By Guo Jiping
China-Africa ties had been lifted to new heights since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), thanks to the personal involvement of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the planning and promotion of such relationship, guidance of his far-sighted ideas, strong inspiration of his actions as well as the significant model role he played, the People’s Daily said in a commentary.
During the just-concluded Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), he has put forward new ideas, initiatives and measures to bolster China-Africa ties in a series of important speeches that are highly appreciated by the international community, defining the historical position and future direction of bilateral ties.
The People’s Daily commentary under the byline of “Guo Jiping” was published on Saturday, days after the two-day summit closed on Tuesday.
An abstract translation of the article is as follows:
The just-concluded 2018 Beijing Summit of the FOCAC is not only the largest-ever and highest level home-field diplomatic event hosted by China, but also another reunion of the big family of China and Africa.
During the summit, Xi delivered a series of important speeches under the theme of “China and Africa: toward an even stronger community with a shared future through win-win cooperation”.
He offered the explanation to the root cause of the ever closer China-Africa ties as time goes by.
When pursuing collaboration with Africa, China values sincerity, friendship and equality; pursues common interests and puts friendship first; takes a people-oriented approach in pursuing practical cooperation with efficiency; and takes an open and inclusive approach, according to Xi.
China followed a “five-no” approach in its relations with Africa: no interference in African countries’ pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference in African countries’ internal affairs; no imposition of its will on African countries; no attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Africa, the president stressed in his speech.
He also charted the course of the bilateral relationship. China and Africa, according to him, will build a community with a shared future that assumes joint responsibility, pursues win-win cooperation, delivers happiness for all, enjoys cultural prosperity, enjoys common security and promotes harmony between man and nature.
Xi also provided a remedy on how China-Africa cooperation would climb to another new high.
China would, on the basis of the ten cooperation plans already adopted, launch eight major initiatives in close collaboration with African countries in the next three years and beyond, he pledged.
China would, based on the eight initiatives, make the Belt and Road Initiative and Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU), the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the development programs of African countries better complement each other, the president said.
China would advance its cooperation with Africa to improve the well-being of Chinese and African people and deliver more benefits to them, he added.
The keynote speech made by Xi at the opening ceremony of the summit was strongly echoed by African leaders, who described it as a “great speech”.
They believed that Xi’s “foresighted” proposals to build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future and to co-construct the Belt and Road will definitely change the African continent and propel China-Africa relations to an unprecedented height.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who serves as the rotating chairperson of the African Union, described China’s treatment of Africa “as an equal,” calling it “a revolutionary posture in world affairs” and “more precious than money.”
China and Xi, as a big country and an important leader in the world respectively, treat Rwanda, a small country that suffered severe disasters in history, on an equal footing, and lend a strong hand to help Rwanda’s development and construction, said the president who met with Xi once again during the summit after receiving Xi’s Rwandan trip this July.
Even the western media who always look at China-Africa relationship through “tainted glasses” admit that African leaders leave Beijing summit in satisfaction after attending the largest gathering of African heads of state ever staged outside the continent.
They gave thumbs up to the eight major initiatives and the co-construction of Belt and Road, said the reports, warning that the Western countries would lose Africa if they did not realize the competition.
China-Africa relationship sets a model for the solidarity and cooperation between China and other developing countries, and provides a reference and benchmark for a new type of international relations, especially amid the rising tide of anti-globalization, unilateralism and protectionism.
Standing at the new historic point, China and Africa’s march to build a closer community with a shared future carries the expectations of 2.6 billion Chinese and Africans, and draws the attention of the whole world.
It is not only an important move to implement Xi’s thought on the diplomacy of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, but also a centennial project in the history of international relations and exchanges of human civilizations.
(Guo Jiping is a well-known pen name used for People’s Daily editorials meant to outline China’s stance and viewpoints on major international issues.)