|Address by State Councilor Dai Bingguo at the Reception Hosted by the African Diplomatic Corps in China to Mark Africa Day|
(25 May 2010)
H.E. Ambassador Charles Enoch Namondwe of the Republic of Malawi, the Rotating Presidency of the African Union,
H.E. Ambassador Mirghani Mohamed Salih, Acting Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in China,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is the third time for me to attend the reception hosted by the African Diplomatic Corps in China to mark Africa Day. It feels warm to be again among friends from Africa, new and old, and celebrate Africa Day of this year. First of all, I would like to express, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, warmest festive greetings to African diplomatic envoys in China, and through you, to the friendly African countries and people!
Africa Day is the symbol of African unity and cooperation. It carries the aspiration of African countries and people to seek strength through unity and achieve peace and development. Forty seven years ago, the establishment of the Organization of African Unity set the stage for regional integration. Today, led by the African Union, Africa is rising up to global challenges as a collective force and marching towards vigorous development. We are pleased that in recent years, the security situation in Africa is steadily improving and Africa continues to enhance its ability to independently resolve regional hotspot issues. The African economy, by gradually overcoming the impact of the international financial crisis, has restored growth. Regional and sub-regional cooperation is deepening, with African countries speaking with one voice on major global issues and increasingly active in international affairs. To quote Chairman Jean Ping of the AU Commission, the year of 2010 is both the “Year of Peace and Security” and “Year of Economic Recovery in Africa”. With the 2010 FIFA World Cup coming soon in South Africa, this is also the African “Year of Sports”. We hope and we are confident that Africa will make new and greater achievements in the noble cause of peace and development! We sincerely wish the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa a complete success!
The Shanghai World Expo was officially opened more than twenty days ago. This is another major international event which China hosts after the Beijing Olympic Games and the first World Expo ever held in a developing country. African friends, like others, are taking an active part in this grand celebration to present the best of their continent to the world. Fifty African countries, the African Union, COMESA and other regional organizations of Africa participated in the Shanghai Expo. Heads of States of six African countries attended the opening ceremony. Africa’s participation contributes to the splendor and diversity of the Shanghai World Expo. I visited some pavilions and I was deeply impressed by the Africa Joint Pavilion. Like myself, many lingering visitors, including those coming from across China, were deeply attracted by the wonderful displays that opened a window to the time-honored history and splendid culture of the African continent and presented the various aspects of Africa’s achievement along the path to development and its pursuit of a better future. We are convinced that with the support of the large number of developing countries, including African countries, the Shanghai World Expo will surely be a successful, splendid, and unforgettable event.
China-Africa traditional friendship, having gone through over half a century of vicissitudes, is getting more mature and stable. China-Africa practical cooperation, transcending differences in culture and social system, is becoming more comprehensive and efficient. Despite changes within our countries and in the international situation, the core spirit of China-Africa friendship, which is “enhancing friendship, treating each other as equals, extending mutual support and promoting common development”, remains unchanged. Amid continued complex and profound transformation in the international system, China and Africa have since last year further enhanced political consultation and dialogue, strengthened mutual support and cooperation on tackling the financial crisis, climate change and other major global issues, and increased political mutual trust. And our cooperation on economy, trade, cultural and people-to-people exchanges and social development has also moved ahead steadily. A pattern of mutual benefit and win-win progress has been consolidated, benefiting the people of both sides and promoting common development. We sincerely thank African countries for their continued and staunch support to China over the years on major issues concerning China’s core interests, including Tibet and Xinjiang related issues. In particular, we want to thank African leaders and the Chairman of the AU Commission for expressing sincere condolences on the devastating earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai Province, and thank African diplomatic envoys and friends in China for their precious donations.
In November last year, the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was successfully held in Egypt. On the basis of full implementation of the eight measures proposed at the Beijing Summit, the Chinese government announced eight new measures to push forward its cooperation with Africa in an all-round way. These measures are sensitive to the need of Africa, more extensive and more people-oriented. They will constitute a vigorous support to African countries in better responding to global issues and challenges and achieving sustainable development. To promote implementation of the follow-up actions of the Fourth Ministerial Conference, CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin visited three African countries and the Foreign Minister and the Minister of Commerce of China visited Africa in succession in a matter of months since the beginning of this year. They had in-depth exchanges of views with their African counterparts and reached extensive consensus on the implementation. In the future, we will continue to work closely with African countries, advance the implementation of the outcomes of the Ministerial Conference, particularly the eight new measures, and bring more benefits to our people.
This year marks the beginning of the second decade of the new century and the time for the world economy to emerge from crisis and achieve recovery. It is therefore a year full of hope and dynamism as well as risks and difficulties. The trend towards a multi-polar world and economic globalization continues, and adjustments and changes of the international economic and financial system are unfolding. Under the new circumstances, China and Africa face unprecedented opportunities and challenges. The strategic importance and urgency to strengthen cooperation and uphold and promote their common interests has been greater than anytime in history. China is ready to work with African countries, share opportunities and meet challenges together, consolidate and deepen the traditional friendship, strengthen practical cooperation in various fields, and open a new era for the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership.
To conclude, I wish the African continent prosperity and its people well-being!
And I wish China and Africa ever-lasting friendship and further deepening cooperation!