Ambassador Zhang Lizhong Remarks at the FOCAC and CPC Briefing in Kampala.

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The Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held on November 29 and 30 in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, the current African co-chair of FOCAC. With the theme of “Deepen China-Africa Partnership and Promote Sustainable Development to Build a China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era”, the Conference will review and assess the follow-up implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit as well as the joint China-Africa response to COVID-19, and chart the course for China-Africa relations for the next three years and more to come.

The Conference is scheduled to adopt four documents: Dakar Declaration of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC, FOCAC Dakar Action Plan (2022-2024), 2035 Vision for China-Africa Cooperation and China-Africa Declaration on Climate Change. Furthermore, the Seventh China-Africa Business Conference will take place in parallel with the Ministerial Conference.

Since its establishment in 2000, FOCAC has upheld the principle of extensive consultations, joint contributions and shared benefits, and become a forum featuring equality, practicality and efficiency. China-Africa cooperation under the framework of FOCAC has achieved remarkable and striking results, winning widespread welcome from the African people and high appraisal from the international community. FOCAC is an important platform for collective dialogue and effective mechanism for practical cooperation between China and Africa. FOCAC has spearheaded international cooperation with Africa and become a golden brand for South-South cooperation.

For the 21 years since the establishment of the FOCAC, trade between China and Africa and China’s investment in Africa have expanded by 20-fold and 100-fold, respectively. China has built and is building in Africa more than 10,000 kilometers of railway lines, nearly 10,000 kilometers of roads, 120,000 megawatt of power-generating capacity, 150 kilometers of backbone network lines, over 400 medical facilities, 1200-plus educational institution, and 400,000 tons of annual clean water treatment capacity, creating over 4.5 million employment opportunities in Africa.

In Uganda, while maintaining a good job in pandemic control and encouraged by the Ugandan government, Chinese companies have contributed to local social-economic transformation and development by carrying forward a number of major projects, such as the construction of the Karuma Hydropower Plant and the expansion of the Entebbe International Airport, which, combined other recently completed infrastructure projects such as KE Expressway and Isimba Hydropower Plant, will lay a solid foundation for Uganda’s future economic and social development.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, China has remained Africa’s largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years. In the first nine months of 2021, the bilateral trade volume between China and Africa reached a record of $185.2 billion, up by 38.2% year on year. In the first eight months of 2021, the bilateral trade volume between China and Uganda reached $619 million, up by 26.2%. China welcomes the exports of Uganda’s products into the Chinese market and hopes Uganda will fully utilize the 97% products tariff-free treatment granted by China to expand its exports. We also encouraged Uganda to take an active part in the China International Import Expo, the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo and other Expos activities so as to promote Ugandan’s products.

In the first nine months of 2021, China’s direct investment to Africa across all sectors registered $2.59 billion, an increase of 9.9% year on year, which outpaced China’s overall outbound direct investment by 3% and exceeded the pre-pandemic level in 2019. By the end of 2020, the stock of non-financial direct investment in Uganda has reached $1.07 billion. A number of industrial parks in Uganda invested and built by Chinese enterprises have become highlights of the economic and trade cooperation between our two countries. Earlier this year, CNOOC has made the final investment decision (FID) in Uganda’s oil industry, which will be another big boost to Uganda’s economic development.

Solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon to defeat COVID-19, and the sunshine of cooperation will surely dispel the haze of the pandemic. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, in response to African needs, China has urgently provided various kinds of assistance including materials, vaccines and expert teams to 53 African countries and the African Union. China-Africa economic and trade cooperation and our solidarity provide strong support to economic reopening and recovery in Africa.

China firmly supports Uganda to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chinese government has donated 1 million doses of Sinovac vaccines and over 50,000 units of testing kits to Uganda, and is working with Uganda on delivering the third batch of 600,000 doses. Chinese medical team stationing in China-Uganda Hospital has been making its contributions by sharing anti-pandemic experiences with its Ugandan colleagues.

The upcoming Eighth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC will stand on the new developments, new imperatives and new opportunities and upgrade our cooperation. The Conference will focus on cooperation areas such as health, industrial capacity, regional connectivity, agricultural, digital sector, environmental, military and security, personnel and skills training. It will announce corresponding pragmatic cooperation actions in this regard.

The world is now experiencing major changes unseen in a century. As COVID-19 accelerates these major changes, the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation. The fact that China and Africa will hold the Conference as scheduled under COVID-19 is of great significance itself. First, it reflects the mutual trust, solidarity and support between the world’s largest developing country and the continent with the biggest number of developing countries. Second, it demonstrates our determination, courage and commitment to jointly answer the questions of the times and respond to the changes in the world. Third, all 55 FOCAC members will overcome difficulties to gather together and discuss plans for friendly cooperation and draw a new blueprint for future cooperation. This will inject new impetus into the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership and make new contributions to upholding the overall interests of developing countries and advancing world peace, stability, development and prosperity in a post-COVID era.

The 19th CPC Central Committee convened its sixth plenary session in Beijing from Nov. 8 to 11, 2021. This was an important meeting as the Party celebrates its centenary this year and stands at a critical juncture where the time frames of its two centenary goals converge. The session has adopted one important resolution and one important decision.

The most important outcome of the session is its adoption of the Resolution of the CPC Central Committee on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century.

In the history of the CPC, the CPC has always attached great importance to reviewing historical experiences. The resolution adopted at the plenary session becomes the third relevant resolution on the party historical issues in the CPC one- hundred-year history.

The resolution adopted at the plenary session detailed the struggle, sacrifice, and creations made by the CPC as it stays committed to its mission of seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation, and answers the question of “why we were successful in the past and how we can continue to succeed in the future.” Therefore, we believe this plenary session will have a significant and far-reaching impact on promoting the unity of thought, will, and action of the whole Party, uniting and leading the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to learn from history and create the future, and better adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

The resolution stressed that practice has proven that establishing Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole and defining the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era reflect the common will of the Party, the armed forces, and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, and are of decisive significance for advancing the cause of the Party and the country in the new era and for driving forward the historic process of national rejuvenation.

At the plenary session, the CPC decided to convene its 20th National Congress in Beijing in the second half of 2022. The congress will be held at a critical time when the Party has embarked on a new journey to build a modern socialist country in all respects and to realize the second centenary goal. Therefore, it will be a crucial meeting and an event of great political significance for both the Party and the country.

China and Uganda are good comrades, good friends, good partners and good brother. Our two countries have a very long history of solidarity, friendship and cooperation. Since our two countries established diplomatic relations in 1962, and especially since our relations were elevated by President Xi Jinping and President Museveni to the level of Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership in 2019, we have overcome all sorts of challenges, including changes in international situation and the COVID-19 pandemic, to continuously consolidate and enhance our relations. Our political mutual trust has been ever growing, with our pragmatic cooperation in all fields developing substantially and continuously, our people-to-people exchange booming with colors, and our two countries maintaining close coordination and collaboration in international and regional affairs, bringing more and more tangible benefits to the two countries and peoples. One of the important reasons that our bilateral relations keep moving forward with momentum is that the ruling parties of our two countries, the CPC and the NRM, have been strengthening cooperation and mutual learning in state governance and party building.

At present, China-Uganda relations are at their best in history and lays a solid foundation for future development. China is pursuing New Development paradigm and high quality development. Under New Development paradigm, China gives more priority to expanding the domestic needs, and stresses common prosperity of the people, indicating the existing 400 million middle-income population will continue to expand and provide more market opportunities to other countries. Uganda is implementing import substitution strategy and industrialization. Recent development proves the two countries can achieve greater common development and mutual benefits through close cooperation and synergy of each others’ development strategies.

For future cooperation between the two countries, we need to strive for the transformation and upgrading of bilateral cooperation and improving the efficiency and quality. We need to identify key areas of cooperation and take join actions. These key areas could be poverty reduction, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines, investment and trade, industrialization, connectivity, climate changes, digital innovation and human resources, to name a few. Not long ago, China has proposed China-Africa Digital Innovation Initiative and aims to promote cooperation in digital economy, digital infrastructure, digital education, digital inclusiveness and digital security. We are looking forward to implementing the initiative with the Uganda side. We need to encourage private companies to play bigger role through policy coordination and upgrade the cooperation on industrialization parks and other sectors. Private companies are big in numbers and the backbone of direct investment to Africa countries. The Dakar Conference will provide new opportunities for private companies to expand cooperation in Africa.

Next year in 2022, our two countries will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of our bilateral relations, the CPC will convene its 20th National Congress, the NRM and the Ugandan government will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Republic of Uganda as they strive for national building in such a crucial year. On the new historical starting point, the CPC will work with the NRM and Ugandan people even harder as a whole in our joint efforts to achieve mutual development and prosperity, to leverage our respective strength in building an even closer China-Uganda community with a shared future, and to jointly promote China-Uganda Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership to new heights!


Thank you!


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