|Statement by Ambassador Liu Jieyi at the Briefing by African Regional Economic Communities|
Today is my country’s National Day. There is no better occasion for me to attend today’s high-level briefing on capacity building in Africa. For decades, China’s interaction with the rest of the world has been closely associated with Africa. Bonded by common fate and mission, we have always supported each other and made progress together.
The theme for this segment, ‘south-South cooperation and partnership in building resilience and capacity of African countries, regional and sub-regional institutions to preempt and respond to humanitarian crises and disasters is highly timely and important. African countries’ pursuit for peace and development is now facing a new critical stage. With dynamic economic development, Africa has become one of the fastest growing regions in the world. African countries have made new strides in uniting for development and achieved a higher international standing. However, Africa is facing many challenges in its pursuit for peace, stability and development. Ongoing conflicts further aggravate humanitarian crisis on the ground. Robust development and attainment of the MDGs remain elusive in many countries. Many, if not all, have to deal with an unfavorable external environment of diminished willingness and capacity of developed countries to keep up development assistance in the aftermath of the international financial crisis and the European debt crisis.
Having said that, I believe opportunities override challenges and solutions outnumber difficulties. As long as the international community pool their efforts together and increase input into and help for African efforts, African countries will be better positioned to address challenges and on track for development and prosperity. For that, I wish to make the following points.
First, peace and stability are the prerequisite for development. The international community should fully respect African countries’ will and support them as well as regional organizations in maintaining peace and stability in Africa. African countries should be owners of solutions to their problems. When coping with African hotspots, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be upheld. The international community should actively work to build peace and seek political settlement of disputes and avoid the outbreak of humanitarian crisis triggered by local conflicts and hotspots. No effort should be spared so that African countries will enjoy a peaceful and stable environment for deve1opment.
Second, poverty and under-development breed conflicts, disasters and humanitarian crises. In recent years, the international community has made some progress in supporting the implementation of NEPAD and the realization ofˇ MDGs. However, in terms of providing financial and technical support and honoring assistance and debt-reduction pledges, supply falls far short of demands. International development cooperation is now at a critical stage of building on the past and mapping out the future。The international community needs to focus on helping African countries realize the MDGs as scheduled, and truly address African countries’ interests and concerns in formulating the post-2015 development agenda. It should increase financial and technical assistance and create an enabling environment for their development.
Third, humanitarian crises caused by natural disasters and regional conflicts weigh heavily on socio-economic development of affected countries in Africa。The international community should follow basic UN humanitarian principles and help African countries manage humanitarian crises. It is imperative to real1y enhance African countries’ capacities for disaster prevention, preparedness and mitigation and increase their resilience. Nothing short of capacity building could fundamentally alleviate the pressure on humanitarian relief and help the disaster-stricken countries smoothly transit to long-term development. In this process, cooperation partnerships led by the disaster-hit countries should be established with the UN humanitarian system playing a coordinating role。
China and African countries have always been one community of destiny bonded by shared historical experience, shared development tasks and shared strategic interests. Essentially, the China-Africa relationship features sincere friendship, mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and common development. For this partnership to maintain vigor and Vitality, we must keep moving and be creative.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of both sides, the China-Africa partnership has entered the fast track for comprehensive development in recent years. To name some examples, we have set up the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, started building a new type of strategic partnership and engaged in fruitful cooperation in all areas. The year 2012 registered nearly 200 billion1 US dollars in two-way trade and over1.5 million visitors between the two sides. Up to 2012, China’s direct investment to Africa had exceeded 15 billon US dollars. This year marks the 50th anniversary of China’s medical assistance to Africa. Over the past 5decades, China has sent 18,000 medical workers who treated 250 million African patients. At the Fifth FOCAC Ministerial Meeting held in July last year, China announced new measures for China-Africa cooperation in five key areas including investment and finance, assistance, African integration, people-to-people exchange and peace and security in Africa. At the same time, Africa has rendered invaluable support and help to China.
The China-Africa partnership is now standing at a new starting point on a firmer basis facilitated by better mechanisms for cooperation. Last March, President Xi Jinping paid a visit to Africa, where he made clear China’ s view on China-Africa cooperation featuring sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith.
Friendship and cooperation with African countries have always been an important foundation for China’s foreign policy. This will never change.
In cooperating with Africa, we focus on real results. China is committed to linking its development with that of Africa, aligning the interests of the Chinese people with those of the African people and combining China’s development opportunities with those of Africa. China has always provided and wi1l continue to provide support and assistance to African friends to the best of its ability.
In strengthening China-Africa friendship, we stress the importance of affinity. The Chinese and African peoples have a natural feeling of kinship. We will continue to enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges to deepen mutual understanding and friendship.
In resolving issues that come up in our cooperation, we stress the importance of good faith. China will face squarely and sincerely the new developments and issues in our relations. We are glad that they are dealt with in a spirit of mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
On his visit to Africa, President Xi also announced a new package of measures in support of Africa’s development. China will follow through on the commitment of providing a US$ 20 billon credit line to African countries from2013 to 2015. We will translate into reality the partnership for transnational and trans-regional infrastructure development in Africa. We will actively implement the African Talents Program by training 30,000 African professionals in various fields and providing 18,000 government scholarships to African students from 2013 to 2015. And we will increase technology transfer and experience sharing with Africa. We hope that these measures will contribute to achieving MDGs in Africa. As its economy grows and capacity increases, China will continue to provide assistance to Africa with no strings attached.
The Chinese people are working hard to realize the Chinese dream of prosperity and well being. The African people are committed to the African dream of strength from unity and rejuvenation through development. China stands ready to work with Africa to keep expanding and deepening our all-dimensional partnership so that both the Chinese and African dreams will come true through win-win cooperation.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.