On May 25, 2023, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang attended and addressed the Africa Day reception in Beijing. Also in attendance were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo Christophe Lutundula, and diplomatic envoys from various African countries to China.
On behalf of the Chinese government, Qin Gang extended congratulations on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Qin Gang said that the founding of the OAU is an epoch-making event in the history of Africa, and the start of a new chapter of African countries seeking strength and development through unity. At the turn of the century, the African Union (AU) took over the baton, and led African countries forward with bigger strides toward development and revitalization. With continued rise in its international status, Africa has become an important force with global influence. Over the past 60 years, China and Africa offered each other support, sharing weal and woe. No matter how the international situation evolves, China has always been there for Africa. In particular, over the last decade, guided by the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and of pursuing the greater good and shared interests in developing China’s relations with Africa put forth by President Xi Jinping, China-Africa relations have been growing with the “acceleration button” on, and entered a fast track toward a new era of a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future. China and Africa enjoy closer friendly exchanges, and leaders of the two sides visit each other as often as relatives do; enjoy ever-deepening win-win cooperation, delivering more benefits to the two peoples; enjoy stronger coordination on international affairs, serving as an important force for international fairness and justice.
Qin Gang said that both China and Africa are standing at a new historical starting point and embracing important new opportunities. The modernization of over 1.4 billion Chinese people through peaceful development is bound to give a stronger impetus and broader opportunities to the growth of the African and global economies. Being the world’s largest developing country and the continent home to most developing countries, China and Africa need solidarity and cooperation more than ever. The closer China-Africa relations are, the stronger the protection for world peace. The more successful China-Africa cooperation is, the greater the hope for global development. Qin Gang put forward five suggestions for further deepening China-Africa cooperation.
First, safeguard each other’s legitimate and lawful rights and interests, and further strengthen mutual support on issues concerning each other’s sovereignty, development and dignity. Second, advance respective modernization with distinctive features, synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping with the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the development strategies of African countries, so as to help Africa accelerate industrialization, localization and economic diversification. Third, jointly push forward the reform of the global governance system, defend the common interests of developing countries, and constantly gather stronger forces for unity and revitalization of the developing world. Fourth, pursue common security, join hands to implement the Global Security Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping, help de-escalate the hotspot issues in Africa and the world, and jointly address non-traditional security challenges. Efforts should be made to improve the UN operations for peace and stability in Africa and enhance Africa's capacity for countering terrorism and maintaining stability. Fifth, further strengthen exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations, and speed up cooperation under the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping in Africa, so as to add vibrancy to Chinese and African civilizations.
Demeke and Lutundula said that the joint celebration of Africa Day by Africa and China is of special historical significance, as this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative being proposed by President Xi Jinping. Through the common struggle for national liberation and independence, Africa and China have established a profound friendship, with solidarity and mutual trust becoming the cornerstone of the Africa-China partnership. China has made important contributions to Africa's development and has become the most important partner in Africa’s integration. The African side firmly stays committed to the Africa-China friendship, and stands ready to jointly carry forward the spirit of the Africa-China partnership, accelerate respective development and revitalization, and work together to build an Africa-China community with a shared future and a human community with a shared future.
Martin Mpana, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps and Cameroonian Ambassador to China, expressed gratitude for President Xi Jinping’s care and support for Africa's development, noting that a series of China-Africa cooperation initiatives proposed by President Xi Jinping have injected strong impetus into the high-quality comprehensive strategic partnership between Africa and China. Africa and China relations always feature equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect, with both sides jointly committed to peace and development. Africa is ready to work with China to step up strategic communication and coordination, and firmly strengthen the bond of Africa-China friendship. Permanent Representative of the AU to China Rahamtalla M. Osman read out a written message from Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, and Ambassador of the Union of Comoros to China Maoulana Charif, whose country assumes the rotating AU presidency, and others delivered speeches respectively. They said that Africa expects to continue strengthening solidarity between Africa and China, uphold multilateralism, and jointly address challenges.
Before the reception, Qin Gang and the guests visited the “China-Africa Cooperation in the New Era” themed photo exhibition.
On May 25, 1963, the OAU, the predecessor of the AU, was established, and the day was designated as Africa Day. The reception was co-organized by the Chinese side and African embassies in China.