Even stronger relations pledged as FOCAC Beijing summit concludes

President Xi Jinping yesterday brought the curtain down on the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), announcing its successful conclusion.

President Xi Jinping yesterday brought the curtain down on the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), announcing its successful conclusion.

The summit published a declaration, the Beijing Declaration — Toward an Even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future, which crystalized China-Africa consensus on major international and regional issues, and sent the world a strong signal of the two sides going forward hand in hand, the Chinese leader said in his concluding remarks.

The FOCAC Beijing Action Plan (2019-2021) was also adopted at the summit to confirm that China and Africa will comprehensively enhance pragmatic cooperation focusing on the implementation of the eight major initiatives, he added.

The declaration says that sharing weal and woe, the Chinese and African peoples have forged a deep friendship rooted in similar historical experiences, development tasks and political aspirations.

“We agree to strengthen collective dialogue, enhance traditional friendship, deepen practical cooperation and work together toward an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.”

Calling Africa an important participant in the Belt and Road Initiative, the declaration says China-Africa cooperation under the initiative will generate more resources and means, expand the market and space for African development, and broaden its development prospects.

African countries support China in hosting the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2019, the document adds.

It notes that China and African countries applaud the role FOCAC has played over the past 18 years to promote relations. 

In the declaration, China vows to continue to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with African countries in keeping with the principle of sincerity, real results and good faith, and the principle of upholding justice while pursuing shared interests, as proposed by Xi.

China welcomes a representational office of the African Union in Beijing, it says.

African members reaffirm their commitment to the one-China principle, and their support for China’s reunification and its efforts in resolving territorial and maritime disputes peacefully through friendly consultation and negotiation.

On anti-corruption cooperation, China and African countries welcome the launching of the African Anti-Corruption Year, pledging to take it as an opportunity to jointly fight corruption and promote integrity.

China will continue to, in keeping with the principle of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, help enhance Africa’s production capacity in the secondary and tertiary industries, and promote the transformation and upgrading of China-Africa economic and trade cooperation focusing on improving Africa’s internally driven growth that reduces reliance on export of raw materials, according to the declaration.

“China will, as always, offer assistance and support to Africa’s development with no political strings attached.” 

It notes that China and African countries firmly uphold multilateralism and oppose all forms of unilateralism and protectionism. China supports early progress in developing the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Single African Air Transport Market, according to the declaration.

On tackling climate change and protecting the environment, it calls on developed countries to honor their commitments at an early date and to support African countries with funding, technology transfer and capacity building.

The declaration says China and African countries welcome Senegal as the next co-chair of FOCAC, noting that the 8th FOCAC Ministerial Conference will be held in Senegal in 2021.

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