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Xi's Paris, Africa trips highlight joint efforts in climate battle, promote common development: Chinese FM

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-06 07:37 Comments

Xi's Paris, Africa trips highlight joint efforts in climate battle, promote common development: Chinese FM

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Paris, France, Nov. 30, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

JOHANNESBURG -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's attendance at the Paris climate change conference and his following African trip displayed China's readiness to jointly rise up to global challenges with other countries and to promote common development, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday.

After discussing with world leaders ways to better combat climate change in Paris, Xi visited Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, and Pretoria of South Africa for state visits, and then travelled to Johannesburg for a summit on China-Africa cooperation.

Over the past seven days, Xi has met with leaders from more than 50 countries and regional organizations and delivered a number of important speeches with the aim of cementing solidarity and achieving win-win cooperation.


The highly-anticipated Paris climate meeting, which was opened by leaders from over 150 countries, is a crucial point in the process of global climate governance, Wang said.

President Xi has put forward important proposals at the meeting and carried out intensive coordination with other parties, making irreplaceable contributions to the success of the conference, which aimed to produce a new international accord to cut greenhouse gases beyond 2020 when the 1997 Kyoto Protocol expires, said the Chinese foreign minister.

Wang quoted Xi as saying that the Paris agreement should strengthen global actions against climate change after 2020 and push countries across the world to achieve better sustainable development.

Xi's proposals, which are based on the current situation, are also future-oriented, Wang said, adding that they represent the common pursuit of the developing countries, while also taking into consideration of the stances of each side.

The initiatives have earned extensive support and approval, Wang said.

During his stay in Paris, Xi met French President Francois Hollande, U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, taking the opportunities to advance bilateral relations with these countries and also to carry out negotiations on climate change. He also met other world leaders to build consensus in the regard of climate change, Wang noted.

In Paris, Xi reiterated the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities," a cornerstone laid by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, adding that it must be adhered to during the upcoming climate negotiations. He also called upon developed countries to honor their commitment to climate finance and transfer of low-carbon and eco-friendly technologies to developing countries.

The proposals made by President Xi consolidated the international collaboration in the battle against climate change, Wang added.

The Chinese top diplomat also pointed out that the Paris meeting witnessed China's efforts to inject fresh impetus to South-South climate cooperation.

President Xi has emphasized many times that, to act on climate change is not only driven by China's domestic needs for sustainable development, but also driven by its sense of responsibility.

By introducing China's development philosophy and policy measures as well as stressing Beijing's commitment to realizing its 2030 climate goals, Xi allowed the international community to feel China's sincerity in making greater contributions to the global climate change battle, said Wang.


The landmark Johannesburg Summit, which came when the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) marks the 15th anniversary of its establishment, is the first summit between the two sides on the African continent, Wang said.

Xi, who co-chaired the meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma, mapped out the future development of China-Africa relations with leaders of African countries and regional organizations, he added.

In a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the summit, he proposed that China and Africa lift their relations to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership and join hands to usher in a new era of win-win cooperation and common development.

In order to turn the proposal into tangible results, Xi called for concerted efforts to strengthen "five major pillars" and announced 10 major plans to boost bilateral cooperation.

Describing China and Africa as good friends, good partners and good brothers with a common future, Xi said the two sides have always been a community of common destiny, with similar historical experiences having generated a profound friendship between their people.

"In conducting China's relations with Africa, we adhere to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith and uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests," Xi told the audience.

Other leaders at the summit expressed their warmly welcome for Xi's address, saying it will lead the friendship and cooperation between the world's largest developing country and the continent that is home to the largest number of developing countries to an even brighter future.

The historic meeting, which approved a declaration and an action plan for cooperation in the coming three years, has strengthened solidarity and cooperation and will guide the future of relations between China and Africa, Wang said.

On the sidelines of the summit, Xi also met with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairwoman of the African Union Commission, and held separate and group meetings with dozens of African leaders, reaching broad consensus on China-Africa relations and pragmatic cooperation.


Both Zimbabwe and South Africa are China's important partners of cooperation in Africa, and the two countries' relations with China are of strategic significance.

Xi's state visits gave full play to the advantages of mutual political trust and economic complementarity and lifted bilateral ties into a new height, Wang said.

His Zimbabwe trip came upon the 35th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations and marked the first state visit by a Chinese president to the African country since 1996.

China and Zimbabwe boast a time-honored brotherly relationship that dates back to the former's provision of substantial assistance for the latter's struggle for national liberation and independence.

Since the two countries established diplomatic ties on the very day of Zimbabwe's independence, bilateral ties have witnessed steady and fruitful development.

China and Zimbabwe, with their traditional friendship both having a long history and growing ever stronger now, are "real all-weather friends," said Xi, adding that they should not only be good friends in political sphere but also be good partners in promoting development.

Xi's visit to South Africa, the "rainbow nation", is his second since becoming China's head of state.

In their talks after the ceremony, Xi and Zuma discussed ways to further the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two emerging economies, and agreeing to lift bilateral ties to a new height by fully implementing the 5-10 Years Strategic Plan on Cooperation between the two nations.

"With joint efforts of both countries, China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership has seen good momentum with enhanced political trust and increasingly pragmatic cooperation in various fields, which has brought about tangible benefits to the two peoples," said Xi.

The close exchanges between the leaders have laid a solid foundation for the long-term, healthy and stable development of bilateral relations, Wang said.


During Xi's attendance at the Paris climate change conference and the following trip to Africa, he unveiled a grand vision on improving global governance and launched concrete actions, fully demonstrating China's commitment to bearing her responsibility to tackle global challenges and safeguard common interests of human race with other nations.

Talking about global response to climate change in Paris, the Chinese president went further to brilliantly expound China's view and vision on global governance and call for creating a future of win-win cooperation instead of the so-called "zero-sum game."

These views, together with his proposals on advancing the international rule of law and allowing different modes of development based on individual national conditions, are consistent with China's new diplomatic concepts such as the community of common destiny for humankind and new model of international relations and in accordance with the aspirations of fellow developing nations.

At the Paris conference, Xi spoke for fellow developing countries and promoted a fair, reasonable and effective global mechanism in response to climate change. During his Africa trip, he proposed to upgrade China-Africa partnership for win-win cooperation and common prosperity in a bid to promote balanced, inclusive and sustainable development of the world.

In Africa, Xi and African leaders reached important consensus on strengthening China-Africa solidarity and push forward democratization of international relations, which will cast far-reaching influence on guiding the international order toward a more just and fair future.

Xi's tour to Paris and Africa sent out a clear message that China is still the largest developing country and its development will bring opportunities to the developing countries and the rest of the world.

China's foreign policy will still be anchored on the developing world and the country will continue to stand side by side with the developing nations and work to increase the voice and representation of developing nations and in particular, African nations, in global governance.

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