China and Africa concluded a historic two-day summit Sunday in Beijing
and pledged in a joint declaration and a roadmap for future development to build
a strategic partnership.
Leaders of China and 48 African
countries issue a joint declaration at the end of the two-day Beijing
summit. [China Daily]
"We propose to enhance South-South co-operation and North-South dialogue to
promote balanced, co-ordinated and sustainable development of the global economy
to enable all countries to share its benefits and realize common development and
prosperity," said President Hu Jintao when reading out part of the Beijing
along with 41 heads of state or government and senior officials of 48 African
countries, took part in the biggest diplomatic event in China, with the theme
"Friendship, Peace, Co-operation and Development."
They adopted the declaration and the action plan for 2007-09 at the Beijing
Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC).
On Saturday, China pledged to offer US$5 billion in preferential loans and
credits, and double aid to Africa by 2009, while announcing a package of
assistance, investment, trade and other key projects for public health and
education with Africa.
Later the same day, Premier Wen Jiabao unveiled an ambitious target of
raising Sino-African trade to US$100 billion by 2010. Bilateral trade reached
US$39.7 billion last year, almost four times that of 2000.
Chinese companies, meanwhile, yesterday signed 14 commercial contracts and
agreements worth US$1.9 billion with African nations, covering natural
resources, infrastructure, finance, technology and communications.
"In the new century, China and the African countries should enhance their
traditional friendship and expand mutually beneficial co-operation to achieve
common development and prosperity," said Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
while reading out another part of the declaration.
"African countries reiterate that they adhere to the one-China policy and
support China's peaceful reunification," said Meles. Ethiopia is the co-chair of
The declaration also called for a bigger role for Africa in the United
Nations and called on developed nations to increase their help to the continent.
"We urge the developed countries to increase official development assistance
and honour their commitment to opening markets and debt relief to enhance
Africa's capacity in poverty and disaster reduction and prevention and control
of desertification, and help Africa realize the UN Millennium Development
Goals," said Meles.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who also read out part of the declaration,
said: "We hold that the establishment of a new type of strategic partnership is
both the shared desire and independent choice of China and Africa, serves our
common interests and will help enhance solidarity and mutual support and
The new strategic partnership between China and Africa features "political
equality and mutual trust, economic win-win co-operation and cultural
exchanges," according to the declaration.
The action plan is the roadmap for bilateral co-operation in the next three
years in the political, economic and social sectors.
Politically, China and Africa agree to maintain high-level contacts and
exchange views on international affairs.
The economic partnership covers agriculture, investment, business
co-operation, trade, finance, infrastructure construction, energy and natural
In the social sector, the action plan includes development and assistance,
debt reduction, training of professionals, culture, education, public health,
environmental protection, and tourism.
The Chinese and African leaders also attended two roundtable sessions
yesterday at the Great Hall of the People.
President Hu told African leaders that the Beijing Summit has laid a solid
foundation for building a durable and stable strategic partnership.
China, which is a developing country, considers the unity of, and
co-operation with, developing countries the cornerstone of its diplomatic
policy, he said.
China will forever be a reliable partner for promoting peace and stability in
Africa, achieving development and prosperity in Africa and supporting Africa to
play its part in international affairs, said Hu.
African leaders at the meeting said they welcomed China's help and greatly
appreciated its commitment to opening its markets to African commodities and
encouraging Chinese investment in Africa.