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Close ties with Africa reaffirmed, consensus on issues reached

By CAO DESHENG | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-20 08:01
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State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chairs the coordinators' meeting on the implementation of the follow-up actions of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in virtual format in Beijing, Aug 18, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and Africa have reaffirmed their commitment to building a community with a shared future in the new era in order to enhance their fruitful cooperation and add fresh impetus to global development and stability.

During the Coordinators' Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held via video link on Thursday, both sides reached a wide range of consensuses on strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation and coordination.

They will synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative with the African Union's Agenda 2063 and African countries' national development strategies in order to elevate China-Africa cooperation to higher levels, said a joint statement issued after the meeting, which was chaired by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and attended by senior officials from African countries and the AU.

At the opening ceremony of the virtual Eighth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC, which was held in November, President Xi Jinping announced the launch of "nine programs" for China-Africa cooperation.

Over the past months, good progress has been made in implementing the outcomes of the conference, Wang said at the meeting.

Wang said that China will waive 23 interest-free loans for 17 African countries that had matured by the end of 2021.

Over $3 billion has been delivered out of the $10 billion in credit facilities China pledged to African financial institutions, and nearly $2.5 billion in loans were channeled to Africa's priority programs, he said, adding that China's import of African goods within seven months reached $70.6 billion and Chinese companies have invested $2.17 billion in Africa.

To help Africa fight against COVID-19, China has provided 189 million doses of vaccines to 27 African countries, Wang said.

He said that despite the evolving international situation, rising global challenges and repeated external disturbances, China and Africa have stayed the course in enhancing solidarity and focusing on development cooperation.

"We are confident that China-Africa friendship will stand any test of winds and storms. It will continue to be the backbone in South-South cooperation and a fine example in international relations," Wang said.

China will continue to follow the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and pursuing the greater good and shared interests in developing relations with Africa, and it will always be Africa's partner in mutual respect, equality and sincere cooperation, he said.

In the joint statement, both China and Africa reaffirmed their unwavering support for each other in upholding territorial integrity, sovereignty, security and development interests.

The African side reaffirms its commitment to the one-China principle, and its support for China's national reunification and China's efforts to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity, the statement said.

Both sides pledged to uphold the international order underpinned by international law, practice true multilateralism, and advance democracy in international relations, it said.

They also vowed to oppose unilateralism, power politics, racial discrimination, the formation of oppositional blocs, and division and confrontation, the statement said.

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