ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), delivered a speech at the 18th summit of the African Union on Sunday.
The following is the full text of his speech:
Towards a Better Future with Stronger China-Africa Solidarity and Cooperation
Address by H.E. Jia Qinglin
Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
At the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union
Addis Ababa, 29 January 2012
Your Excellency Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea and Chairperson of the African Union,
Your Excellency Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia,
Your Excellency Jean Ping, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union,
Your Excellency Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Distinguished Heads of State and Government of African Countries,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to attend the opening ceremony of the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) in the beautiful city of Addis Ababa. I feel honored to speak on the podium of the AU summit, especially in this AU Conference and Office Complex, the latest symbol of China-Africa friendship. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, I wish to take this opportunity to convey the cordial greetings and best wishes of the 1.3 billion Chinese people to you, leaders of African countries, and through you, to our African brothers and sisters. I want to express heartfelt thanks to the AU, the government of Ethiopia, and especially President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Chairperson Jean Ping for the thoughtful arrangements and warm hospitality accorded me and my delegation.
Before starting the speech, please allow me to read to you the congratulatory message from H. E. Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China, to the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union.
"The Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union,
On the occasion of the opening of the 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese government and people and in my own name, warm congratulations to you.
The founding of the African Union was an epoch-making event for the unity, cooperation, rejuvenation and development of African countries. Over the past decade since its inception, the African Union has made great efforts to strengthen institutional and capacity building and played a pivotal role in safeguarding peace and stability, promoting economic and social development and advancing the integration process in Africa. The AU has now become one of the most influential regional organizations in the world. We are confident that, under the guidance of the AU, African countries and people will make concerted and pioneering efforts and score new achievements on the path of strength through unity.
There exists profound traditional friendship between China and Africa. Since the beginning of the 21st century, China-Africa relations have grown rapidly and made in-depth progress on all fronts. The establishment and development of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa have boosted bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the political, economic, trade and cultural fields, making our political trust stronger, our shared interests closer and the friendship between our peoples deeper. China has always been Africa's good friend, good partner and good brother. To further consolidate and strengthen unity and cooperation between China and Africa and promote common development is an important cornerstone of China's foreign policy, and a long-term strategic choice that China is firmly committed to. Going forward, we will continue to work with the African side to build upon past achievements and take the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership to a higher and broader plane, thus making even greater contribution to the cause of peace and development in Africa and the world as a whole.
May this AU summit achieve great success!
May China-Africa friendship advance with the times and last forever!"
President of the People's Republic of China
29 January 2012
The above is the congratulatory message from President Hu Jintao.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Africa is one of the cradles of mankind. It boasts a time-honored history, rich natural resources, brilliant cultures, hard-working, talented and courageous people and significant contribution to the advancement of human civilization and world development. Seeking strength through unity and achieving renaissance of civilization has long been a cherished aspiration of the African people. From the rise of pan-Africanism in the early 20th century to the establishment of the Organization of African Unity in 1963, and to the birth of the AU in 2002, the people of Africa have made pioneering efforts on the path of strength through unity, leaving behind glorious pages of success and accomplishing remarkable deeds. Africa today is a land with faster economic growth and rising influence in international affairs. It is a land that radiates fresh vigor and vitality and holds out bright prospects for development. The AU, whose establishment and development has been closely linked with overall progress of Africa, has played a critical role in this regard. We are glad to see that the AU has become an important force for peace, stability and development in Africa and the world as a whole thanks to its growth over the decade. We have every reason to believe that, under its guidance, Africa will make even greater and more solid progress along the path of strength through unity.
At present, both the world and Africa are undergoing profound and complex changes. The underlying impact of the international financial crisis and the continuing turmoil in west Asia and north Africa have affected, to a considerable degree, the cause of peace, stability and development in Africa. A host of internal and external factors have posed growing challenges to Africa in its quest to enhance strength through unity and solve regional issues independently. Though Africa has made impressive progress in economic and social development, meeting the Millennium Development Goals remains a daunting task. The people of Africa are reflecting on their future and development path, and conducting explorations accordingly. The international community should view Africa's development from the perspective of a community of common destinies, take a responsible attitude and make active efforts to promote peace, stability and development in Africa. In this connection, I wish to share with you some of my observations.
First, we must firmly uphold peace, stability and development of Africa. Africa cannot achieve peace and development in isolation from the world, and the world needs Africa for stability and prosperity. A peaceful, stable and constantly developing Africa is a blessing for the world. In a land that has gone through so many wars and conflicts, the state of overall peace and stability as enjoyed by Africa today is hard won and calls for our extra care. In dealing with the hotspot issues in Africa, China has always stood for adherence to the UN Charter and generally recognized principles governing international relations, and encouraged the relevant parties to find solutions through dialogue and consultation with a view to maintaining international and regional peace and stability.
Second, we must fully respect the efforts of African countries in resolving African issues independently. In recent years, Africa has steadily built up its capacity to independently address African issues. Facts have proven that African countries are able and wise enough to do so. The international community should provide support and help to the resolution of African issues. China believes that such help should be based on respect for the will of the African people and should be constructive. It should reinforce, rather than undercut, Africa's independent efforts to solve problems. Interference in Africa's internal affairs by outside forces out of selfish motives can only complicate the efforts to resolve issues in Africa.
Third, we must vigorously support African countries in seeking strength through unity and the integration process. Strength through unity is the right choice made by African countries in light of their history and tradition, their current circumstances and their need for future development. The proud achievements made in the cause of African peace and development in recent years is, to a large extent, attributable to the growing momentum of seeking strength through unity. The current summit, which takes "Boosting Intra-African Trade" as its theme, will undoubtedly play an important role in advancing African integration. Every one who hopes to see African development should vigorously support African countries in seeking strength through unity and advancing the integration process.
Fourth, we must pay more attention to the issue of African development and make bigger input. The North-South imbalance in development is the principal cause of global economic imbalance. In addressing the international financial crisis, the international community should pay more attention to the issue of African development. It should actively deliver on the aid commitment, take concrete actions to accommodate African concerns in context of the WTO Doha Round negotiations and the reform of the international financial system and make the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development this year focus more on sustainable economic and social development in Africa.