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The New Thinking and New Measures of China's Policy to Africa: Helping boost transformation and development of African Economy--Speech by Ambassador LIN Songtian, Director-General of African Department of MFA at the Policy Dialogue between China and IDA
2016/06/16

Distinguished Professor Yifu Lin,

Distinguished Vice President Axel van Trotsenburg,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to attend today's Policy Dialogue. Africa is the important partner both for China and the World Bank. My topic today is The New Thinking and New Measures of China's Policy to Africa:Helping boost transformation and development of African Economy. I would like to take this opportunity to make a briefing on China's policy to Africa under the new circumstances, especially the new thinking and measures to support Africa to realize self-sustainable development.

China and Africa have always belonged to a community of shared future which share weal and woe and a mutually beneficial and win-win community of shared interests. We have always been good friends, good partners and good brothers despite changes in the international landscape. At present, both China and Africa have entered a new stage of development. China and Africa need each other. Given their respective strengths, China and Africa need each other and face a historical opportunity for cooperation and development.

The Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation(FOCAC) in last December was a great success. President Xi Jinping articulated the new concept and thinking of China's policy to Africa comprehensively and systematically and declared to elevate the China-Africa relations to a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership featuring political equality and mutual trust, win-win economic cooperation, mutually enriching inter-civilization exchanges, mutual assistance in security, and solidarity and coordination in international affairs, and declared to implement Ten Cooperation Plans with Africa in the next three years in the following key areas: industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction, public health, cultural and people-to-people exchange, and peace and security. Furthermore, China pledged US$60 billion of funding support for the Ten Cooperation Plans.

The Summit developed a new blueprint for China-Africa cooperation and development, marked the beginning of a new era for China-Africa win-win cooperation for common development, injected strong impetus to China-Africa cooperation and development, and provided unprecedented new opportunity for the transformation and upgrading of China-Africa cooperation.

China-Africa cooperation should always be guided by the voluntary, mutually beneficial and win-win principle, fully respect the ownership of Africa. China will never force any African country for cooperation or pursue unilateral interests. According to the status quo of China-Africa cooperation and realistic demand, the Chinese side will embrace the concept of common, intensive, green and sustainable, safe and open development, and seek win-win cooperation for common development with Africa.

Firstly, pursuing common development. The principles and values of China's Policy to Africa initiated by President Xi Jinping, including sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, upholding the values of friendship, justice and shared interests. The core elements of the concept is to closely combine China's development with assisting the development of Africa, so as to realize win-win cooperation for common development between China and Africa. It requires that we regard the realization of common development of China and Africa as the common value pursued in China-Africa cooperation, fully leverage the two major advantages of China-Africa relations, namely, political mutual trust and economic complementarity, and jointly translate Africa's natural and human resources advantages into benefits for the people of both China and Africa.

The Ten Cooperation Plans proposed by China are highly consistent with China's needs for adjusting economic structure and cutting overcapacity. They are also highly compatible with the development goals and priority areas set out in the Agenda 2063 of African Union. The main idea is, driven by cooperation in industrialization and agricultural modernization, with a focus on industrial alignment and production capacity cooperation, to support Africa in its efforts to remove the three bottlenecks impeding development, namely, the backward infrastructure, inadequate professional and skilled personnel, and lack of financial inputs, thus to help Africa develop its industrial system, food security system and public health system for self-sustainable development, address the three issues crucial to people's well-being, i.e. employment, food security and health care, and realize enduring peace and self-sustainable development. This is an important common understanding reached at the Summit and an important direction that the two sides will work towards in the future.

Secondly, pursuing intensive development. African countries are diversed in national conditions, culture, level of development and openness to the outside world. There is also a great difference in their minds, laws and regulations, preferential policies and government service for absorbing and protecting foreign investment, and the three bottlenecks that impeding development are ubiquitous. It is hard to improve the soft and hard environments for development in a short period. Under current conditions, we should stand for the concept of intensive development and kick off pioneering work in some countries like Ethiopia, Kenya as the demonstration and pioneering countries for capacity cooperation. We will make good use of the successful development practice to guide capacity cooperation between China and Africa. Meanwhile, we will encourage and support Chinese enterprises to explore mutually beneficial cooperation with all African countries in accordance with market principles.

Helping demonstration and pioneering countries does not mean that the development of these countries are all undertaken by China. In accordance with the concept of intensive development, China will pool resources to build demonstration zones, and combine the construction of large infrastructure projects such as water, electricity, railway, roads, and ports with the development of industrial parks and special economic zones, so as to achieve sound interaction and mutual benefit between large-scale infrastructure projects and industrial development. For example, we will support Ethiopia in developing an economic corridor along the railway of Addis Ababa to Djibouti, and support Kenya to develop a new layout of three-in-one China-Kenya production capacity cooperation in building major projects of Mombassa-Nairobi railway line, Mombassa port, free trade zone and special economic zones.

It is said that if you want to get rich, first build roads. Everyone knows that China contributed for the construction of TANZARA for Africa which has been written into the annals of history of China-African relations. Yet the status quo of TANZARA tells us that if there is no enough freight and passenger flow or effective operation, you are not sure to be rich even you have the road. On the contrary, it will become the financial burden of relevant countries. Therefore, pursuing the concept of intensive development means we can not blindly support the construction of large scale infrastructure which lacks economic and social benefits and self sustainable development, otherwise it will bring new debt and fiscal burden for African countries. This is the responsible attitude taken by the Chinese side and the principle we must always adhere to when we promote China-Africa production capacity cooperation.

Thirdly, pursuing green and sustainable development. This includes two aspects of content. One is focusing on ecological environment protection. China will not undertake the old colonial path of looting and robbery, and China-Africa cooperation will never be pursued at the expense of Africa's eco-system and long-term interests. We will strengthen self-discipline, strictly demand Chinese enterprises that they obey local laws and regulations, firmly oppose transfer of industries of high energy consumption, high pollution and outdated production capacity to Africa.We will also strengthen the cooperation with African countries on eco-civilization, support African countries to increase the standard of environment protection, strengthen law enforcement capacity building and supervision, prevent under-standard enterprises going to Africa.

The other one is pursuing the comprehensive benefit and safeguarding the long term interest of Africa. We will guarantee the self-sustainable development of projects and at the same time , we will consider the benefits that projects created for local economic and social development, focus on helping create more local jobs and taxes, generate more foreign-exchange income, so as to promote economy and improve people's livelihood.

Fourth, pursuing safe development. Peace and development are the two sides of one coin. Without a peaceful and secure environment, there can be no cooperation and development. Without cooperation and development, there can be no guarantee for peace and security. Strengthening cooperation on peace and security is one of the five major pillars of China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership. China will continue actively to support the effort by African countries to solve African issues by themselves, helping African countries and the African Union to improve the ability of self maintainance of peace and stability, and continue to actively participate in UN peacekeeping missions in Africa. We will also support African countries to improve laws and regulations, to improve investment and business environment, helping African countries to enhance capacity building in law enforcement departments such as border defense, military and police, customs and taxation, so as to create and safeguard peaceful, secure and orderly environment for African development and China Africa cooperation, helping Africa to achieve long lasting peace and sustainable development.

Meanwhile, we will encourage and guide Chinese enterprises in Africa to strengthen security risk awareness and the protection of their own security and interests, exercising strict control over investment risks in Africa, and fully safeguarding the safety of Chinese people and Chinese interests in Africa.

Fifth, pursuing open development. Supporting Africa to achieve peace, stability and development conformed to the interests of the peoples of the entire world , and it is the common responsibilities for the international community. The development task of Africa is very arduous, thus requires that the international community form joint force and provide common support. Although the thinking and practices of cooperation with Africa are different, all roads lead to Rome, all for supporting the peace and development of Africa. Until now, China has provided financial support to help Africa build 5675 km railway, 5063 km road , 13 airports, 20 bridges, 12 ports and 68 power stations, thus greatly improved the infrastructure conditions of Africa. It not only made positive contributions to the development of relevant countries, but also made conditions for international cooperation partners including China to carry out investment and cooperation with Africa.

Africa belongs to the African people. Africa is absolutely not the traditional domain or sphere of influence of any foreign country outside Africa. China and other foreign countries are cooperation partners of Africa. China is happy to see diversification of cooperation partners of Africa and to explore tripartite cooperation in Africa with an active and open attitude.

The World Bank is the important cooperation partner for China in Africa. China appreciates the long term support of World Bank on the efforts in Africa to alleviate poverty and improve people's livelihoods. China and the World Bank have carried out cooperation on infrastructure construction in Burundi, DR Congo, Liberia, South Sudan, Botswana and cooperation on agriculture in Cameron. Last June in Ethiopia we jointly created Forum on Investment in Africa and it has been institutionalized, thus setting another successful example of tripartite cooperation in Africa between China and the World Bank.

We are working with the US to build Hawassa Industrial Park in Ethiopia. Ethiopia as the host country provides construction funding, land and policy guarantee, the Chinese enterprises explore the advantages of rich experience in industry park construction and operation and are responsible for the construction and operation of the park, the American enterprises play the conformity ability of the industry chain and are responsible of the introduction of enterprises and the sale of products, enterprises from India, China, Sri Lanka and other countries make products in the park and export to the US. This is the new attempt of China cooperation with Africa. Ethiopia gets employment and development, enterprises from China, America and other countries get production base and profits, the US get cheap goods, whick marks it a multiple win-win cooperation.

China's cooperation with Africa is open and inclusive. We will support and participate in whatever is in favor of win-win cooperation for common development. I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm that China will actively explore cooperation with other parties in Africa on the basis of the principle "Africa-proposed, Africa-agreed and Africa-led" , so as to realize advantageous complementarities and jointly contribute to peace, stability and development on the continent.

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