Long live China Africa friendship

On May 25, 2024, Vice Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong attended and addressedthe Africa Day reception jointly held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the African diplomatic corps in China.

On May 25, 2024, Vice Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong attended and addressedthe Africa Day reception jointly held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the African diplomatic corps in China.

Published May 30, 2024


H.E. Chen Xiaodong, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

Africa Day, held on May 25, is an important annual event in celebration of the African people’s struggle for independence and unity. On this day 61 years ago, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded under the banner of Pan-Africanism. Africa started a new journey of seeking strength, development and vitalisation through unity.

Strengthening unity and co-operation with Africa is China’s unwavering strategic choice. Premier Zhou Enlai sent a congratulatory message on the very day the OAU was established. Since then, China and African countries have fought shoulder to shoulder against imperialism, colonialism and hegemonism, and worked hand in hand in pursuit of development and vitalisation.

Despite an ever-changing international landscape, the Chinese and African people have stood together through thick and thin. Our long-standing friendship has grown still stronger with the passage of time.

Following political guidance, China and Africa are conducting close exchanges at all levels. President Xi Jinping has paid a state visit to South Africa, where he also attended the BRICS Summit and the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue.

Fourteen African leaders have visited or attended large events in China. Our two sides enjoy deepening political mutual trust, firmly support each other on issues concerning our respective core interests and major concerns, and staunchly champion the common interests of developing countries and international fairness and justice.

Focusing on development, China and Africa are making solid progress in mutually beneficial co-operation. China has remained Africa’s largest trading partner for 15 years straight. In the first four months of this year, China-Africa trade reached $95.4 billion (about R1.7 trillion), up 4.1% year-on-year; Chinese imports from Africa reached $39.5bn, up 11.4% year-on-year, showing strong momentum.

The headquarters of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was inaugurated.

The San-Pédro Stadium in Ivory Coast uccessfully hosted matches for the Africa Cup of Nations 2024.

A growing variety of African specialties such as citrus from South Africa and

pineapple from Benin have entered Chinese households.

The list of China-Africa co-operation is growing longer and yielding

more visible benefits.

Committed to mutual learning, China and Africa are expanding people-to-people interactions.

The success of such events as the China-Africa Youth Festival, Share the Space: China-Africa Dreams, and “Here Is Africa” tourism promotion have further enhanced the mutual understanding and affinity between the Chinese and African people.

At the China-Africa Think Tank Forum held in March, Chinese and African scholars jointly issued a Dar es Salaam Consensus and sent to the world a strong message from the Global South, which has won wide attention and appreciation.

In the world today, changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace, and the Global South is growing in strength. Sharing close affinity and similar ideas and objectives, China and Africa should further deepen solidarity and co-operation and pursue development and vitalisation, in an effort to advance our common interests.

First, we could take the upcoming Forum on China–Africa Co-operation (Focac) Summit as an opportunity to write a new chapter in China-Africa friendship.

The year 2024 is a big year for China-Africa relations, as Chinese and African leaders will gather in Beijing again after a lapse of six years to chart the course for future co-operation.

I am convinced that through the joint efforts of both sides and the engagement of our diplomatic envoys in this room, the summit will be a great success. It will usher in a new stage in building a China-Africa community with a shared future and become a new milestone in China-Africa relations.

Second, we could focus on the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative to foster new drivers for China-Africa co-operation. China will seek greater synergy between the above-mentioned initiatives and Agenda 2063 of the AU and the development strategies of African countries, to find the biggest common ground for the development of both sides.

We could strengthen co-operation in trade, investment, infrastructure development and other traditional areas, while seizing the opportunity of green energy transition to widen co-operation in green and low-carbon development, digital economy, blue economy and other emerging areas.

Third, we could take the implementation of the Global Security Initiative as a guidance to make new contributions to peace and security.

China will work with Africa to uphold the vision of common, comprehensive, co-operative and sustainable security, find African solutions to African problems, promote the implementation of the “Silencing the Guns” initiative and the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa, and help African countries enhance their capacity for maintaining peace and stability.

Fourth, we could take the implementation of the Global Civilization Initiative as a means to explore new areas of China-Africa interactions. China will work with Africa to further expand exchanges and co-operation in such areas as science, education, culture, tourism and media, to cement public support for the China-Africa friendship and strengthen people-to-people connection.

We could step up co-operation in technology transfer, education and training, and cultivate talent for the modernisation of governance capacity, for social and economic development, for greater scientific and technological innovation, and for the improvement of people’s well-being.

As a Chinese saying goes, “The journey may be long and arduous, but with sustained actions, we will eventually reach our destination and embrace a brighter future.”

Friendship and co-operation over the last six decades have accumulated invaluable assets for the Chinese and African people. China will continue working in solidarity and co-ordination with Africa on our journey toward a higher level of China-Africa community with a shared future and a brighter future for China-Africa relations.

Long live the China-Africa friendship!