Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) entitled as “Open Up New Prospects for A New Type of China-Africa Strategic Partnership.”
The following are the key points in the full text of Hu’s speech:
The theme of the current Ministerial Conference is “build on past achievements and open up new prospects for the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership.” China and Africa should, with both current and long-term needs in mind, redouble efforts to draw up a blueprint for promoting our cooperation in the next stage and lay a solid foundation for making new and greater progress in growing China-Africa relations in the years ahead.
In 2011, our two-way trade reached 166.3 billion U.S. dollars, three times the figure in 2006. Cumulative Chinese direct investment in Africa has exceeded 15 billion U.S. dollars, with investment projects covering 50 countries. The AU Conference Center and Office Complex built by China was handed over to the African side. China’s assistance to Africa has been growing steadily. China has built over 100 schools, 30 hospitals, 30 anti-malaria centers and 20 agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa. It has met the pledge of providing 15 billion U.S. dollars of lending of a preferential nature to Africa. China and Africa have conducted increasing people-to-people and cultural exchanges featuring mutual learning.
A number of activities have been carried out, including the Chinese/African Cultures in Focus, Joint Research and Exchange Plan, Think Tanks Forum, People’s Forum and Young Leaders Forum. China has trained close to 40,000 African personnel in various sectors and provided over 20,000 government scholarships to African countries. China and Africa have set up 29 Confucius Institutes or Classrooms in 22 African countries. Twenty pairs of leading Chinese and African universities have entered into cooperation under the 20+20 Cooperation Plan for Chinese and African Institutions of Higher Education. China and African have enjoyed closer ties of solidarity and coordination featuring mutual help and mutual support in international affairs.
We should encourage exchanges and interactions between our two great civilizations at various levels and in various ways, strengthen exchanges in education, culture, science and technology, health, sports and tourism, and increase contacts between youth, women, people’s organizations, media and academic institutions of the two sides. In this way, we will provide intellectual inspiration and cultural support for China-Africa cooperation and win even greater popular support for China-Africa friendship.
In the next three years, the Chinese government will take measures in the following five priority areas to support the cause of peace and development in Africa and boost a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership.
First, we will expand cooperation in investment and financing to support sustainable development in Africa. China will provide 20 billion dollars of credit line to African countries to assist them in developing infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and small and medium-sized enterprises.
Second, we will continue to increase assistance to Africa to bring the benefits of development to the African people. China will build more agricultural technology demonstration centers as necessary to help African countries increase production capacity. China will implement the “African Talents Program” to train 30,000 personnel in various sectors for Africa, offer 18,000 government scholarships, and build cultural and vocational skills training facilities in African countries. China will deepen medical and health cooperation with Africa, send 1,500 medical personnel to Africa.
Third, we will support the African integration process and help Africa enhance capacity for overall development. China will establish a partnership with Africa on transnational and trans-regional infrastructural development, support related project planning and feasibility studies and encourage established Chinese companies and financial institutions to take part in transnational and trans-regional infrastructural development in Africa. China will help African countries upgrade customs and commodity inspection facilities to promote intra-regional trade facilitation.
Fourth, we will enhance people-to-people friendship to lay a solid foundation of public support for enhancing China-Africa common development. China proposes to carry out “China-Africa people-to-people friendship action” to support and promote exchanges and cooperation between people’s organizations, women and youth of the two sides. China proposes to set up a “China-Africa Press Exchange Center” in China to encourage exchanges and visits between Chinese and African media, and China supports exchange of correspondents by media organizations of the two sides. China will continue to implement the China-Africa Joint Research and Exchange Plan to sponsor 100 programs for research, exchange and cooperation by academic institutions and scholars of the two sides.