China-Africa friendship is expected to continue to flourish as cooperation is further deepened in various areas after the ongoing 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Dakar, Senegal.
China will provide an additional one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa, carry out 10 projects on poverty alleviation and agriculture, and conduct more programs with Africa in various areas, announced President Xi Jinping on Monday when addressing the opening ceremony of the meeting via video link.
Elaborating on the secret of China-Africa friendship and looking to the future development of their relations, he highlighted unity against the pandemic, deepening practical cooperation, promoting green development, and safeguarding fairness and justice.
Cooperation against COVID-19
“To reach the target set by the African Union of vaccinating 60 percent of the African population against COVID-19 by 2022, China will provide another one billion doses of vaccines to Africa, of which 600 million doses will be provided free,” Xi said.
During the toughest times in China’s fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, African countries and regional organizations such as the African Union (AU) provided strong support to China. After COVID-19 struck Africa, China supplied 50 African countries and the AU Commission with COVID-19 vaccines.
“China will never forget African countries’ profound friendship,” Xi said, adding that China will also carry out 10 medical and health projects for African countries and send 1,500 medical team members and public health experts to Africa.
Earlier this week, the main building of the Chinese-funded headquarters for the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was structurally completed.
Practical cooperation in various areas
China will work with Africa to expand trade and investment, share experience in poverty alleviation, and strengthen cooperation on digital economy and renewable energy, Xi said.
China will send 500 agricultural experts to Africa, work closely with African countries to implement nine major projects on healthcare, poverty alleviation, trade, investment, digital innovation, green development, capacity building, cultural exchanges and security, he added.
Since the founding of FOCAC, Chinese companies have utilized various funds to help African countries build and upgrade more than 10,000 km of railways, nearly 100,000 km of highways, nearly 1,000 bridges and 100 ports, and 66,000 km of power transmission and distribution network, according to a white paper titled “China and Africa in the New Era: A Partnership of Equals” released on Friday.
Building China-Africa community with a shared future
This year marks the 65th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations between China and African countries.
Hailing the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, Xi said it reflects the two sides’ experience of sharing weal and woe and serves as the source of strength for furthering China-Africa ties.
Over the past 65 years, China and Africa have forged unbreakable fraternity in the struggle against imperialism and colonialism, and embarked on a distinct path of cooperation in the journey toward development and revitalization, he said.
“Together, we have written a splendid chapter of mutual assistance amidst complex changes, and set a shining example for building a new type of international relations,” he said.
Xi put forward the principles of China’s Africa policy: sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and pursuing the greater good and shared interests.
At the initiative of both China and African countries, FOCAC was inaugurated at its first Ministerial Conference in Beijing in October 2000, with the goals of responding to the challenges emerging from economic globalization and seeking common development.
FOCAC now has 55 members, comprising China, the 53 African countries that have diplomatic relations with China, and the AU Commission.