Full text of Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at opening ceremony of 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit (2)

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-03 23:48:21|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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Dear Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit, China has fully implemented the ten cooperation plans adopted at the Summit. A large number of railway, highway, airport, port and other infrastructure projects as well as a number of economic and trade cooperation zones have been built or are under construction. Our cooperation on peace and security, science, education, culture, health, poverty reduction, and people-to-people interactions has deepened. The US$60 billion financing pledged by China has been either delivered or arranged. These ten cooperation plans have brought huge benefits to the African and Chinese peoples. They have fully demonstrated the creativity, rallying power and efficiency of China-Africa cooperation, and lifted China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to new heights.

To build an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, China will, on the basis of the ten cooperation plans already adopted, launch eight major initiatives in close collaboration with African countries in the next three years and beyond.

First, China will launch an industrial promotion initiative. We have decided to open a China-Africa economic and trade expo in China; we encourage Chinese companies to increase investment in Africa, and will build and upgrade a number of economic and trade cooperation zones in Africa. We will support Africa in achieving general food security by 2030, work with Africa to formulate and implement a program of action to promote China-Africa cooperation on agricultural modernization. We will implement 50 agricultural assistance programs, provide RMB 1 billion of emergency humanitarian food assistance to African countries affected by natural disasters, send 500 senior agriculture experts to Africa, and train young researchers in agri-science and entrepreneurs in agri-business. We will support Chinese companies in Africa to forge alliance of corporate social responsibilities. We will continue to strengthen cooperation with African countries in local currency settlement and make good use of the China-Africa Development Fund, the China-Africa Fund for Industrial Cooperation and the Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs.

Second, China will launch an infrastructure connectivity initiative. We have decided to jointly formulate a China-Africa infrastructure cooperation plan with the African Union. We will support Chinese companies in participating in Africa's infrastructure development by way of investment-construction-operation or through other models, with focus on enhancing cooperation on energy, transport, information, telecommunications and cross-border water resources. We will work with Africa to undertake a number of key connectivity projects. We will support Africa in developing the Single African Air Transport Market and open more direct flights between China and Africa. We will facilitate bond issuance by African countries and their financial institutions in China. On the basis of following multilateral rules and procedures, we will support African countries in making better use of financing resources of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank, and the Silk Road Fund.

Third, China will launch a trade facilitation initiative. We have decided to increase imports, particularly non-resource products, from Africa. We support African countries in participating in the China International Import Expo. The least developed African countries participating in it will be exempted from paying exhibition stand fees. We will continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on market regulation and between customs authorities, and implement 50 trade facilitation programs for Africa. We will hold, on a regular basis, marketing activities for Chinese and African brand products. We support the building of the African Continental Free Trade Area and will continue to hold free trade negotiations with interested African countries and regions. And we will set up relevant mechanisms to promote e-commerce cooperation with Africa.

Fourth, we will launch a green development initiative. We have decided to undertake 50 projects for green development and ecological and environmental protection in Africa to expand exchanges and cooperation with Africa on climate change, ocean, desertification prevention and control, and wildlife protection. A China-Africa environmental cooperation center will be set up, and more policy dialogue and joint research on environmental issues will be conducted. The China-Africa Green Envoys Program will be implemented to strengthen Africa's human capacity for environmental management, pollution prevention and control, and green development. A China-Africa bamboo center will be established to help Africa make bamboo and rattan products. China will also work with Africa to raise public awareness of environmental protection.

Fifth, we will launch a capacity building initiative. China will share more of its development practices with Africa and support cooperation with Africa on economic and social development planning. Ten Luban Workshops will be set up in Africa to provide vocational training for young Africans. China will support opening of a China-Africa innovation cooperation center to promote youth innovation and entrepreneurship. A tailor-made program will be carried out to train 1,000 high-caliber Africans. China will provide Africa with 50,000 government scholarships and 50,000 training opportunities for seminars and workshops, and will invite 2,000 young Africans to visit China for exchanges.

Sixth, we will launch a health care initiative. China has decided to upgrade 50 medical and health aid programs for Africa, particularly flagship projects such as the headquarters of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention and China-Africa Friendship Hospitals. Exchange and information cooperation will be carried out on public health. Cooperation programs will be launched on the prevention and control of emerging and re-emerging communicable diseases, schistosomiasis, HIV/AIDS and malaria. China will train more medical specialists for Africa and continue to send medical teams that better meet Africa's needs. More mobile medical services will be provided to patients for the treatment of cataract, heart disease and dental defects. And targeted health care services will be provided to women and children of vulnerable groups in Africa.

Seventh, we will launch a people-to-people exchange initiative. China decided to establish an institute of African studies to enhance exchanges with Africa on civilization. The China-Africa Joint Research and Exchange Plan will be upgraded. Fifty joint cultural, sports and tourism events will be organized. 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. A China-Africa media cooperation network will be established. More African culture centers will be opened in China and more Chinese culture centers in Africa. Qualified African educational institutes are welcome to host Confucius Institutes. More African countries are welcome to become destinations for Chinese tour groups.

Eighth, we will launch a peace and security initiative. China decided to set up a China-Africa peace and security fund to boost our cooperation on peace, security, peacekeeping, and law and order. China will continue to provide military aid to the AU, and will support countries in the Sahel region and those bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Guinea in upholding security and combating terrorism in their regions. A China-Africa peace and security forum will be established as a platform for conducting more exchanges in this area. Fifty security assistance programs will be launched to advance China-Africa cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, and in areas of law and order, UN peacekeeping missions, fighting piracy and combating terrorism.

To make sure that these eight initiatives are implemented on the ground, China will extend US$60 billion of financing to Africa in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies. This will include US$15 billion of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, US$20 billion of credit lines, the setting up of a US$10 billion special fund for development financing and a US$5 billion special fund for financing imports from Africa. We encourage Chinese companies to make at least US$10 billion of investment in Africa in the next three years. In addition, for those of Africa's least developed countries, heavily indebted and poor countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries that have diplomatic relations with China, the debt they have incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due to mature by the end of 2018 will be exempted.

Dear Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The future of China-Africa relations lies in our young people. Many of the measures in the eight initiatives I just outlined are designed to help young people in Africa. These measures will provide young Africans with more training and job opportunities and open up more space for their development. Last October, I wrote back to the exchange students of the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development. Most of them were from Africa. I encouraged them to make the best of what they have learned, aim high, and keep working hard to promote China-Africa cooperation and South-South cooperation. I believe they have new roles to play and new accomplishments to make in this regard.

"The red rising sun will light up the road ahead." I am confident that the baton of China-Africa friendship will be passed from one generation to the next and that China and Africa, working together, will build an even more vibrant community with a shared future. The day will surely come when the Chinese nation realizes its dream of national renewal and Africa realizes its dream of unity and invigoration!

Thank you.