Remarks by Amb. Liu Xianfa at seminar on “investing in soft power capacity: China-Africa think tank cooperation”
Professor Wang Weiguang, President of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,
Professor Peter Kagwanja, Chief Executive officer of Africa Policy Institute,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am very delighted to attend the seminar on “investing in soft power capacity: China-Africa think tank cooperation” co-hosted by CASSand API. Firstly, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi, I would like to extend my warm welcome to President Wang Weiguang and all the guests present here. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Professor Peter Kagwanja and his team for the thoughtful arrangements.
The world today is undergoing major development as well as profound transformation and change, but it’s also in an era of numerous challenges and increasing risks, amid in uncertainties. People long for a bright future but are bewildered about what will come. What has happened to the world and how should we respond? In this context, we have great expectation for this seminar, for CASS and API are leading think tanks in their countries respectively, and the cooperation between the two giants could surely produce shining ideas, giving clear answers to the global proposition of the era.
As Chinese president Xi Jinpingsaid in his speech at the United Nations Office at Geneva, vision guides action and direction determines the future. This can be best explained by the long historyof friendly exchanges between China and Africa. More than 600 years ago, Zheng He, the great Chinese navigator of Ming Dynasty, led his ocean fleet coming ashore for a number of times to visit Mombasa, Malindi and Mogadishu. From then on, the two ancient lands were closely tied together by the Maritime Silk Road.
Over the past five decades and more, China and Africa shared the same breath, became good friends who stand together through thick and thin, good partners who share weal and woe, and good brothers who fully trust each other despite changes in the international landscape. They have become a community of shared future and interests, and established comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, setting up an example of relationships between countries based on equality, sincerity, win-win cooperation and common development and charting the orientation for building a community of shared future for mankind.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China and Africa adhere to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith to consolidate and bolster the community of shared future. President Xi Jinping, President Jacob Zuma, President Uhuru Kenyatta, and other African heads of state, as well as the chairperson of the African Union Commission, gathered together in Johannesburg and announced on behalf of 2.4 billion Chinese and African people that China and Africa would uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests and adhere to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith to build and develop a China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership featuring political equality and mutual trust, win-win economic cooperation, mutually enriching cultural exchanges, mutual assistance in security, and solidarity and coordination in international affairs.
To this end, we should remain committed to equality and mutual trust, advance our shared interests and achieve common development, increase inter-civilization exchanges to promote harmony and prosperity, work together to uphold peace and stability, and also communicate and coordinate with each other to safeguard our common interests.
Principles are precursors to development. Under the guidance of principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith as well as the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, China and Africa acclerated the implementation of the outcomes of the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit, enhanced political mutual trust and backed each other on issues concerning their core interests and major concerns. Bilateral cooperation in fields of peace and security, climate change, enviromental protection and so on are deepening constantly. Pragmatic cooperation also achieved a large number of important early harvests.
Since the conclusion of the Summit to lastJuly, China and Africa have signed 243 cooperation agreements, amounting to around 50.7 billion US dollars, of which Chinese enterprises’ direct investment and commercial loans surpass 46 billion US dollars. The Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway has been completed. The Mombasa-Nairobi railway is near completion, while steady progress has been made in building a number of industrial parks. In 2016, volume of trade between China and Africa amounted to 149.2 billion US dollars making China Africa’s largest trading partner for the eighth consecutive years. The two sides’ personnel exchanges at all levels become more frequent, which enhances understanding and mutual trust.
Ladies and gentlemen,
While today’s world is undergoing major changes and great adjustments, China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership carries more and more global importance. China and Africa academic research are faced with new missions and higher requirements in the new era.
It is our sincere wish that the Chinese and African scholars could accurately grasp the pulse of the times, and strengthen innovation of the theory of peaceful development, better serving the development of China-Africa relations.
It is our sincere wish that Chinese and African scholars would study the new ideas, policies and initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping and African leaders at the Summit, to provide theoretical guidance and intellectual support for promoting the development of China-Africa cooperation.
It is our sincere wish that Chinese and African scholars could build a common discourse system, work together to introduce the real China, the real African and China-Africa relations to the world and tell the true story of China and Africa, letting the “China-African chorus” be heard all over the world.
I believe, with the inspiration of intelligence by Chinese and African scholars, and with joint efforts of our two peoples, the future of China and Africa will be better.
I wish the seminar a great success.