Address by Mr. Wang Yi
State Councillor and
Minister of Foreign Affairs
at the Commemorative Reception
20th Anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
(Beijing, November 12, 2020)
Good evening. It is a great pleasure for me to participate in this reception to celebrate together with you the 20th anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Twenty years ago, shortly after the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration, Chinese and African leaders gathered in Beijing for the first ACHF conference, opening a new page in Sino-African relations. After 20 years of development, the Forum, in line with the general trend of peace, development and cooperation, has become a banner of cooperation with Africa and a fine example of multilateralism and win-win cooperation.
In 20 years, the ACHF has considerably consolidated Sino-African solidarity and friendship. In the great Sino-African family, all members, despite their size and level of development, are brothers who respect each other and treat each other as equals. China and Africa have continued the deep friendship forged in the struggle for national liberation and have given each other strong support on issues of vital interests and major concerns on both sides. We have raised high the banner of multilateralism, justice and equity. Together, we have strengthened the place and influence of developing countries in the world and safeguarded their global interests.
In 20 years, the CASF has contributed significantly to the common development of China and Africa. In 2019, Sino-African trade reached US$208.7 billion and the stock of Chinese direct investment in Africa reached US$49.1 billion, respectively 20 times and 100 times higher than 20 years ago. The two sides jointly developed the « Ten Cooperation Programs » and the « Eight Major Initiatives ». China has helped Africa implement them, including building dozens of Sino-African economic and trade cooperation zones and industrial parks, more than 6,000 kilometers of railways, more than 6,000 kilometers of roads, nearly 20 ports, more than 80 large power generation facilities, more than 130 health facilities, 45 stadiums and more than 170 schools on the African continent. All of these constructions are at the origin of tangible changes in economic and social development in Africa. Projects embodying the « age-old dream » of African countries such as the African Union (AU) Conference Center, the Mombasa-Nairobi railway line and the Maputo-Catembe Bridge have been completed one after the other, reflecting par excellence the Sino-African commitment to joint development.
In 20 years, the FCSA has considerably strengthened the bonds of friendship between the Chinese and African peoples. The China-Africa Think Tank Forum, the China-Africa People’s Forum, the China-Africa Press Center, and the China-Africa Youth Festival have grown steadily and are now playing a more important bridging role between Chinese and Africans. China has provided a total of about 120,000 government scholarships to African countries and established 61 Confucius Institutes and 44 Confucius Classes in partnership with 46 African countries. It has sent 21,000 health professionals to 48 African countries, providing care to an estimated 220 million people. In 2014, when West Africa was hit by the Ebola epidemic, more than 1,000 Chinese doctors and nurses went to the aid of affected people in defiance of the dangers. When COVID-19 came on suddenly, China and Africa fought the coronavirus side by side. Last June, President Xi Jinping and African leaders held an extraordinary summit against COVID-19 and sent a strong message of solidarity against the virus. The Sino-African friendship has grown stronger and stronger through all the struggles we have fought and all the hardships we have overcome together.
China is the largest developing country, and Africa, the continent with the largest number of developing countries. Over the last 20 years we have witnessed a rapid development of the ACHF, and at the same time we have seen the persevering efforts of the Chinese people to achieve national renewal and African commitment to a strong united Africa. In this extraordinary historical journey, we have moved forward hand in hand and have shown through our achievements that developing countries are not only the most important players in the development of Africa, but al