|Chinese Ambassador H.E. Liu Hongyang’s Article “Building an Even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era” Published on Daily Times|
On 6 December 2021, an article titled “Building an Even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era” by H.E. Liu Hongyang, Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, was published on Daily Times, the leading newspaper in Malawi. Following is the full text of the article:
The Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was successfully held in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, on 29 and 30 November 2021. With the theme of “Deepen China-Africa Partnership and Promote Sustainable Development to Build a China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era”, the 55 FOCAC members discussed plans for China-Africa friendly cooperation and drew up a blueprint for common development.
The world is undergoing profound change of a scale unseen in a century, and the fates of China and Africa are interconnected. At present, the COVID-19 pandemic continues raging and spreading. The downside risks of the world economy are increasing. And the climate change poses a major challenge to the development of all countries. The convening of the Eighth FOCAC Ministerial Conference is just at the right time, which is in accordance with the development needs, and will enable China and Africa to enhance the cooperation to tackle challenges and problems. The Conference evaluated the implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 Beijing Summit, adopted four outcome documents, namely the Dakar Declaration, the Dakar Action Plan (2022-2024), the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035, and the Declaration on China-Africa Cooperation on Climate Change, and made plans for the development of China-Africa relations in the next three years and beyond. This will be of great importance in promoting post-pandemic economic recovery and development in Africa, China and the world at large.
As we stand at the historic point of building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, H.E. President Xi Jinping made four proposals at the opening ceremony of the Conference - fighting COVID-19 with solidarity, deepening practical cooperation, promoting green development, and upholding equity and justice, as well as nine programs that China will work closely with African countries to implement in the next three years, namely the medical and health program, the poverty reduction and agricultural development program, the trade promotion program, the investment promotion program, the digital innovation program, the green development program, the capacity building program, the cultural and people-to-people exchange program, and the peace and security program. These new proposals and measures are naturally connected with the ten major cooperation plans and the eight major initiatives adopted at the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit and the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit, and are highly in line with the Malawi Vision 2063, AU Agenda 2063 and UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have outlined a specific blueprint for China-Malawi and China-Africa development cooperation in the next three years.
China-Africa unity is rock-solid, and the two sides are important forces in safeguarding fairness and justice in the world. Over the past 65 years, China and Africa have forged an everlasting spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, which features sincere friendship and equality, win-win for mutual benefit and common development, fairness and justice, and progress with the times and openness and inclusiveness. This truly captures the relations of China and Africa working together in good and hard times over the past decades, and provides a source of strength for the continuous growth of China-Africa friendly relations. 50 years ago, with the support of many African countries, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 resorting the lawful seat of the PRC in the UN. From then on, when casting its vote in the United Nations, China always stands for developing countries. China and Africa believe in pursuing development paths fitting respective national conditions. The two sides are committed to safeguarding the interest of developing countries, and are against interference in internal affairs, racial discrimination, and unilateral sanctions. China is the largest developing country in the world, and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. At a time when protectionism and unilateral bullying are on the rise, China and Africa should work hand in hand, send a common message, and safeguard the common interest for the establishment of a new international political and economic order.
The tree of China-Africa cooperation has flourished – it is tall and strong, and is bringing benefits to the people. Different from the hollow promises of certain countries, China has been adhering to the principles of it’s Africa policy – sincerity, real results, amity and good faith when conducting practical cooperation with African countries. Since the inception of the FOCAC, Chinese enterprises have built over 10,000 kilometers of railways, nearly 100,000 kilometers of roads, nearly 1,000 bridges, nearly 100 ports, and over 80 large-scale power facilities in Africa. In addition, they have assisted Africa in building over 130 medical facilities, 45 gymnasiums and more than 170 schools, and training over 160,000 professionals in various fields. After the 2018 Beijing Summit, China and Africa have advanced the eight major initiatives and the implementation rate is over 90%. In the first ten months of this year, China-Africa trade topped 200 billion U.S. dollars. China will be Africa's largest trade partner for 13 years in a row. In September this year, H.E. President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative at the general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, stressing that all countries should conduct cooperation with African on the basis of respecting sovereignty of African countries and listening to Africa’s voices. Looking forward, China will further expand its trade and investment with Africa, share the experience in poverty alleviation, and do more for the well-being of African people.
China and Africa making joint efforts is the powerful weapon to combat COVID-19 pandemic. Facing the sudden onslaught of COVID-19, China and Africa rendered mutual support, fought should to shoulder, and withstood the severe test. Up to now, China has provided 120 batches of emergency medical supplies to 53 African countries and the African Union, reaching almost all areas across the continent. China actively honors its commitment to make vaccines a global public good, and takes the lead in providing vaccines to African countries. To date, China has provided nearly 200 million doses of vaccines to Africa. During this FOCAC Conference, H.E. President Xi Jinping announced that China will provide another one billion doses of vaccines to Africa. In addition, China will undertake 10 medical and health projects for African countries, and send 1,500 medical personnel and public health experts to Africa. We are convinced that with the joint efforts of China and Africa, the pandemic will be overcome, and the China-Africa community of health will be even stronger.
Malawi has always been an active participant and firm supporter of the FOCAC. Foreign Minister Hon. Eisenhower Mkaka and Finance Minister Hon. Felix Mlusu led a delegation to this FOCAC Conference, showing that Malawi attaches importance to and supports China-Malawi and China-Africa cooperation. China and Malawi have enjoyed mutually beneficially cooperation, and the results of our cooperation are blossoming everywhere. The Mzuzu CT room and five community technical colleges are about to be completed. The preparations for the upgrade of the M1 road in Lilongwe are in full swing. China will donate 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Malawi within this year to help fight the pandemic. China is not willing to be absent from Malawi’s development, and China is willing to align the FOCAC and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the Malawi Vision 2063, so as to better connect the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation with the Malawian dream, and further benefit the peoples of China and Malawi.