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Wang Yi Delivers a Speech at the Reception Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

On November 12, 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech entitled Build on Twenty Years of Proud Achievements and Open up a New Chapter in China-Africa Relations at the reception commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

Wang Yi said twenty years ago, Chinese and African leaders gathered in Beijing to inaugurate FOCAC. A new era was thus opened for China-Africa relations. Over the two decades, by acting along the prevailing trend of peace, development and cooperation, FOCAC has established itself as a pacesetter for cooperation with Africa, a champion of multilateralism, and a fine example of mutually beneficial cooperation. FOCAC has come a long way in strengthening China-Africa solidarity and friendship, boosting common development of China and Africa, and enhancing the friendship between the Chinese and African peoples.

Wang Yi said while the past two decades have been extraordinary for FOCAC, they have also seen the Chinese people striving for national rejuvenation and African countries pursuing strength through unity. In this great historical journey, China and Africa have always been there for each other. We have shown the world that with hard work, countries who are still in the process of development can build a better life for their people; and with self-reliance and exploration, China and African countries can find our own path toward prosperity that suits our national conditions.

Wang Yi said the world is undergoing changes unseen in a century, and COVID-19 is accelerating the evolution of the international order. How to make sure that China-Africa relations will seize the trend of the times and scale new heights? How to build on our achievement and further upgrade and enhance China-Africa cooperation? How to enable FOCAC to meet the challenges and achieve progress in creative ways? To answer these questions, China would like to share the following propositions with our African friends.

First, we need to strengthen solidarity and build a stronger community with a shared future. The new international circumstances we face today further underscore the importance of this strategic decision. We must remain guided by the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests. We need to firmly support each other in safeguarding national sovereignty and dignity, in independently pursuing a development path suited to national realities, and in protecting legitimate rights to development and achieve national rejuvenation together through joint efforts.

Second, we need to tide over the current challenge together and build a China-Africa community of health for all. China will continue to work with Africa to fully deliver on the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19, with greater focus on public health, economic reopening and improvement of livelihoods. China is firmly committed to making its vaccines a global public good. When the development of the vaccines is completed and they are available for use, China will actively consider providing them to African countries in need to help secure an early victory against the virus.

Third, we need to pursue win-win cooperation to build a China-Africa community of development for all. China will continue to support Africa in enhancing infrastructure, advancing industrialization and building up capacity for independent development. China welcomes the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area. China and Africa need to deepen free trade cooperation and better connect industrial and supply chains. China is also ready to work with Africa on a framework of strategic cooperation on climate change to jointly tackle this challenge.

Fourth, we need to embrace our responsibilities and work toward a community with a shared future for mankind. China and Africa need to firmly safeguard the UN's central role in international and multilateral affairs, defend basic norms governing international relations, and uphold multilateralism, fairness and justice. We must work in concert in addressing global challenges and participating in global governance. By doing so, we will bring about a more equitable and reasonable international order and an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

Wang Yi finally said that FOCAC is a valuable asset for China and Africa. China is ready to work with Africa to ensure that the Forum remains a shining example of China-Africa relations, make good preparations for the meeting next year, take the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to a new height, strive for high quality in our cooperation and open up a far brighter future for China-Africa relations.

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