The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) opened at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 3. Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech titled Work Together for Common Development and a Shared Future to the assembled Chinese and African leaders during the opening ceremony. The speech reiterated the importance China attaches to friendship and cooperation with African countries, and illustrated the profound nature of, and specific measures for, building a closer China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
The Chinese Government and people have placed high value on Sino-African cooperation since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. China’s financing of African development has helped to improve local infrastructure, encourage industrialization, create job opportunities and boost the economic and social development of the continent.
On illustrating the principles of China-Africa cooperation, President Xi restated China’s commitment to two-sided collaboration.
Xi noted that China values sincerity, friendship and equality in pursuing cooperation. China follows a five-no approach: no interference in African countries' pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference in African countries' internal affairs; no imposition of China's will on African countries; no attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Africa.
On the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future, Xi proposed a new set of concepts for cooperation between China and African countries.
Xi’s suggestion provides specific goals and systematic ideas for building and developing a China-Africa community with a shared future and serves as a solid foundation and an important channel for their cooperation in the new era.
On the proposal of the eight initiatives, Xi said that China’s cooperation with African countries will undergo a transition to enable Africa to support itself.
Xi said that China is ready to work closely with African countries to implement eight major initiatives in the next three years and beyond to build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future. The eight initiatives proposed in Xi’s speech include: industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, healthcare, people-to-people exchanges, peace and security.
Many of the measures in the eight major initiatives highlight the cultivation and assistance of Africa’s youth, aiming to provide more job opportunities and better chances for their development.
With the Beijing Summit as its starting point, Sino-African cooperation can serve as a leading light for the planet’s future development.