The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds a Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on President Xi Jinping's Hosting of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)
2018-08-22 00:20

On August 22, 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi introduced the relevant situation of President Xi Jinping’s hosting of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong answered questions from the journalists.

Wang Yi noted that the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit will be held from September 3 to 4. The leaders of China and Africa will gather together in Beijing to renew friendship and discuss cooperation and future under the theme of China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-win Cooperation. The FOCAC Beijing Summit is another reunion of the big family of China and Africa and the largest home-field diplomatic activity attended by the most number of foreign leaders following the 2006 Beijing Summit and the 2015 Johannesburg Summit. At the scheduled time, various leaders of African countries and Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission will lead delegations to attend the Summit. Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) will also attend relevant activities of the Summit as a special guest and 27 international and African organizations will be present as observers.

Wang Yi expressed that on the morning of September 3, President Xi Jinping and some African leaders will attend and address the opening ceremony of the High-level Dialogue of China-Africa Leaders and Business Representatives and the 6th China-Africa Business Forum. On the afternoon of September 3, the opening ceremony of the FOCAC Beijing Summit will be held at the Great Hall of the People. President Xi Jinping will deliver an important keynote speech, comprehensively expounding on China’s new ideas and proposals for enhancing its relations with Africa, and announcing China’s new actions and measures for its practical cooperation with Africa. On the evening of the same day, President Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan will hold a welcome banquet for leaders of various countries and their spouses, and later they will watch an art performance together. On September 4, an all-day roundtable meeting for Chinese and African leaders will be held. President Xi Jinping and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, the African co-chair of the Forum, will chair the morning and afternoon discussions respectively. Chinese and African leaders will exchange in-depth views on the development of China-Africa relations and international and regional issues of common concern. The meeting will adopt the Beijing Declaration on Building an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future between China and Africa and the FOCAC-Beijing Action Plan (2019-2021). After the roundtable meeting, President Xi Jinping, President Cyril Ramaphosa and leader of the new African co-chair of the FOCAC will jointly meet the press, and they comprehensively introduce the outcomes of the Summit. During the Summit, President Xi Jinping will also hold bilateral talks and meetings with foreign leaders present at the Summit on separate occasions.

Wang Yi pointed out that since its establishment 18 years ago, the FOCAC has upheld the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and become a forum featuring equality, practicality and efficiency. China-Africa cooperation under the framework of the Forum has achieved remarkable and obvious results, winning widespread welcome of the African people and high appraisal from the international community. Today, the FOCAC has become a well-known brand of China-Africa cooperation, and also a banner that guides international cooperation with Africa and elevates South-South cooperation. Hosting the FOCAC Beijing Summit is the unanimous requirement of both sides to comprehensively deepen China-Africa friendly cooperation and actively cope with global challenges. It is also an inherent requirement of the Chinese side to implement Xi Jinping's thought on diplomacy, and practice the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith and the values of friendship, justice and shared interests. It is believed that the successful hosting of the Summit will once again manifest the strong vitality of China-Africa unity and cooperation, boost the sound momentum of the general development of developing countries, and bring together the just forces of the international community to promote peace and development. We expect the FOCAC Beijing Summit to achieve important outcomes in the following four aspects:

First, the Summit will make a new call to build an even stronger community with a shared future between China and Africa. The theme of this Summit reflects the common aspirations of China and Africa to carry forward traditional friendship and demonstrates the firm determination of China and Africa to seek cooperation and development. Deliberating on state affairs and strengthening strategic guidance, the leaders of China and Africa will enrich the epochal connotation of the community with a shared future between China and Africa, and also make positive contributions to promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Second, the Summit will write a new chapter for the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative and the development of Africa. The Chinese side is willing to, together with the African side, better combine the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative with the implementation of the Agenda 2063 of the AU, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the development strategies of various African countries, and actively promote policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds between China and Africa, so as to open up new space and provide new impetus for Africa's development and revitalization.

Third, the Summit will set a new path for China-Africa cooperation towards a higher level. The outcomes of the Summit will translate both sides’ strong will of deepening practical cooperation into concrete actions, and plan the priority areas and key directions of China-Africa cooperation in the next three years and in the coming period in an all-round manner, especially in the fields that significantly impact people's livelihood and employment in Africa and that are in line with the demand for economic transformation and upgrading of Africa’s economy. The Summit will further align the advantages of the Chinese side with African endowments, help Africa foster and develop its capacity for independent development, accelerate the process of industrialization and modernization, and at the same time elevate China-Africa cooperation to higher levels.

Fourth, the Summit will play a new melody that connects the people of China and Africa as close as a family. Before and after the Summit, China and Africa will hold 14 sub-forums and supporting activities, fully reflecting the comprehensiveness and diversified trend of China-Africa cooperation. The Summit will further launch a number of people-centered cooperation initiatives to encourage greater participation by the Chinese and African people, deepen affinity and mutual understanding of the Chinese and African people, and provide more abundant and sweet “sources of flowing water” for the development of China-Africa relations, in a bid to advance sustainable China-Africa friendship and pass on the torch of China-Africa friendship from one generation to the next.

Wang Yi expressed that Beijing is ready, and will warmly welcome brothers and sisters from the African continent and give a hospitable reception to the friends from various African countries who have always stood with the Chinese people. It is believed that with the joint efforts of China and Africa, the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit will surely be a complete success and set a new historic landmark of China-Africa friendship, unity and cooperation.