China will always be member of the family of developing countries and the Global South Strengthening solidarity and cooperation with African countries has always been a priority of China’s diplomacy
By: Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone Wang Qing
The15th BRICS Summit has just concluded in South Africa. Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a series of meetings and also co-chaired the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue with South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.
This is a grand meeting for BRICS cooperation. During the Summit, leaders had reached extensive consensus on BRICS cooperation, issued the Johannesburg II Declaration and announced to invite Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Iran and Ethiopia to the BRICS family as official members. The BRICS expansion is historic. It demonstrates the commitment of BRICS countries to cooperate in unity with all developing countries. The expansion is also a new starting point for BRICS cooperation. It will inject new vitality into the BRICS cooperation mechanism and further strengthen the forces for world peace and development.
As a firm supporter and participant of BRICS, China made active contribution for the success of the Summit. China takes a clear cut and firm stand to support BRICS expansion in BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation. President Xi announced that China will set up a China-BRICS Science and Innovation Incubation Park for the New Era to support the deployment of innovation results. Under the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation mechanism, China will explore the establishment of a BRICS Global Remote Sensing Satellite Data and Application Cooperation Platform to provide data support for agriculture, ecological conservation and disaster reduction in various countries. China will also work with all parties to jointly establish a BRICS Framework on Industrial Cooperation for Sustainable Development as a platform of industrial coordination and project cooperation in implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This is also a grand meeting to deepen China-Africa friendly cooperation. During the Summit, leaders of China and Africa had a dialogue with the theme of “Helping African Integration and Building A High-Level China-Africa Community With A Shared Future”. They jointly planned the priority areas and key directions of future China-Africa cooperation, especially concerning the livelihood and employment of African people, and meeting the needs of Africa’s economic transformation, aiming to promote the further docking of China’s advantages with Africa’s endowment and promote China-Africa cooperation to a higher level. The dialogue issued a joint statement, expounding on strengthening solidarity and cooperation, safeguarding international fairness and justice, strengthening mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests and achieving common development and win-win cooperation between China and Africa.
China is always a reliable friend of Africa. President Xi emphasized that in face of the profound changes unseen in a century, a strong China-Africa relationship and productive China-Africa cooperation will provide more fresh impetus to global development and ensure greater stability of the world. China will work with Africa to bring more active, effective and sustainable development to Africa, expand cooperation in agriculture, manufacturing, new energy and digital economy, and facilitate Africa’s economic integration, industrialization and agricultural modernization. During the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue, President Xi announced China will launch an initiative in support of Africa’s industrialization and implement a plan to support Africa’s agricultural modernization as well as a plan for China-Africa cooperation on talent development. China will continue to work for substantive progress in African Union’s joining of the G20 this year, and looks forward to a greater role by African countries and the AU in international and regional affairs.
China has shown with concrete actions that China is naturally a member of the Global South and will always be a member of the big family of developing countries. Through unremitting efforts, China has become the world’s second largest economy and the first developing country to realize the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. However, China has a large population, low per capita income, and a large development gap between regions. According to the measurement standards of most international organizations, China is still a developing country, and its human development index ranks 79th in the world, which is at the same level as other major developing countries. The identity of the members of the “Global South” also bears the true love and solid friendship between China and other developing countries and embodies China’s long-term pursuit and joint efforts for the democratization of international relations. No matter how China’s economy develops in the future and how its international status improves, China will always adhere to its self-positioning as a developing country and a member of the “Global South”, and will always share the same fate with other “Global South” countries.
China has proved with practical actions that no matter how the international situation changes, China will always stand with Africa. And strengthening solidarity and cooperation with African countries has always been a priority of China’s diplomacy. In the past ten years, under the guidance of President Xi’s proposal of the Principles of Sincerity, Real Results, Amity and Good Faith and the Principles of Pursuing the Greater Good and Shared Interests, the development of China-Africa relations has pressed the “accelerator key” and entered the “fast lane”. Over the past decade, China has provided a large amount of development assistance to Africa and helped build more than 6,000 kilometers of railway, over 6,000 kilometers of highway, and 80-plus large power facilities on the continent. Going forward, China will launch with UNESCO a “GDI for Africa’s Future” action plan and carry out more cooperation with African countries to support Africa in enhancing its own capacity for development, promote China-Africa cooperation to a higher level and open a new chapter in building a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.