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Statement by Ambassador Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations at the High-level Thematic Debate of the UN General Assembly on "Promotion of Investment in Africa in Achieving Africa's Development Objectives"

2014-07-17 05:22

Mr. President,

China welcomes the General Assembly's thematic debate on development in Africa. China attaches great importance to and actively carries out multilateral and bilateral cooperation with Africa. From March last year to May this year, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang visited Africa separately and announced a range of new ideas, policies and initiatives on supporting Africa's development. In connection with the theme of this meeting, I would like to present China's policy position and relative initiatives on promoting development in Africa.

Today, African countries have made substantial progress in implementing NEPAD through their continuous joint efforts ; Africa has become an important driving force for global economic growth. Meanwhile, the aftermath of global financial crisis lingers; global economic recovery remains sluggish. African countries face the challenge of a deteriorating environment and dwindling resources for development and grave difficulties in achieving the MDGs on schedule. The international community should take comprehensive measures to increase input and support to Africa, and assist African countries in their efforts to achieve development and prosperity. In this connection, China would like to make the following proposals:

1. Development in Africa should receive attention in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Since Africa's development is an important component of international development cooperation and forms the basis for global development and prosperity, the international community should attach strategic importance to development of Africa, continue to support Africa in achieving the MDGs, and give priority consideration to the special challenges and development needs of Africa in formulating the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

2. The environment for development in Africa needs to be improved. An enabling external environment is crucial for the development and prosperity of Africa. The international community should provide an enabling environment for Africa by increasing its direct investment in and ODA to Africa and scaling up its support to Africa in areas such as finance, trade, and debt relief .

3. Partnership for development should be strengthened. The international community should enhance its development partnership with Africa and effectively implement its commitments to Africa. Developed countries should honour their pledge of ODA and provide assistance to Africa in funding, technology and capacity building. Developing countries should strengthen South-South cooperation as a complement to North-South cooperation and share with Africa their experiences in poverty reduction and development.

4. Ownership of African states must be fully respected. In carrying out economic and technological cooperation with African countries, the international community should fully respect their reality and circumstances, their development priorities and their aspirations. It should follow the principle of diversified development models, respect African countries' ownership and self-determination regarding their development strategies and objectives and allow them sufficient policy space in an effort to achieve common development.

Mr President,

China and Africa have a shared destiny. We are closely connected with each other by our common historical experience, our quest for development and our shared strategic interest. China-Africa cooperation is not only about projects, but also about communication from person to person, heart to heart.

During his visit to Africa in March last year, President Xi Jinping presented China's philosophy regarding its relationship with Africa: sincerity, practicality, friendship and candidness. Sincerity is the key in our relationship with our African friends; Solidarity and cooperation with Africa are the corner stone of the Chinese foreign policy. In carrying out cooperation with Africa, we emphasize real, practical assistance. While seeking its own development, China will, as always, continue to provide support and assistance to our African friends to the best of our abilities. To strengthen China-African friendship, we open up our heart and promote cultural exchange so as to enhance the mutual understanding of Chinese and African people and thus lay a solid social foundation for our friendly relationship of cooperation. When addressing new and emerging issues in China-African cooperation, we are candid and open and aim at achieving win- win outcomes in the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation.

During his visit to Africa last May, Premier Li Keqiang proposed Framework 461 on China-African Cooperation – 4 principles of equality, mutual trust, inclusive development and practical cooperation based on innovation; 6 fields of cooperation: industry, finance, poverty reduction, environmental protection, people-to-people exchange, and peace and security; 1 important platform: the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, which lays out the future direction for continued development of China-Africa relation.

Thanks to the joint efforts by both parties, China-Africa relationship has entered the fast track of broad and overall development. Since 2000 when Forum of China-Africa Cooperation was established, China has actively carried out cooperation with African states within the framework of the Forum and has gradually intensified its assistance to Africa. By 2012, China has provided assistance to 51 African states and the African Union. China has established 14 agricultural demonstration centers with another 8 being in the stage of planning and construction. China has trained more than 5000 technical personnel in agriculture and more than 3000 medical personnel. By 2013, the total volume of China-Africa trade reached US$210.2 billion and China has become the largest trading partner of Africa for the past five consecutive years. China's direct investment in Africa, which started from being non-existent has reached its current cumulative amount of US$25 billion and has brought real benefits to the people on both sides.

China will take action to implement its commitment of providing US$20 billion lines of credit to Africa within three years, carry out Africa's cross-border cross region infrastructure construction partnerships and implement the Africa's Talent Training Program which calls for the training of 30,000 personnel of different disciplines and offers 18,000 scholarships to study in China. At present, China has decided to increase the lines of credit to Africa by US$10 billion, bringing the total pledged amount to US$30 billion. At the same time China has replenished the China-Africa Investment Fun with another US$20 billion increasing the fund's total to US$50 billion. Within our cooperation with Africa, we will continue to focus on infrastructure, industrial development, and green and low-carbon economy. We will facilitate Chinese enterprises in Africa to undertake corporate social responsibility and require that they strictly abide by local environmental laws. China will provide US$10 million to Africa dedicated to the protection of wildlife resources so as to promote sustainable development in Africa.

China will, as always, continue to provide assistance to Africa within its capacity and will enhance both the scale and quality of such assistance. More than half of our external assistance will go to Africa and will be provided in line with African needs. We will focus on poverty reduction, agriculture, health, clean water and disaster prevention and reduction in an effort to help address the livelihood of the local population. China will continue to send medical teams to Africa to set up operation all the way down to local hospitals and rural areas. All of the Chinese assistance to Africa is offered with no political conditions attached, is done in a way that doesn't interfere in the internal affairs of African states and carries no stringent demands.

At present, one billion African people are engaged in efforts to achieve their African dream of unity, self-reliance, development and revitalization while 1.3 billion Chinese people are striving to realize their Chinese dream of rejuvenation of their great nation. China is ready to work with Africa in true sincerity, march shoulder to shoulder with Africa, help bring African development into a new realm and realize our respective dreams.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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