By Chen Xufeng
October 1, 2021 is the 72nd Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. Mission of China to the African Union held an online reception and invited all the African friends who have long cared for and supported China’s development and China-Africa (AU) friendly relations to attend. H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission attended and delivered warm remarks. The year 2021 is of epoch-making significance to China and China has made remarkable achievements.
The year 2021 marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China. Over the past century, staying true to the original aspiration and mission of “seeking happiness for the people and revival for the nation”, the Communist Party of China led the Chinese people to achieve a great leap from standing up to growing rich and becoming strong, which has profoundly changed the future and destiny of the Chinese nation. At the celebration of the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping solemnly declared that through the sustained efforts of the whole party and people of all ethnic groups, China had realized the first centenary goal — building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and China is now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building a great modern socialist country in all respects. This is a great and glorious accomplishment for the Chinese nation, for the Chinese people, and for the Communist Party of China.
The year 2021 ushers in China’s “14th Five-Year Plan” and the new journey of building a great modern socialist country in all respects. Faced with the severe challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the complicated and ever-changing domestic and international situation, China made overall plans to promote pandemic prevention and control as well as economic and social development. As a result, China’s economy recovers steadily, with the production and demand picking up, employment and prices remaining stable, new economic drivers thriving fast, quality and efficiency of development enhancing, and market expectations improving. In the first half of the year, China’s GDP reached 53.2 trillion yuan, an increase of 12.7% year-on-year. The major macro indicators stay within reasonable range and China’s economy has managed to keep good momentum for steady and consolidated growth.
The year 2021 witnesses the solid progress of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order. Upholding the concept of “building a community with a shared future for mankind”, we work resolutely to safeguard China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests. We advocate fairness and justice, solidarity and cooperation as well as adherence to multilateralism. We firmly oppose unilateralism and bullying practices. Confronted with tough challenges, China takes concrete actions as a major responsible country to promote global solidarity against pandemic, enhance economic recovery, cope with climate change and improve global governance.
The year 2021 is also of great significance to China-African Union relations. This year, Chinese President Xi Jinping sends congratulatory message to 34th AU Assembly to express his wish that African countries and people will continue to make greater achievements on the path of unity, self-improvement, development and progress. AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat sent Letter of Congratulations on the centenary anniversary of the Communist Party of China, commending the tremendous development achievements made by the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. In late September, AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat once again sent a congratulatory message to President Xi Jinping on the occasion of Chinese National Day. All these reflect that China-AU political and mutual trust reached a new high level.
China and Africa are good friends, good partners and good brothers with a shared destiny and vision. China and the African Union firmly support each other on issues involving the core and major interests of both sides. This year, Chinese President Xi Jinping sends congratulatory message to 34th AU Assembly to express his wish that African countries and people will continue to make greater achievements on the path of unity, self-improvement, development and progress.
AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat sent Letter of Congratulations on the centenary anniversary of the Communist Party of China, commending the tremendous development achievements made by the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. China-Africa solidarity against the pandemic has become a model of such global endeavors. Chinese government started the construction of Africa CDC ahead of schedule by the end of 2020, and provided vaccine assistance to 47 African countries. This August, 15000 doses of China-aided Covid-19 vaccine have been donated to the African Union Commission to support the AU to better proceed with its work.
China will continue to strengthen vaccine cooperation with the African Union and African countries to support African solidarity against the pandemic. China-Africa practical cooperation has been deepening, with the overall implementation rate of the eight major initiatives of 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation exceeding 90 percent. Last December, China and AU signed the Cooperation Plan on Jointly Promoting the Building of the Belt and Road Initiative, the first of its kind in terms of cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative between China and a regional international organization like the African Union. It will enhance the in-depth integration of the BRI with Agenda 2063 of AU. China actively supports the construction of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and promotes China-AU cooperation in such areas as infrastructure, energy partnership, digital economy, cyber security and agriculture. We believe that the upcoming FOCAC meeting in Senegal will push China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership to another higher level.
The year 2021 also marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations (UN). On September 21, 2021, President Xi Jinping attended the general debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly and delivered an important speech titled “Bolstering Confidence and Jointly Overcoming Difficulties to Build a Better World”.
Confronted with the unprecedented global changes and a once-in-a-century pandemic, President Xi put forward a series of new ideas, new theories and new measures in his speech, focusing on issues such as solidarity against the pandemic, economy revival, development of international relations and global governance. Facing the severe impact brought by the pandemic, the international community should work together to steer global development toward a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth.
In this speech, the Global Development Initiative — “Staying committed to development as a priority”, “Staying committed to a people-centered approach”, “Staying committed to benefits for all”, “Staying committed to innovation-driven development”, “Staying committed to harmony between man and nature”, “Staying committed to results-oriented actions” was put forward for the first time to advance on a priority basis cooperation on poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines, development financing, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity, among other areas, so as to build a global community of development with a shared future.
Standing at a new historical starting point, the Chinese government and people will unite closely with the African Union and African countries, adhere to the spirit of equality, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation to expand all-round cooperation, participate more actively in the various causes of the UN, and continue to be a reliable friend and sincere partner for Africa. Let us join hands and work hard to build an even closer community of shared future for China and Africa and contribute to peace and development for mankind!
Mr. Chen Xufeng is Chargé d’Affaires of Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the African Union