Beijing — Nation aims to expand imports, boost investment, spur industrialization and continue free-trade talks
President Xi Jinping and visiting leaders head for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation after a group photo in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday. WU ZHIYI/CHINA DAILY
President Xi Jinping unveiled on Monday eight major initiatives by China, including expanding imports from Africa, for the next three years and beyond to build a closer community with a shared future for China and Africa.
Xi made the announcement in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. "The over 1.3 billion Chinese people have been with the over 1.2 billion African people in pursuing a shared future," Xi said.
China will purchase more goods, especially nonresource products, from Africa, and will continue its free-trade negotiations with African countries that wish to do so, Xi said.
China will promote industrialization in Africa with such concrete measures as encouraging Chinese companies to expand their investment in Africa, supporting Africa's efforts to largely achieve food security by 2030, and launching 50 agricultural assistance projects, Xi said.
It also will offer emergency humanitarian food aid worth 1 billion yuan ($146.5 million) to Africa, dispatch 500 senior agricultural experts to Africa and train young talent in agricultural science, Xi said.
China will work with the African Union in developing the China-Africa cooperation plan, and China will encourage its domestic companies to participate in infrastructure construction in Africa, he said.
The president said China and Africa should enhance cooperation in such areas as energy, transportation, information telecommunications and cross-border water resources.
China supports African countries' efforts to make better use of financial resources such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank, and the Silk Road Fund in accordance with multilateral rules and procedures, Xi said.
China will offer 50 projects involving green development and ecological protection for Africa, and strengthen exchanges with Africa in climate change, maritime cooperation, control of desertification and protection of wildlife, Xi said.
Xi pledged to enhance communication with African countries on development experiences, offer occupational training courses for African youths, provide a quota of 50,000 government-funded scholarships for Africa and invite 2,000 young people from Africa to visit China.
Xi also unveiled measures to enhance communication with Africa in such areas as health, people-to-people exchanges and security.
To ensure the implementation of the initiatives, China will provide $60 billion in support, including free aid, loans and special funds, for Africa's development, Xi said.
China is ready to jointly promote the Belt and Road Initiative with international partners to create new drivers for development and turn it into a road of peace, prosperity, openness, green development and innovation, Xi said.
In his speech, Xi introduced China's "five-no" approach－no interference in African countries' pursuit of development paths; no interference in internal affairs; no imposition of China's will on African countries; no attachment of political strings to assistance; and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation－in China's relations with Africa.