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Xi calls for solid steps to implement FOCAC Summit outcomes
2016/07/29
 

President Xi Jinping on Friday sent a congratulatory letter to the Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

December's Johannesburg Summit marked the beginning of a new era of win-win cooperation and common development between China and Africa, and was a milestone in the history of China-Africa relations, Xi said in the letter.

Over the past six months, China and Africa have worked together to overcome the negative impact of the sluggish world economy, reached consensus on how to implement the outcomes of the summit and achieved tangible results, showing the dynamic development of China-Africa cooperation, Xi said.

The coordinators' meeting in Beijing is an important step by China and Africa to implement the consensus of Chinese and African leaders and the outcomes of the FOCAC Summit, Xi said.

The meeting demonstrates to the world, once again, that no matter how the international landscape may change, China and Africa are committed to pursuing unity and cooperation, and that China's support for African peace and development will never change, Xi said.

The current weak performance of the world economy brings opportunities and challenges for the economic development of China and Africa, Xi said, adding that China and Africa must "stand shoulder to shoulder and march forward hand in hand."

Citing a Chinese saying, "the unity of two brothers gives them the strength to cut through metal," Xi expressed his hope that at the meeting the two sides will exchange views, compare notes, build consensus and promote cooperation.

By pooling wisdom and strength and advancing their friendship and cooperation, China and Africa will make sure that the results of the summit will benefit their 2.4 billion people, Xi said.

Xi noted that China values relations with Africa and will continue to act on the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith. China will uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, take solid steps to implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Summit, and enrich and foster the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi made a keynote speech at Friday's opening ceremony of the meeting.

Stressing that both sides want the Johannesburg Summit's outcomes to be implemented as soon as possible, Yang said China was delighted to see that over 30 African countries have established internal coordination mechanisms and designated ministerial-level coordinators to implement the outcomes.

China and Africa signed a number of cooperation agreements Thursday.

"Combined with those signed since last December, there have been 243 agreements worth 50.725 billion U.S. dollars, including 46 billion dollars of Chinese direct investment in and commercial loans to Africa, accounting for 91 percent of the total value of the agreements," Yang added.

In his speech, Yang said China and Africa must strengthen security cooperation.

"China will help African countries and the African Union build capacity for peacekeeping, maintaining stability and countering terrorism, and support African countries in enhancing law-enforcement capacity from border control, army and police to customs and taxation," he said.

Yang also called for more cooperation in international affairs, including UN reform, climate change, food security, poverty reduction, development and other global issues.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a work report at the plenary session of the coordinators' meeting the same day.

Wang thanked all African countries for their open endorsement of China's position on the South China Sea issue, saying China "deeply appreciates such valuable political support."

Regarding the mutually beneficial cooperation, Wang said China is now deeply involved in Africa's industrialization and agricultural modernization with a focus on financing and investment cooperation.

The China-Africa Fund for Production Capacity Cooperation runs with an initial contribution of 10 billion dollars and the Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs has been bolstered with 5 billion dollars of additional funding, according to Wang.

"China also encourages provincial governments, including Guangdong and Jiangsu, to visit South Africa, Ethiopia and other key countries to explore investment opportunities for production capacity cooperation," said Wang.

Wang listed projects including the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway, Africa's first electrified railway and the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway as those are either operational soon or expected to be turned over next year.

In his report, Wang also highlighted people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Africa.

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