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Remarks by H.E. Yang Jiechi Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs On the Inauguration of the China-Africa Institute
2019-04-09

Your Excellency Joaquim Alberto Chissano, Former President of Mozambique,
Your Excellency Xie Fuzhan, President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,
Your Excellency Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang Agbor, AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology,
Diplomatic Envoys,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends,

It is my great pleasure to join you for the inauguration of the China-Africa Institute. Let me begin by extending hearty congratulations on the establishment of the Institute and a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attaches great importance to the establishment of the China-Africa Institute and sends a congratulatory message for this special occasion. Now, I have the honor to read the message from President Xi:

I extend my warm congratulations on the inauguration of the China-Africa Institute and sincere greetings to all the people present as well as those who have long been committed to enhancing China-Africa friendship and cooperation.

Our world is undergoing profound changes of a kind unseen in a century. China and Africa, as the largest developing country and the continent home to the largest number of developing countries, enjoy a time-honored friendship between our peoples. Under the new circumstances, the efforts by China and Africa to deepen our traditional friendship, promote exchanges and cooperation, and enhance mutual learning between our two civilizations will not only benefit the Chinese and African peoples, but also contribute to greater peace and development of the world.

At the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), China and African countries agreed to build an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future and to implement the eight major initiatives for China-Africa cooperation. The establishment of the China-Africa Institute is an important step for increasing people-to-people exchanges between the two sides. I hope the Institute will pool resources from Chinese and African academic communities and think tanks, deepen mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, and offer ideas and recommendations for China-Africa cooperation and our cooperation with other parties, thus contributing to the growth of China-Africa relations and the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

Xi Jinping

President of the People's Republic of China

Beijing, 9 April 2019

The congratulatory message from President Xi speaks volumes about his personal and China's commitment to and support for China-Africa relations and people-to-people exchanges. It strengthens the confidence and determination of the two sides to make the China-Africa Institute a success.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

China and Africa, each with a celebrated history and civilization, have made important contributions to human progress and civilization. With a time-honored friendship, our two civilizations enjoyed mutually beneficial exchanges enabled by the ancient Silk Road. Such friendly interactions were further boosted by the voyages of the Chinese navigator Zheng He back in the Ming Dynasty. Since the modern times began, China and Africa, bonded by similar historical experiences, struggles and development tasks, have engaged each other as good friends, good partners and good brothers despite the geographical distance between us. The recent years has seen the deepening of China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership and thriving people-to-people exchanges. The success of the FOCAC Beijing Summit last September brought China-Africa relations to a new, historic height. Under the new circumstances, China and Africa are working together to expand people-to-people exchanges. This joint effort will further nourish China-Africa cooperation and contribute even more to the diversity of civilizations in our world.

Exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations are a driving force behind human progress. In our relations with African countries, we will continue to follow two principles laid down by President Xi - the principle of honoring sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and that of pursuing the greater good and shared interests among countries. We will fully respect the right of African countries to independently choose their development paths, and increase experience sharing and mutual learning with them in governance and development. Committed to a people-centered development philosophy, we will explore with our African friends new models of mutually beneficial cooperation to deliver real benefits to the Chinese and African people. We support Chinese companies in making investments and doing business in Africa, and encourage Chinese firms and nationals to become active members of local communities and fulfill their corporate social responsibilities, as these efforts can win more popular support for China-Africa relations. Our cooperation with Africa, featuring openness and inclusiveness, neither targets nor excludes any third party. We will firmly oppose attempts by certain countries, harboring their own agenda, to attack and discredit China's Africa policy and make up stories vilifying China's friendship and cooperation with Africa. We are committed to working together with our African brothers to make sure that China-Africa cooperation is presented to the world in the right way, and that the international community sees China, Africa and China-Africa cooperation as they truly are.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Think tank cooperation is an important component of China-Africa cooperation and an effective way to deepen people-to-people exchanges between China and Africa. The establishment of the China-Africa Institute by such a prestigious research institute on philosophy and social sciences like the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences reflects new trends and features of an ever growing China-Africa relationship and growing expectations and demand for closer cooperation between Chinese and African think tanks. In this context, let me share with you what I expect from the Institute.

First, I call on both Chinese and African scholars to make the most of the Institute as a new platform for academic exchanges and cooperation, and turn it into a bridge and a bond between the Chinese and African people that will play a positive role in strengthening cultural, policy and people-to-people links between China and Africa.

Second, I call on Chinese and African scholars to use the Institute as a base for in-depth collaborative research on important subjects regarding China-Africa cooperation, including industrial development, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security. I look forward to your insights and recommendations on how to achieve greater policy synergy for an even higher-level comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership between China and Africa.

Third, I hope that the Institute will leverage its role as a reservoir of best minds and make substantial contribution to training and supporting young experts, young scholars and top-notch professionals, thus creating a strong talent pool for people-to-people exchanges between China and Africa.

Fourth, I hope the Institute will keep alive the fine tradition of sincerity shared by China and Africa, spread new success stories of China and Africa working together for mutual benefit, build positive energy for the growth of China-Africa relations, and foster favorable public opinion for the friendship and cooperation between China and Africa.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

China-Africa relations are standing at a new historical starting point from which a lot can be achieved through people-to-people exchanges. I hope the China-Africa Institute will seize the historical opportunities, strive for distinction and excellence, and make great contribution to promoting people-to-people exchanges, to deepening mutual learning between civilizations, and to building an even stronger community with a shared future between China and Africa.

Thank you.

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