Keynote Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
At China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue
Johannesburg, August 24, 2023
Your Excellency President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa,
Your Excellencies Heads of State,
It is a great pleasure to co-chair with President Ramaphosa the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue. I feel a particular warmth seeing my African friends face to face after five years, to celebrate our friendship and chart the way forward for our cooperation. I wish to thank all the colleagues for attending the dialogue, and send sincere greetings to leaders of other African countries who are not with us today.
Africa is a fertile land of hope in the 21st century. This is my 10th visit to the continent. Each time, I feel the new development and changes in Africa. As the Organization of African Unity marks its 60th anniversary this year, I wish to convey heartfelt congratulations to you all and to the African people.
Over the past 60 years, under the banner of Pan-Africanism, African countries have made big strides on the path of independence, seeking strength through unity and integration. You have demonstrated the strength of Africa in the struggles to uphold multilateralism and the common interests of developing countries. With steady progress under Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU), the official launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and growing coordination among the subregional groups, Africa is becoming an important pole with global influence.
In 2013 after I became Chinese President, I was here in Africa for my first foreign visit and announced the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith for China’s Africa policy. Over the past 10 years, China has stayed committed to this principle. Together with our African friends and drawing strength from the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, we have pressed ahead on the path of solidarity and cooperation, stood for justice amid shifting global dynamics, and looked out for each other in face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have taken China-Africa relations to new heights and entered the new stage of jointly building a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future.
China is marching toward the Second Centenary Goal of building itself into a great modern socialist country in all respects that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful when the People’s Republic marks its centenary. We are pursuing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Africa is moving at an accelerated speed toward the bright prospects envisioned in Agenda 2063, and making all-out efforts to build a new Africa that enjoys peace, unity, prosperity and strength. China and Africa must work together to create a sound environment for realizing our respective development visions.
—Working together to promote a just and equitable international order. We should carry forward the spirit of sticking together in times of adversity, practice true multilateralism, and unequivocally oppose vestiges of colonialism and hegemonism in all forms. We should firmly support each other in defending core interests, stand strong by the just calls of developing countries, and work for a more just and equitable international order.
—Working together to safeguard a peaceful and secure global environment. Africa is working unremittingly for the goal of silencing the guns. China is ready to work with Africa to implement the new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, advocate the resolution of differences and disputes through dialogue and cooperation, facilitate the political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues, and safeguard world peace and stability. We should uphold harmonious coexistence between man and nature, and protect the security of the global eco-environment.
—Working together to build an open and inclusive world economy. What we need is to remove barriers rather than erect walls, open up rather than close off. We should carry out extensive consultation and make joint contribution for shared benefit, reject the winner-takes-all approach, and build an open world economy where developing countries are better involved in the international division of labor and share the fruits of economic globalization. We should overcome estrangement between civilizations through exchanges, promote inclusiveness and mutual learning between civilizations, and make new contributions to human progress.
There are various paths leading to modernization. The African people have the most say on which path suits Africa best. Advancing modernization through integration is the independent choice made by African countries and people. On this path to modernization, China has all along been a firm supporter, and walking side by side with Africa. Over the years, China has helped Africa build a large amount of connectivity infrastructure, carried out extensive cooperation with the AU and subregional organizations, and assisted the construction of several signature Pan-African projects, including the AU Conference Center and the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Looking ahead, China will work with Africa to enhance the synergy of our development strategies. Through Belt and Road cooperation and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and in light of Agenda 2063, China will intensify dialogue and communication with Africa at various levels, and support the African agencies for integration, including the AfCFTA Secretariat, the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System and the African Union of Broadcasting, among others, in creating cooperation mechanisms with China.
China will continue to support Africa in speaking with one voice on international affairs and continuously elevating its international standing. China will work actively at the G20 Summit next month to support the AU’s full membership in the group. China supports making special arrangements on the U.N. Security Council reform to meet Africa’s aspiration as a priority. China will call on multilateral financial institutions to enhance the say of African countries.
To chart the course for our practical cooperation in the next stage and help Africa bring its integration and modernization into a fast track, I wish to make the following three proposals:
—China will launch the Initiative on Supporting Africa’s Industrialization. China will better harness its resources for cooperation with Africa and the initiative of businesses to support Africa in growing its manufacturing sector and realizing industrialization and economic diversification. In implementing the nine programs under the FOCAC framework, China will channel more resources of assistance, investment and financing toward programs for industrialization.
—China will launch the Plan for China Supporting Africa’s Agricultural Modernization. China will help Africa expand grain plantation, encourage Chinese companies to increase agricultural investment in Africa, and enhance cooperation with Africa on seed and other areas of agro-technology, to support Africa in transforming and upgrading its agricultural sector. China will host the second Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Agriculture in Hainan this November.
To help Africa tackle the current food crisis, China will provide additional emergency food assistance to African countries in need. More importantly, China has confidence that Africa will attain food self-sufficiency through its own efforts.
—China will launch the Plan for China-Africa Cooperation on Talent Development. China plans to train 500 principals and high-caliber teachers of vocational colleges every year, and 10,000 technical personnel with both Chinese language and vocational skills for Africa. China will invite 20,000 government officials and technicians of African countries to participate in workshops and seminars. To support Africa in strengthening education and innovation, we will launch the China-Africa Universities 100 Cooperation Plan and 10 pilot exchange programs of China-Africa partner institutes.
The world today is undergoing transformation and turmoil, and changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace. At this point of history, we all face the tasks of how to address the deficit in development, overcome security challenges and enhance mutual learning between civilizations. In view of this, I have put forward the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, called for peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, and advocated building a community with a shared future for mankind. These proposals have received the extensive support of African countries. China and Africa, through our creative explorations for modernization, are giving our answers to the questions of our times, and making joint efforts to advance the great endeavors of win-win cooperation, harmonious coexistence and shared prosperity of civilizations.
Next year, China will host the FOCAC meeting, where we may come together again and draw up new plans for our development. It is a big gathering that both sides are looking forward to. I am confident that China and Africa will carry forward the traditional friendship, enhance solidarity and coordination, and bolster our cooperation across the board. As we join hands to advance modernization, we will deliver a better future for the Chinese and African people, and set a fine example in the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.