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Records of Foreign Minister Wang Yi's Interview with CCTV Africa
2015/02/06
 

On January 11, 2015, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, while paying an official visit to Kenya, gave an interview to CCTV Africa in Nairobi. The full text of the interview is as follows:

CCTV: Minister Wang Yi, what is your main purpose of this visit to Africa? And what do you expect for?

Wang Yi: Chinese diplomacy has a good tradition that Africa is always the first destination of the foreign minister's annual overseas visits. This move is to send a clear signal to the world that it has always been an important cornerstone of China's foreign policy to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with African countries, no matter in the past, at present or in the future. China and Africa have always shared common destiny. China's policy of valuing the development of China-Africa relations is consistent and will continue to be stuck to.

I regard this visit to Africa as a journey of implementation, cooperation and peace.

"The journey of implementation" is to further carry out the four-word policy of "sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith" and the correct viewpoint of righteousness and benefit proposed by President Xi Jinping during his visit to Africa in 2013. The correct viewpoint of righteousness and benefit is a unique characteristic of China's diplomacy, an important concept that we adhere to and also a banner held high when China works with developing countries. Its core connotation is that when we cooperate with Africa, we should always respect and safeguard the interests of African countries and African people, and put it in the first place. We should uphold justice in politics for Africa and help it speed up development and rejuvenation. We will neither follow the old path of western colonists nor sacrifice the ecological environment and long-term interests of African countries, but rather to seek for mutual benefits, reciprocity and win-win cooperation.

"The journey of cooperation" is to discuss on strengthening friendly and practical cooperation in all fields with Africa. During Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Africa last year, he proposed the construction of "Six Major Projects" and "Three Major Networks" with African leaders. These important proposals have been universally acknowledged and highly recognized by all African countries. China and Africa are highly complementary in terms of economic development. Both sides have advantages of their own, demand from each other, and provide opportunities for each other. Many African countries including Kenya are embracing the "Look East" policy. China is accelerating the pace to open up westwards and continuously enlarge investments in foreign countries and industry transfer. I have a strong feeling that the development strategies of China and Africa are facing important opportunities of historic synergy and will create broader development space and unleash bigger cooperation potentials. China is ready to step up efforts to translate China-Africa friendly tradition into the incentive of development and cooperation, and to help Africa accelerate the pace in transforming the labor and resource potentials into advantages of economic development.

A few figures can explain a lot. The China-Africa trade volume was about 10 billion USD in 2000, and exceeded 200 billion USD last year. Despite of the gloomy world economy in recent years, the China-Africa trade still grows against the context, which fully shows that the China-Africa cooperation has great potential and space. We have set a goal for China-Africa trade volume to reach 400 billion USD by 2020. In 2000, investment from China in Africa amounted to only 500 million USD, and rapidly increased to nearly 30 billion USD last year with an average annual growth of 20 percent or more in recent years. It shows that the level of the China-Africa cooperation is improving, the structure is upgrading, and the development is in the direction of more mutual benefits and win-win outcomes. On the basis of the existing cooperation outcomes, we are willing to discuss with African friends on further improvement of the level and quality of cooperation. We hope that the China-Africa cooperation could gradually surpass the traditional general trade and the mutual trade of the primary products such as resources and raw materials, so as to seek the restructuring and upgrading of the cooperation structure.

African friends may remember that President Xi Jinping put forward two key concepts during his visit to Africa in 2013. The first one is "nesting to attract phoenixes", which means improving the infrastructures and building a favorable investment environment to attract more investment and achieve the economic take-off of Africa. The second one is "teaching one how to fish rather than giving him a fish". Temporary assistance is helpful, while it is more important to help African friends improve their self-development ability and help African countries accelerate the process of industrialization. Building "Six Major Projects" and "Three Major Networks" proposed by Premier Li Keqiang in his visit to Africa last year is the best interpretation and implementation of these two key concepts. China would like to make joint efforts with Africa in these two directions. The "Six China-Africa Cooperation Projects" refers to industry, finance, poverty reduction, ecological improvement and environmental protection, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, as well as peace and security. We have realized that in order to open up a new situation of cooperation with Africa, we must adapt to Africa's new needs of development. China and Kenya should also explore new fields of cooperation. To approach this goal, I proposed to Kenya seven priority fields of enhancing China-Kenya cooperation yesterday, namely agriculture, infrastructure construction, industrial connection and technology transfer, renewable energy, ecological improvement and environmental protection, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, as well as peace and security. If we can explore new areas and tap potentials of cooperation with every country and sub-region in Africa, China-Africa cooperation will definitely take on a new cooperation pattern and bring more benefits to the people in both China and Africa.

"The journey of peace" is to participate in the settlement of African hotspot issues in a constructive way and give full play to China's role in promoting peace and security in Africa. Peace and development are still the major issues that Africa faces today. Without peace, there is no development; without development, it is difficult to maintain peace. China has clear stances on peace and security issues in Africa. We firmly support African people in solving African issues in their own ways, and support the African Union and relevant sub-regional organizations in playing dominant and core roles in this process.

This afternoon, I am going to visit Sudan. The South Sudanese issue is a hotspot issue concerned by the international community. At African friends' requests, during my visit in Sudan tomorrow, I will attend the Special Consultation in Support of the IGAD-led South Sudan Peace Process with Foreign Ministers of relevant regional countries. The consultation will be hosted by Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, Chairperson of the IGAD mediation team on the South Sudanese issue. Parties directly related to the South Sudanese issue will be present at invitation. China enjoys good relations with both South Sudan and Sudan and maintains exchanges with all parties of South Sudan. Our initiative to hold this special consultation is to encourage and assist relevant mediation efforts of the IGAD to make progress in the peace process and promote peace, stability and development in South Sudan at an early stage. It not only accords with the interests of the people in South Sudan, but also conforms to the benefits of Africa and the international community.

CCTV: Ebola epidemic was one of the international foci last year, and China has contributed a lot to helping Africa fight against the Ebola epidemic. Can you give us more details?

Wang Yi: China and Africa are good brothers, friends and partners. We always understand and support each other, and share weal and woe together. Since the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in the three countries in West Africa last March, China empathized with them and provided all possible assistance to the three Western African states within our capacity instantly. First, after the appeals made by the heads of state of the three African epidemic-stricken countries and Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), China was the first major non-African country to offer emergency rescue and dispatch chartered planes to send relief materials to the epidemic-stricken areas. In spite of the outage of many flights and withdrawal of personnel, China has so far sent 9 chartered planes to transport materials and personnel to those endemic areas.Second, China's medical teams did not withdraw from the three affected countries in West Africa, but remain in their posts and fight against Ebola epidemic alongside African brothers at the forefront. We have also sent more medical personnel and experts to the epidemic-stricken areas, the number of which now adds up to over 1,000. We have already started to train 10,000 healthcare workers for West African countries. We have also built bio-safety laboratories and therapeutic centers in Sierra Leone and Liberia according to the needs of the affected countries, playing an important role in fighting against the epidemic. So far, China has provided assistance amounting to 750 million yuan. This is the most sustained, largest-scale and most intensive assistance in supporting efforts of other countries and regions to combat a public health crisis in the history of the People's Republic of China. The assistance has won the appreciation of Africa and the international community and shows the sincere friendship between China and Africa who share weal and woe together. Now, Ebola epidemic has been eased to some extent in the three West African countries. However, people have to think about how to seek both temporary and permanent solutions in order to prevent future outbreaks of similar large-scale epidemics. The Chinese government is consulting with relevant African countries about how to carry out cooperation to improve the public health system in Africa and strengthen Africa's ability to prevent and control epidemics. This is also the next cooperation filed that China and Africa will focus on. I would like to tell African friends that as long as Ebola epidemic continues, China's assistance and support to the affected areas in Africa will not stop. China will firmly stand together with brothers and sisters in Africa until Ebola is thoroughly defeated.

CCTV: This year, the sixth ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in South Africa. What is your expectation for this conference?

Wang: This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the FOCAC and it is an important year for carrying forward the past and forging ahead into the future of China-Africa cooperation. We attach great importance to the sixth ministerial conference of FOCAC to be held in South Africa this year. FOCAC is an important platform for performing collective dialogue and practical cooperation between China and Africa, and plays an important role in the development of China-Africa relations. China's bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation with all African countries under the framework of the forum have promoted each other for common development, forming a comprehensive and all-dimensional China-Africa cooperation pattern.

At this ministerial conference, China hopes to review and summarize the achievements we have made and the experiences we have accumulated during the past 15 years since the forum was founded and jointly plan for the cooperation in various fields in the next phase. More importantly, we should discuss the measures to deepen the all-dimensional practical cooperation between China and Africa according to new situations, so that the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa will become more intensified and practical.

An important task of my visit to Africa is to have consultations with African countries on how to ensure the success of the sixth ministerial conference of the forum and to listen to the opinions and suggestions from African friends. I hope that through the sixth ministerial conference, first, we can further strengthen the political mutual trust and cooperation between China and Africa and safeguard the common interests of China and Africa as well as the overall interests of developing countries in the current complex situation. Second, upgrade the cooperation between China and Africa on the basis of existing cooperation results and enrich the connotation of cooperation according to our respective development needs. For example, explore possibilities of cooperation in industrial connection and construction of infrastructure such as railways, highways and regional aviation. These are urgent needs of Africa and require joint promotion of China and Africa. In addition, there are some new fields which need further negotiations and exploration of the two sides, such as health care, ecological improvement and environmental protection, human resources and training, and peace and security.

Each forum meeting is very important, for they can put forward a series of new measures to strengthen practical cooperation between China and Africa and pinpoint the direction and key points of cooperation in the following phase. We believe that with the support of African countries, especially the efforts of South Africa as the host country, the sixth ministerial conference of the forum will be a complete success and become a new step to promote China-Africa relations for new and important development. We are full of confidence about this.

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