By Li Feng, People’s Daily
China’s State Council Information Office (SCIO) released a white paper titled “China and Africa in the New Era: A Partnership of Equals” on Nov. 26, several days ahead of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which is scheduled for Nov. 29 to 30 in Dakar, capital of Senegal.
The white paper consists of about 21,000 Chinese characters and three parts, namely foreword, main body, and conclusion. The main body of the document was divided into four sections: Building an Even Stronger China-Africa Community of Shared Future, All-Round China-Africa Cooperation in the New Era, Strengthening Mutual Support, and Breaking New Ground in China-Africa Relations.
Thoroughly implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Xi Jinping Thought on Foreign Affairs, the white paper gives a full account of the positive results of China-Africa cooperation since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), expounds on China’s Africa policy and position on China-Africa relations, and lays out a beautiful vision of realizing new progress in China-Africa relations and building an even stronger China-Africa community of shared future, said Shou Xiaoli, deputy head of the Press Bureau of the SCIO and SCIO spokesperson.
“China is the largest developing country in the world, and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. Shared past experiences, similar courses of struggles and development tasks have brought China and Africa close together,” said Wu Jianghao, China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs, at the press conference on the white paper held by the SCIO on Nov. 26.
“The traditional friendship between China and Africa enjoys popular support and special historical position in the landscape of China’s diplomacy,” Wu noted.
The white paper titled “China and Africa in the New Era: A Partnership of Equals” is the first white paper released by the Chinese government to comprehensively introduce the cooperation between China and Africa and also the first white paper on the fruits of the cooperation between China and a region in the world since the 18th CPC National Congress, according to Wu.
The white paper is aimed at providing a comprehensive introduction to the principles of China’s Africa policy as well as the practice and rich fruits of China-Africa cooperation in the new era, welcoming the successful convocation of the FOCAC ministerial conference in Dakar, enhancing the international community’s understanding of China-Africa cooperation, and contributing China’s experience and wisdom to international cooperation with Africa and even global development and cooperation, Wu pointed out.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Chinese President Xi Jinping has paid high attention to the development of China-Africa relations and has personally drawn blueprint for China-Africa cooperation, Wu said.
At the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit and the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit, Xi and African leaders unanimously decided to elevate the China-Africa relations to a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership and reached a strategic agreement to build a China-Africa community of shared future characterized by joint responsibility, win-win cooperation, happiness for all, cultural prosperity, common security, and harmony between humanity and nature, Wu recalled.
These important decisions ushered in a new era of China-Africa relations, brought cooperation between the two sides to an unprecedented high level, and set an example for advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind in the new era, Wu noted.
According to Wu, pragmatic cooperation between China and Africa has enjoyed rapid development since the beginning of the 21st century, especially after the founding of the FOCAC in 2000.
China has built more than 80 large-scale power facilities for African countries, funded over 130 medical facilities, 45 sports venues and over 170 schools in Africa, trained more than 160,000 personnel for various fields in Africa, and built a series of flagship projects on the continent, including the African Union (AU) Conference Center, he disclosed.
Besides, Chinese enterprises have utilized various funds to help African countries build and upgrade more than 10,000 km of railways, nearly 100,000 km of highways, nearly 1,000 bridges and 100 ports, Wu said.
They have also helped African countries build a communications backbone network of 150,000 km and a network service covering nearly 700 million user terminals, he added.
China and Africa have also continuously expanded their cooperation in emerging fields, such as digital economy, aviation and aerospace, clean energy, and new infrastructure, said Wu.
China-Africa cooperation has yielded fruits across the African continent, he said, adding that the bilateral cooperation has improved the conditions for economic and social development in Africa, brought tangible benefits to both Chinese people and African people, and created favorable conditions for international cooperation with Africa.
Currently, both China and Africa have entered a new development stage, Wu Peng, director-general of the Department of African Affairs of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at the press conference on the white paper.
China is promoting the building of a new development paradigm featuring dual circulation, in which domestic and overseas markets reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay, Wu Peng said, noting that the endeavor will generate more opportunities for Africa’s development.
Africa is making efforts to expedite economic integration, providing broader room for growth in China-Africa cooperation, Wu Peng pointed out.
While focusing on boosting high-quality cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the two sides will further align BRI cooperation with the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields, and strive for high-standard, sustainable and people-centered China-Africa cooperation under the BRI, according to Wu Peng.