Working Together to Develop Cooperation, Promote Democracy and Pursue Development--keynote speech at the 134th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly by H.E. Zhang Dejiang
2016/37/19

Mr. Chairman,

Dear colleges,

It is indeed a great pleasure for me to come back to Africa, a land of passion, three years after my last trip to the continent. First, I want to extend warm congratulations over the successful convocation of the 134th IPU Assembly, and express sincere gratitude to Zambia for the efforts you have put in for hosting the conference.

Themed on “Rejuvenating democracy, giving voice to youth”, this assembly is very important. I want to have in-depth discussions with my colleges and friends how we can work together to develop cooperation, promote democracy and pursue development, and make our world more fair, just, democratic and harmonious.

First, peace and development are the foundation of democracy. Peace is the eternal hope of the people, and development holds the key to all problems. We should give up cold-war mentality and zero-sum game mindset, advocate a new concept of shared, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, safeguard world peace and stability, promote common prosperity and development, and consolidate the foundation for progress of democracy.

Second, friendly consultation is the route to achieve democracy. Consultation is an important form of democracy. We should heighten the sense of a community of common destiny, avoid conflicts and confrontations, address differences through consultations, enhance cooperation through dialogues, promote the building of a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, and make the global governance system more fair and just.

Third, inclusiveness makes democracy more beautiful. Democracy takes different forms. Each country has the right to choose its own path to develop democracy suitable to its national conditions. We should seek common ground while shelving differences, be open and inclusive, promote exchanges and mutual learning of various forms of democratic systems, and promote improvement and development of democratic systems.

Fourth, the youth are the hope of democracy. The world can only be prosperous when the youth are well developed. We must attach high importance to the needs of the youth, respect the uniqueness of the youth, strengthen education and training of the youth, build platforms for youth innovation and entrepreneurship, expand the channels for the youth to participate in governance, and give support and encouragement to the youth for self development, for realization of their dreams and for their contribution to the society.

Mr. Chairman,

Dear colleges,

Africa is the cradle of human civilization. It is a land of hope, and important force for safeguarding world peace and stability, and promoting democracy of international relations. African countries are in the process of rejuvenation and development, and enjoy unlimited potential and broad prospects. At the same time, Africa still faces many challenges and difficulties for development. The international community should give strong support to the efforts of African countries to seek self development and to strengthen themselves through unity, and help the African people to realize their own dreams.

China and Africa have always been a community of common destiny. At theJohannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping and African leaders all agreed to upgradeChina-Africa relationship into a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to consolidate the five pillars of China-Africa relations, keeping to the principles of political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation, enriched cultural exchanges, mutual assistance in security, and solidarity and coordination in international affairs. Based on the real needs of Africa for development, China proposed ten cooperation plans for the following three years, for which China will provide a total of US$60 billion of funding support. The National People’s Congress of China will actively promote the implementation of the outcomes of the Summit, promote China-Africa business cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, so as to deliver more benefits to the people of China and African countries.

Mr. Chairman,

Dear colleges,

The IPU is an international parliamentary organization with longest history, largest scale and strongest influence. Under the new circumstances, the IPU can play a bigger role in promoting inter-parliamentary cooperation, building up consensus, and promoting implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The NPC attaches high importance to the position and role of the IPU, and is willing to make its contribution to the development of the organization. The NPC has already formally signed the agreement with the IPU on providing US$1.5 million of assistance in cash, with the first batch of projects to be launched very soon. We are ready to continue strengthening friendly cooperation with the IPU and parliaments of various countries.

Mr. Chairman,

Dear colleges,

The development of socialist democracy is China’s firm pursuit. Over the years, we always proceed from the reality and national conditions of China, keep to the principal position of the people, adhere to the policy of reform and opening up, and draw good achievements of other political civilizations. We have found a path of political development that suits China’s reality, and developed a set of unique political systems. The systems guarantee people’s wide participation in state and social governance, ensure vitality, orderliness and stability of the country’s political life, and underpin successful progress of various undertakings in our modernization drive. The development of socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics offers a lively and successful example for diversity of democratic practice.

China’s economy has entered a new normal, emphasizing more on the quality and efficiency of development. In 2015, against the backdrop of global economic slowdown, China still achieved 6.9% GDP growth, and successfully completed its 12th five-year plan. Several days ago, the NPC reviewed and adopted the Outline for the 13th Five-Year Plan, setting goals and tasks for China’s development in the following five years. It stressed on a new concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development to guide China’s development, and ensures the realization of the goal of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects in due time. China is implementing a new round of higher-level opening up, and actively promoting the building of the Belt and Road proposed by President Xi Jinping, which will offer more market and cooperation opportunities for other countries including the developing countries.

Mr. Chairman,

Dear colleges,

People’s expectation for a beautiful life is the goal of our work, and points the direction for our cooperation. The NPC is willing to work together with the parliaments and international parliamentary organizations to strengthen our cooperation, and make bigger contribution to safeguarding world peace, promoting common development, and improving the wellbeing of the people.

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