Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s Visit to Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Republic of Congo and Nigeria
12 January 2017
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is paying official visits to the Republic of Madagascar, the Republic of Zambia, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Congo and the Federal Republic of Nigeria from January 7 to 12. The foreign minister's first trip of every year usually takes him to Africa, a practice that has been in existence for over two decades, already establishing itself as a fine diplomatic tradition.
The main purpose of Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit is to further explore with countries concerned on how to implement the major consensus reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and African leaders as well as the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), against the backdrop of new changes emerging in international political and economic situations and new challenges turning up in African countries so as to assist Africa's rejuvenation and development, boost the upgrading of China-Africa cooperation and contribute to solidarity and common development among developing countries.
During his visits, Foreign Minister Wang made many significant remarks on China-Africa relations and cooperation.
1. China Welcomes African Countries to Join the "Belt and Road" Construction
On January 7, 2017, when jointly meeting the press with Foreign Minister Beatrice Attalah of Madagascar in Antananarivo, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China welcomes African countries to join the "Belt and Road" construction.
Wang Yi said that proposed by President Xi Jinping, the initiative of jointly building the "Belt and Road" seeks to realize common development and common prosperity in the principles of joint consultation, joint construction and sharing with countries that identify themselves with this proposal. This initiative is the most important cooperative concept China has offered to the world, as well as the most widely welcomed international public good so far. At present, joint construction of the "Belt and Road" initiative has seen a good start and is undergoing smooth progress. It has won positive feedbacks from over 100 countries and regions, and has achieved a large number of early harvest results.
Wang Yi said that the African continent was part of the ancient Maritime Silk Road in history and the farthest and most important destination of the Maritime Silk Road in the west. If African countries are willing to join the "Belt and Road" construction, China surely welcomes that. As a matter of fact, China has already discussed and dovetailed with a number of African countries, especially those on the east coast of Africa and has achieved positive progress in this regard. It is believed that with the deepening of cooperation, the African continent will get more development benefits from it.
2. China-Africa Mutually Beneficial Cooperation Represents Three New Changes
On January 8, 2016, when jointly meeting the press with Foreign Minister Harry Kalaba of Zambia in Lusaka, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that guided by the new concept of the 2015 Johannesburg Summit of the FOCAC, China-Africa mutually beneficial cooperation presents three new changes.
Wang Yi noted that the year 2016 is the beginning year of the implementation of outcomes from the FOCAC Summit. Although the world economy undergoes sluggish trend and global trade growth is weak, the positive effects of the forum should be fully released. China-Africa production capacity cooperation and industrial integration are in the ascendant. A large number of Chinese enterprises have invested and established business in Africa. Bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation has resisted the downward trend and seen rapid growth. According to incomplete statistics, the total amount of money concerning cooperation agreements in various fields signed by China and Africa has surpassed 50 billion dollars from the beginning of the FOCAC Summit to July, 2016. A batch of infrastructure, special economic zones and industrial parks are being implemented or put into use.
Wang Yi expressed that the implementation of outcomes from the FOCAC Summit has become a new impetus for China-Africa cooperation. The more encouraging fact is that guided by the new concept of the FOCAC Summit, China-Africa mutually beneficial cooperation presents three new changes. First, it gradually transforms from a government-led pattern to a market operation-oriented one; second, it gradually upgrades from the general merchandise trade to production capacity cooperation, processing and trade; third, it gradually shifts from basic project contracting to investment construction and operation. The concept, structure and main body of China-Africa cooperation are advancing with the times and being constantly deepened.
Wang Yi pointed out that these three new changes show that China-Africa cooperation has entered into a new stage of transformation and upgrade as well as embraces new opportunities for mutual benefit and win-win results. Zambia is one of the main practitioners and beneficiaries from the new changes in China-Africa cooperation. The year of 2017 is a key year and a harvest year of the implementation of outcomes from the FOCAC Summit. No matter how the international situation changes, no matter how the world economy changes, China will abide by and keep its promises and work with all African countries to fully implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Summit, so as to bring more benefits to the Chinese and African people at an early date.
3. China Will Practice the Values of Friendship, Justice and Shared Interests, and Aid Africa's Sustainable Development
On January 9, 2017 local time, when jointly meeting the press with Minister of Foreign Affairs Augustine Mahiga of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China will actively practice the values of friendship, justice and shared interests proposed by President Xi Jinping and aid African countries to seek independent and sustainable development.
Wang Yi expressed that President Xi Jinping paid a historic visit to Africa in 2013, during which he put forward the cooperation policy towards Africa featuring sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, opening up a new chapter for China-Africa cooperation. President Xi Jinping also innovatively proposed the values of friendship, justice and shared interests with more importance on the former, which has become an important guiding principle on deepening cooperation between China and vast developing countries in the new era. For Africa, the core concept of the values of friendship, justice and shared interests is to closely combine China's future and fate with that of Africa as well as help African countries to seek independent and sustainable development through cooperation with Africa so as to ultimately realize the common prosperity of China and Africa.
Wang Yi pointed out that the values of friendship, justice and shared interests have distinctive Chinese characteristics and features of the times. It not only inherits the fine tradition of the Chinese diplomacy, but also conforms to the epochal trend of market economy and globalization. When carrying out cooperation with Africa, China will continue to adhere to the principles of non-interference in internal affairs, no political strings attached, not imposing on people and not at the expense of ecological environment. China will effectively comply with the concept of "sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith", follow the important principles of equality and mutual benefit, abide by the laws and regulations of African countries and respect local customs and habits.
Wang Yi noted that at present, China and Africa are speeding up the implementation of all consensus reached at the Johannesburg Summit of the FOCAC and actively advancing the ten major China-Africa cooperation plans that aim to help Africa achieve industrialization and agricultural modernization. During this process, China will consistently practice the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, further integrate development strategies with all African countries including Tanzania, further deepen production capacity cooperation and further strengthen infrastructure and other connectivity construction so as to make unremitting efforts to the revitalization of the Africa continent and the common development and prosperity of China and Africa.
Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of South Africa