between Chinese and African Leaders
and Business Representatives, held on the sidelines of the
The Beijing summit “reflects the
unique as well as the strategic nature of our partnership,”
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who co-chairs the
two-day summit with Xi, said at the dialogue, which is also the
Sixth Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs.
The Africa-China partnership
“facilitates the realization of Africa’s developmental
aspirations reflected in Agenda 2063 through pragmatic
collaboration in the quest for win-win cooperation,” he added.
“I am convinced that the FOCAC has
taken the comprehensive strategic partnership journey further
and to higher levels,” Ramaphosa said.
Speaking on behalf of leaders of North
African countries, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz
said “China and Africa enjoy sound cooperation in trade.”
He noted that China has put forward
the important Belt and Road Initiative, while the African
Continental Free Trade Area is gradually taking shape and
African countries are making progress in seeking development
paths that suit their national conditions.
Such moves will help upgrade China’s
trade and investment cooperation with North African as well as
other African countries, he added.
China supports African countries in
jointly building the Belt and Road to share the win-win
outcomes, Xi said at the dialogue.
He said in his keynote speech that
China stands ready to strengthen comprehensive cooperation with
African countries to build a road of high-quality development
that is suited to individual national conditions, inclusive and
beneficial to all.
Since FOCAC was established in 2000,
China together with various African countries have been
developing their relations on the basis of equality and mutual
respect. This year’s summit is the third of its kind in FOCAC
history, with the previous two meetings being held in Beijing in
2006 and Johannesburg in 2015.
At the opening ceremony of this year’s
summit, Xi pointed out that China follows a “five-no’s” approach
in its relations with the countries of Africa: no interference
in the development paths of individual countries; no
interference in their internal affairs; no imposition of China’s
will; no attachment of political strings regarding assistance;
and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and
“China follows the principle of giving
more and taking less, giving before taking and giving without
asking for return,” Xi said.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who is
also rotating chair of the African Union, said China’s
engagement in Africa has been “deeply transformational both
internally and with respect to Africa’s global position.”
In his speech at the opening ceremony
of the summit, he noted that Xi has paid four visits to Africa
as president, reaching every major region of the continent as
well as countries of different sizes and economic profiles.
“This commitment speaks to the vigor
and reliability of our relationship,” Kagame said. “China has
proven to be a win-win partner and sincere friend.”
Speaking on behalf of East Africa,
Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh said at the business
dialogue that the Africa-China partnership, in contrast to some
allegations, is based on win-win cooperation and mutual benefit.
Africa has found in China a partner
who believes in the continent’s ability to lift its people out
of poverty and achieve economic independence and
self-sufficiency, Guelleh said.
“China’s investment and involvement in
East Africa date back to more than 40 years ago,” he added,
“which demonstrates not only the depth of our friendship, but
more importantly, how China, even when it was trying to develop
itself and lift its people out of poverty, always extended the
hand of friendship to Africa and believed in our success.”
China-Africa cooperation has yielded
fruitful results in the past years. Leaders of the two sides
said Monday that they expect more achievements through win-win
cooperation in the future.
Bilateral trade is registering fast
growth. China has been Africa’s largest trading partner for nine
consecutive years. Trade between China and Africa increased
seventeen-fold in value from 2000 to 2017. In 2017, trade volume
surged 14 percent year on year to 170 billion U.S. dollars. In
the first half of 2018, the figure jumped 16 percent to nearly
100 billion dollars.
Meanwhile, China’s investment in
Africa surged by more than 100 times in value from 2000 to 2017.
By the end of 2017, Chinese investment of all kinds in Africa
totaled 100 billion dollars, covering almost every country on
Xi announced on Monday eight
initiatives to bolster bilateral cooperation in the next three
years, including promoting industrial cooperation, developing
infrastructure connectivity, facilitating trade, protecting the
environment, and upgrading health aid programs.
Meanwhile, China backed the
initiatives up with a financing package of 60 billion dollars,
which came on top of the 60-billion dollars in funding support
China pledged to provide Africa at the 2015 Johannesburg summit.
China has honored its 2015 promise,
with the funding having been either delivered or arranged, Xi
Through FOCAC and other forums, China
has worked to ensure that Africa’s development is prominent on
the international agenda, said Ramaphosa, South Africa’s
“Building on these remarkable
achievements, we welcome the announcement ... by President Xi of
new FOCAC initiatives that will have a significant and lasting
impact on peace, stability and sustainable development on the
African continent,” Ramaphosa said.
China and Africa have long formed a
community with a shared future. Together, their relations will
become a model for building such a community for all of
humanity, Xi said.