South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 3, 2018. Ramaphosa co-chaired the event with Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
BEIJING, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) on Monday.
During his speech to Chinese and African leaders, Ramaphosa rejected claims of Chinese colonialism in Africa, applauded China's economic development, and spoke of the need to preserve multilateral global trade.
ON ACCUSATIONS OF COLONIALISM
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.
The relationship that we have forged through FOCAC is premised on the fundamental and inalienable right of the African people to determine their own future.
ON BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE
We are confident that this initiative, which effectively complements the work of FOCAC, will reduce the costs and increase the volume of trade between Africa and China. It will encourage the development of Africa's infrastructure, a critical requirement for meaningful regional and continental integration.
ON AFRICA'S DEVELOPMENT
Through FOCAC and other forums, China has worked to ensure that Africa's development is prominent on the international agenda. 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.
ON CHINA'S DEVELOPMENT
We have observed with interest and admiration China's remarkable economic ascendance, making it the second largest economy and the third largest foreign investor. We applaud its achievements in social development, lifting millions of its people out of poverty.
ON CHINA-AFRICA TRADE
It is through platforms like FOCAC that we should work to balance the structure of trade between Africa and China. We are particularly pleased that President Xi and the government of the People's Republic of China are open to this and in fact encourage that trade between Africa and China should be balanced, so that we have a win-win outcome that benefits both China and the countries of Africa.
ON INVESTMENT IN AFRICA
China has become a major investor in our continent. As we look to expand Chinese investment in Africa, we need to encourage more local partnerships between Chinese and African entrepreneurs. Through the transfer of knowledge and technology, such partnerships can contribute to the development and the sustainability of African businesses. They will be contributing to the expansion of Africa's productive capacity and the creation of new industries.
ON GLOBAL TRADE
There is a renewed threat to the rules-based multilateral trading system, which, although imperfect, does provide stability, predictability and a greater degree of fairness. We should be using platforms such as FOCAC to reaffirm our shared commitment to multilateralism, a fair and transparent system of international trade and a global economic architecture that promotes the interests of the developing world.