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Statement by Mr. Xu Zhongsheng, Counselor of the Chinese Delegation at the 18th Plenary of the 74th General Assembly on Agenda Item 64 (a)

2019-10-22 21:45

Mr. President,

China thanks you for presiding over the plenary meeting today, which reflects your personal attention and dedication to the achievement of Africa's development. China aligns itself with the statement of Palestine on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

NEPAD is an important framework for Africa's development, reflecting its key priority areas in implementing the SDGs. The efforts by Africa in recent years to fully implement the AU Agenda 2063 and NEPAD have resulted in fast economic growth. With the GDP growing at 3.5% in 2018, Africa is becoming a new growth pole of the global economy. Having said that, the effects of unilateralism, protectionism, regional conflicts, terrorism, climate change, among others, still represent daunting challenges to Africa in its effort to seek peace, stability and development.

Peace and development in Africa are so critical to lasting peace and common prosperity of the world that the international community should attach strategic importance to the cooperation with Africa and, according to the strategic focus and priorities of African countries, increase its attention to and investment in Africa.

First, it is important to support Africa's endogenous development to enhance its capacity for sustainable development. The international community, guided by the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the AU Agenda 2063, should prioritize poverty reduction and hunger eradication, focus on such needs as agricultural modernization, industrialization and infrastructure development, and vigorously strengthen cooperation in productivity capacity management and regional connectivity. The principles of ownership and voluntariness should be adhered to and support be given to the development paths chosen and development strategies formulated by African countries based on their own national conditions.

Second, it is important to build partnerships for increased aid to Africa. The international community should actively fulfill its various commitments to Africa and expand the scale of aid to Africa. Developed countries should honour their ODA commitments and provide Africa with funds, technology and capacity-building with no political strings attached. North-South cooperation's main channel position should be upheld. Developing countries should, based on the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, strengthen South-South cooperation for common development.

Third, it is important to promote global economic governance to improve Africa's development environment. The international community should commit itself to win-win cooperation and jointly work on a just and efficient global financial governance paradigm, an open and transparent global trade and investment governance paradigm, a green and low-carbon global energy governance paradigm, and an inclusive and inter-connected global development governance paradigm so as to enhance the representation and voice of developing countries in global economic governance. In finance, trade and debt relief, Africa's external development environment should be ameliorated. The entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area last May should be a new starting point in helping Africa accelerate its regional integration.

Fourth, it is important to safeguard peace and stability in African countries and support their solution of African problems in an African way. The international community should attach importance to Africa by placing achieving peace and security in Africa in a prominent position. We should, with full trust in Africa, give full play to the initiative of African countries to solve their own problems. We should support Africa by enhancing its capability to independently maintain peace and security. The international community, in helping Africa enhance its own capabilities in maintaining peace and stability and in countering terrorism, should help speed up its development of an AU standby army, a rapid reaction force and an early-warning mechanism.

Mr. President,

China is the largest developing country in the world and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. China and Africa, having shared times of happiness and suffering, have long forged a strong bond of shared destiny. Strengthening solidarity and cooperation with African countries always remains an important cornerstone of China's foreign policy. Through the joint efforts of both sides, the trade volume between China and Africa reached 204.2 billion US dollars in 2018, up 20% from the previous year. China is Africa's largest trading partner for 10 years running. As of 2018, China had set up over 3,700 businesses of various types in Africa, with its direct investment exceeding 46 billion US dollars currently in all industry sectors. China has built more than 5,000 kilometres of railway and highways as part of its aid and/or finance to African countries.

In September last year, the Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum was successfully held. Leaders of China and Africa unanimously decided to push for a close integration of the joint development by China and Africa of the Belt and Road Initiative, the AU Agenda 2063 and the development strategies of African countries. This is aimed at jointly building a China-Africa community of shared future featuring common responsibilities, win-win cooperation, shared happiness, a thriving culture, joint efforts for greater security and for harmonious sysbiosis. The leaders also decided to take eight major actions, namely, industry promotion, facility connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health and sanitation, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.

As President Xi Jinping pointed out, China has always respected Africa, loved Africa, supported Africa and adhered to the "five no" approach in its relations with Africa, that is, no interference in African countries' pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference in African countries' internal affairs; no imposition of one's own will on African countries; no attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Africa.

China hopes that all countries, in handling African affairs, can stick to the "five no" approach and will support African countries in taking the development paths appropriate to their own national conditions and chosen by themselves so as to achieve endogenous development, which brings African People a happier and better life.

China looks forward to working with African countries for common development and continuing to heighten the level of China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership, thus making new and greater contributions to the efforts to build a new type of international relations and a community of shared future for mankind.

Thank you, Mr President.

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