President Xi and Biden Meeting Tomorrow: What Are the Issues and Should We Expect News?

By Allawi Ssemanda

After meeting his Russian counterpart in Geneva, in June this year, U.S president Joe Biden told journalists that there are no secret codes to foreign policy. President Putin on the other hand told journalists; “such meetings are meant to save the world from nuclear destruction” and find solutions to world challenges. All this sounded comical as two leaders supposedly on a mission to save the world failed to hold a joint press conference despite being in the same city. They all addressed press minutes apart where they used sinister arguments and took swipes at each other’s countries.

Back to Xi-Biden virtual meeting! It is coming at a time when relations between the two countries are at its worst. Issues ranging from trade, technology, alleged influence peddling, military activities, origins of Covid-19 and human rights have always been cited as catalyst for animosity between Washington and Beijing. It is coming just days after visitation of U.S lawmakers to Taiwan, an Island China considers its breakaway territory. Indeed, Beijing described the visit an “act of provocation.

This meeting is coming less than two weeks after Pentagon harshly criticised Beijing alleging China tested hypersonic missiles. Indeed, U.S’ Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, compared alleged hypersonic missile test to a Sputnik moment, referring to the Soviet satellite launch that sparked a Cold War arms race. Days later, U.S also tested hypersonic missiles it accused China of testing! Indeed, in past few months, the U.S has been busy building military alliances analysts say China is the target. Alliances include AUKUS which will see Washington give Australia nuclear powered submarines and Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) comprising of U.S, Australia, India and Japan.

While Biden administration says is willing to dialogue with Beijing, such talks must be sincere and mutual respect must be at centre. This means the U.S dropping support for separatists in Taipei which China considers a redline. Beijing has already indicated readiness to work with the U.S on condition of mutual respect stressing; both countries will gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation,Cooperation is the only right choice.”

If this is the case, Monday’s meeting will solve the obvious over-the-top ideological rhetoric and provoking hints seen during Trump administration and its failure to understand need for the two world’s leading economies to cooperate in addressing world’s challenges and other crude policy excuses that were overly ineffective and costly for both.

With a more professional and well-coordinated policy processes in Washington, and a president willing to read and absorb briefings of intelligence community and take experts advice, my view is that Monday’s meeting will pave way for further dialogue to address issues that affect the relationship of the two world’s biggest economies.

From military analysis, after U.S’ humiliation in Afghanistan, the U.S is arguably aware that when it comes to protecting national sovereignty, possibly, not even can AUKUS or QUAD can stop Beijing from protecting One China policy.

However, this is not failure to acknowledge that though such meetings are important, it is always not easy to strike a common ground. U.S considers China’s progress unacceptable for Washington fears this will limit her hegemonic tendences and global dominance the U.S enjoyed as unchallenged super power since 1990s. In international politics, the endgame of superpower contestation and claims of protecting human rights and the so-called democracy liberals claim has never been achieving a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons.

The logic that guides the so-called liberals, democrats and superpowers is just the logic of power and schemes on how to maintain dominance. History has taught us that when it comes to foreign policy, those who claim to champion democracy are even worse than those they brand autocratic. Arguably, some democracies’ foreign policy is largely characterised by imperialistic tendences – colonialism is the best example here. If compared with those they brand authoritarian, is mutual benefit and improving lives and livelihoods of people not just in home countries but globally.

What is striking is that as the so-called liberals attempt to spread their dominance and control emergence of ambitious powers in different regions and continents plus in their formerly strongholds, propaganda and politics comes in to play and in long run, lives of many have been cut short.  

With such background, there is need for the U.S to redefine its China policy and agree to bitter fact that gone are the days when they freely dominated entire Asian region. Pondering at this, a few questions come up: Will the Biden Administration follow Trump’s path of demonising and blaming China, referring to Beijing as U.S’ existential threat?

Blame China is tact often employed by both Republicans and Democrats in their effort to scare Americans so as to get their support for huge defence budget. The notion that China is a threat to the U.S and the world order is definitely unjustified. Chinese president Xi Jinping has been clear that China does not seek to dominate. Wonder, why would Beijing want to disrupt current order as some hawks in Washington claim yet the same order enabled Beijing navigate to move to the top?

With this, one can confidently say the fears that Washington claims Beijing poses are inaccurate, and grossly exaggerated. This lays a foundation for a second question: Will Biden appreciate such facts and accurately define where and how China is a threat to Washington as some hawks claim? Such an approach will present Washington in a more sober and pragmatic stance and hence, ease relations and any dealings with Beijing. Otherwise, the Biden presidency risks being swallowed with unsubstantiated characterisation at Capitol Hill who believe in Libido dominand concept – the urge to dominate and back those who don’t believe in a fair competition which will prioritise nothing but a zero-sum game, move with containment methods instead of the much-needed constructive forms of engagement which would bring positive results for both.

The other key question is: Biden administration accept the new bitter reality that gone is the era of Unipolar when the U.S enjoyed military dominance across maritime areas of Asia and that such an era will certainly not return in the near future. It is important to note that U.S politicians still reflexively boast of America’s military might and the supposed necessity of the U.S to maintain unchanged level of their military dominance in the region of the Asian Pacific while moving to China’s borders as they claim their so-called “freedom of action”. Arguably, it is naïve of Capitol Hill politicians to maintain that poorly conceived notion – that U.S military predominance can help to ensure order, and it is also delusional to imagine that the U.S has that much needed financial muscle of ensuring they retain the kind of military prowess very close to China as they wish to.

The open secret is that the world is headed to a de facto balance of power in Western Pacific between U.S and allies on one hand and China on the other. The trouble is that by nature, such balances often are risky – tempting each side to test its strength and leverage. In this case, the issue of Taiwan and Chinese maritime disputes with the United States and her allies may become a reality. However, if the Biden approach to the Taiwan question is respecting China’s one country policy, these talks will produce good results.

In sum, U.S’ problem is not China and has never been China. It is what John J. Mearsheimer called “Tragedy of Great Power Politics” – that is, a former super power failing to contain emerging powers.

The writer is the executive director Development Watch Centre, a foreign policy think tank, and author of Global Governance and Norm Contestation: How BRICS is Reshaping World Order.

 

 

50 Years of China at UN: true multilateralism and building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

By Allawi Ssemanda.

Yesterday, 25th of October marked 50 years since United Nations’ (UN) 26th session of the General Assembly passed Resolution number 2758 restoring full rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations. The resolution meant that only representatives sent by Beijing were the only legitimate representatives of the country. To Chinese people, this was a huge victory and arguably a victory to entire world especially the Global South.

Despite being a founding member of the UN and one of only 5 permanent members of the UN and Chinese delegation which included Dong Biwu on behalf of Communist Party of China signing the Charter of the United Nations in June 1945, representatives of defeated Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomingtang government still occupied China’s seat at UN despite the country having new leadership. Resolution 2758 which was sponsored by Albania, Algeria and other 21 countries meant that China’s rights at UN were restored and representatives of Kuomingtanga were expelled with only representatives of PRC government being reorganised as the only legitimate representatives of China to the UN. Uganda is among other countries that overwhelming supported China’s return to the UN.

In many ways, this resolution was a turning point and a good move for the well-being of all UN member countries especially developing countries and entire global south. Since regaining her rightful seat at the UN, China has always used its position at UN both as a member and one of only five countries with permanent position to vote in support of developing countries. China also on many occasions has used her position at the UN to defend Africa and other developing countries’ sovereignty with Beijing’s non-interference policy in affairs of other independent countries. For example, using its position at UN as a permanent member, when the U.S lead invasion of Libya allegedly to defend human rights citing resolution 1676 which calls for Responsibility to Protect (R2P), China and other countries proposed Responsibility While Protecting (RWP) arguing that if a country invades another on pretext of R2P, that country should be held to account to ensure lives and property of people and their rights are protected since most interventions often result into disastrous wars as was the case in Iraq and Libya among others. Also, International politics experts argues that responsible protection is important explaining that it would help in case of any foreign interference or invasion in affairs of another country, intervening countries take responsibility and be held to account in case of any violations.

Put differently, despite enjoying veto powers as a permanent member, China has always respected and supported principal of fairness, justice and respecting international laws and norms which calls for respect for all independent UN member countries. The Chinese believe in equality nonmatter one’s country, colour or race. If taken from the former Chinese leader’s words Deng Xiaoping; “It doesn’t matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.” In other words, it doesn’t matter whether the country is big, rich or small. Provided it is an independent country, its territories and people must be respected.

Indeed, speaking during a conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the People’s Republic of China’s lawful seat in the United Nations, president Xi Jinping was clear. “We should vigorously advocate for peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and work together to provide the right guiding philosophy for building a better world. Peace and development are our common cause, equity and justice our common aspiration, and democracy and freedom our common pursuit. The world we live in is diverse and colorful. Diversity makes human civilization what it is, and provides a constant source of vitality and driving force for world development.” In this context, The Chinese have taught us that despite our differences, we must strive to live in peace and harmony while respecting each other.  Quoting a Chinese saying, President Xi observed that “Without achieving the good of one hundred various schools, the uniqueness of one individual cannot be achieved. No civilization in the world is superior to others; every civilization is special and unique to its own region.”

For the last fifty years, China and Chinese people in general have proved to the world especially developing countries China’s readiness and willingness to work together for the well-being of mankind. From supporting the construction of Tanzania-Zambia railway line also known as Tazara Railway in 1960s when China was a poor country to today’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Beijing is a friend in need.  BRI has so far improved infrastructure in more than 141 countries and about 32 international organizations. World Bank and experts from other organizations project that BRI will on top of easing transportation of goods and services across the world, the project has provided employment opportunities to thousands of people in countries implementing the project.

In support world’s health sector, as the world’s largest developing country, China is the second largest contributor to World Health Organisation’s annual budget. Taking the example of containing the current Covid-19 pandemic, as the rest of developed countries embrace vaccine nationalism, as of today, China has contributed over 1.2 billion doses of vaccines to more than 100 developing countries. This is in addition to Beijing $100 million to Covax program. From all the above and Chinese example, we learn that to succeed, countries must work together for the well-being of their people. As president Xi observed while marking China’s return to UN; “The human race is an integral community and Earth is our common homeland. No person or country can thrive in isolation. Humanity should overcome difficulties in solidarity and pursue common development in harmony.”

From security perspective, China has also played a leadership role in ensuring the world is a peaceful place to live in. Since 1990, China has deployed over 50,000 peacekeepers under the UN in over 25 UN peacekeeping missions including in South Sudan. Today, China is the largest UN peace keeping contributor with over 2,500 personnel deployed in different UN peace operations. China is also the second world’s largest contributor of UN budget contributing 12%.

The writer is the executive director of Development Watch Centre, a foreign policy think tank, and author of Why Africa Deserves a Permanent Seat on United Nations Security Council.

 

 

 

China’s medical diplomacy reflects president Xi’s philosophy of Community with shared future for mankind.

By Joseph Nyero

My favorite Chinese saying is; “if you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a life time, HELP SOMEBODY.” This is a saying that they have taken very seriously!

I needn’t say it but for emphasis I will, a sick nation cannot develop! Imagine you had to go to work with fever, difficulty in breathing, sore throat, aches, pain and cough. Currently, the world is faced with the COVID-19 pandemic that has brought the entire world to its knees. We have been taught that prevention is better than cure and we agree but what if we can’t entirely prevent a disease because its airborne and yet we still have to walk around looking for food. The next option would be going for a cure except there isn’t one and that’s why high-income countries with sophisticated medical systems that a country like Uganda can only admire have terribly crushed down. If something befalls the jungle and leaves the lions down, the sheep don’t go running around, they take shelter. It brings us down to the only shelter that we have learnt with time about the noble disease, vaccinating. What this does is to reduce transmissibility and mortality and prevent the severe form of the disease.  All that has to be done is to vaccinate the highest percentage of the population so that even those that haven’t been vaccinated benefit from herd immunity.

Unfortunately for developing countries like Uganda, purchasing covid-19 vaccines has proved to be a very difficult, since developed countries pre-ordered almost all produced vaccines and others opted to hoard them until all their citizens are fully immunized. This has left many countries including Uganda unable to access these vaccines on market on top of the vaccines being super expensive. Even Covax facility which was started to help developing countries vaccinate their citizens experts say it vaccines at their disposal now cannot even vaccinate 20% of population in developing countries. This means developing countries like Uganda cannot fully vaccinate their citizens without support of other developed countries.

This means many developing countries are going to continue struggling in terms of health capacity and hence, the need for support. In sprit of Ubuntu and Chinese president’s philosophy of a community with shared future for mankind, also known as community of common destiny for mankind, China has embraced medical diplomacy by donating 300,000 doses of the vaccine to Uganda. Also earlier donated to support Uganda’s health sector in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic are; 20 tons of cornmeal, mattresses, sanitizers, blankets, masks, gloves. Even Chinese individual citizens such as Jack Ma himself, a successful entrepreneur that has inspired many Ugandans donated medical supplies. All the above extended in times of need is a clear evidence that friends in need are our friends indeed!

These vaccines are going to go a long way in relieving the effects of COVID-19 in Uganda. The cases began as numbers which shortly turned into names of people we know. With no particular selection criteria, rich or poor, families have broken down leaving behind orphaned children. The people are mostly senior citizens like Uganda’s ambassador to Sudan that are not only important to their families as bread winners but also crucial to the development of the country. The people they leave behind commonly drop out of school, can’t find food and its not rare that they become depressed. These are gaps that will never be filled. We have all been depressed because of loosing someone we know. These vaccines are a strong thread of hope to ending this otherwise unending nightmare.

Currently, Uganda is under lockdown. During the recent presidential address, schools will remain closed and the situation reassessed after 60 days. Before this second lockdown, millions of students did not report to school despite the opening of schools meaning that these dropped out. These are children who are highly motivated with dreams that they wanted to see through. Some of them like me, are the only educated people in their families with a strong desire to finish school and break their families free from the chains of poverty. The awareness that some of the young girls are ending up with teenage pregnancies or being married off as early as 14 years breaks me down to the bones. The opening of schools has been coupled to the vaccination of a significant percentage of the teachers and students. These vaccines will give a huge forward push towards opening up of schools.

A high proportion of Ugandans meet their expenses from their daily incomes. Having a lock down therefore means that they will run short of food, rent, name it. It would really be unfortunate for such a person to catch the severe form of the disease which the vaccine prevents. How can someone who is struggling to find the days food afford 5 million Uganda shillings which is the daily bill of a private hospital to manage someone who is critically ill? This is why we are so thankful for the vaccines from China.

They haven’t only began boosting the medical system of Uganda since the pandemic. China has over the past 36 years donated medical equipment worth $8 million. They didn’t just dump the equipment here! They likewise sent 21 teams of over 200 doctors to show us how to use these equipment and work in our hospitals too. China has also been a significant part of the Ebola emergency prevention and control program that has prevented Ebola outbreaks in Uganda or the spread of outbreaks from Congo. China built the center for disease control. This puts Uganda at a better position, a head of local epidemics due to the preventive nature of the facility. The china-Uganda friendship hospital built in 2012 has reduced maternal mortality rate by 99%, operated on over 7,000 patients and delivered 22,000 mothers annually. These are people who walked into the gates of the hospital full of agony, desperation, uncertainty and trying to find something to hold onto. They walked out of the gates as though reborn, with smiles and full of hope ready to pursue their dreams. As a medical student, I haven’t known more joy than that of patients improving because that’s the call and nobility of the medical profession.

Thanks to China, Uganda is now slowly but steadily crawling out of a poor medical system as they are donating very expensive medical equipment, teaching us how to use them and bringing in expertise and practices that made them breakthrough. It won’t be long till we are there. A dream becoming true!

 Joseph Nyero is a fourth-year medical student at Makerere University and a research fellow at Development Watch Centre, a Foreign Policy Think Tank.

 

Speech at a Ceremony Marking the Centenary of the Communist Party of China

July 1, 2021

Xi Jinping

Comrades and friends,

Today, the first of July, is a great and solemn day in the history of both the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese nation. We gather here to join all Party members and Chinese people of all ethnic groups around the country in celebrating the centenary of the Party, looking back on the glorious journey the Party has traveled over 100 years of struggle, and looking ahead to the bright prospects for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

To begin, let me extend warm congratulations to all Party members on behalf of the CPC Central Committee.

On this special occasion, it is my honor to declare on behalf of the Party and the people that through the continued efforts of the whole Party and the entire nation, we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and we are now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects. This is a great and glorious accomplishment for the Chinese nation, for the Chinese people, and for the Communist Party of China!

Comrades and friends,

The Chinese nation is a great nation. With a history of more than 5,000 years, China has made indelible contributions to the progress of human civilization. After the Opium War of 1840, however, China was gradually reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society and suffered greater ravages than ever before. The country endured intense humiliation, the people were subjected to great pain, and the Chinese civilization was plunged into darkness. Since that time, national rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.

To save the nation from peril, the Chinese people put up a courageous fight. As noble-minded patriots sought to pull the nation together, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Movement, the Reform Movement of 1898, the Yihetuan Movement, and the Revolution of 1911 rose one after the other, and a variety of plans were devised to ensure national survival, but all of these ended in failure. China was in urgent need of new ideas to lead the movement to save the nation and a new organization to rally revolutionary forces.

With the salvoes of Russia’s October Revolution in 1917, Marxism-Leninism was brought to China. Then in 1921, as the Chinese people and the Chinese nation were undergoing a great awakening and Marxism-Leninism was becoming closely integrated with the Chinese workers’ movement, the Communist Party of China was born. The founding of a communist party in China was an epoch-making event, which profoundly changed the course of Chinese history in modern times, transformed the future of the Chinese people and nation, and altered the landscape of world development.

Since the very day of its founding, the Party has made seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation its aspiration and mission. All the struggle, sacrifice, and creation through which the Party has united and led the Chinese people over the past hundred years has been tied together by one ultimate theme—bringing about the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

To realize national rejuvenation, the Party united and led the Chinese people in fighting bloody battles with unyielding determination, achieving great success in the new-democratic revolution.

Through the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War, the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, and the War of Liberation, we fought armed counter-revolution with armed revolution, toppling the three mountains of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism and establishing the People’s Republic of China, which made the people masters of the country. We thus secured our nation’s independence and liberated our people.

The victory of the new-democratic revolution put an end to China’s history as a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society, to the state of total disunity that existed in old China, and to all the unequal treaties imposed on our country by foreign powers and all the privileges that imperialist powers enjoyed in China. It created the fundamental social conditions for realizing national rejuvenation.

Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese people showed the world that the Chinese people had stood up, and that the time in which the Chinese nation could be bullied and abused by others was gone forever.

To realize national rejuvenation, the Party united and led the Chinese people in endeavoring to build a stronger China with a spirit of self-reliance, achieving great success in socialist revolution and construction.

By carrying out socialist revolution, we eliminated the exploitative and repressive feudal system that had persisted in China for thousands of years, and established socialism as our basic system. In the process of socialist construction, we overcame subversion, sabotage, and armed provocation by imperialist and hegemonic powers, and brought about the most extensive and profound social changes in the history of the Chinese nation. This great transformation of China from a poor and backward country in the East with a large population into a socialist country laid down the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundations necessary for realizing national rejuvenation.

Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese people showed the world that the Chinese people were capable of not only dismantling the old world, but also building a new one, that only socialism could save China, and that only socialism could develop China.

To realize national rejuvenation, the Party united and led the Chinese people in freeing the mind and forging ahead, achieving great success in reform, opening up, and socialist modernization.

We established the Party’s basic line for the primary stage of socialism, resolutely advanced reform and opening up, overcame risks and challenges from every direction, and founded, upheld, safeguarded, and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics, thus bringing about a major turn with far-reaching significance in the history of the Party since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. This enabled China to transform itself from a highly centralized planned economy to a socialist market economy brimming with vitality, and from a country that was largely isolated to one that is open to the outside world across the board. It also enabled China to achieve the historic leap from a country with relatively backward productive forces to the world’s second largest economy, and to make the historic transformation of raising the living standards of its people from bare subsistence to an overall level of moderate prosperity, and then ultimately to moderate prosperity in all respects. These achievements fueled the push toward national rejuvenation by providing institutional guarantees imbued with new energy as well as the material conditions for rapid development.

Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese people showed the world that by pursuing reform and opening up, a crucial move in making China what it is today, China had caught up with the times in great strides.

To realize national rejuvenation, the Party has united and led the Chinese people in pursuing a great struggle, a great project, a great cause, and a great dream through a spirit of self-confidence, self-reliance, and innovation, achieving great success for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Following the Party’s 18th National Congress, socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era. In this new era, we have upheld and strengthened the Party’s overall leadership, ensured coordinated implementation of the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, upheld and improved the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, modernized China’s system and capacity for governance, remained committed to exercising rule-based governance over the Party, and developed a sound system of intraparty regulations. We have overcome a long list of major risks and challenges, fulfilled the first centenary goal, and set out strategic steps for achieving the second centenary goal. All the historic achievements and changes in the cause of the Party and the country have provided the cause of national rejuvenation with more robust institutions, stronger material foundations, and a source of inspiration for taking greater initiative.

Through tenacious struggle, the Party and the Chinese people have shown the world that the Chinese nation has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong, and that China’s national rejuvenation has become a historical inevitability.

Over the past hundred years, the Party has united and led the Chinese people in writing the most magnificent chapter in the millennia-long history of the Chinese nation, embodying the dauntless spirit that Mao Zedong expressed when he wrote, “Our minds grow stronger for the martyrs’ sacrifice, daring to make the sun and the moon shine in the new sky.” The great path we have pioneered, the great cause we have undertaken, and the great achievements we have made over the past century will go down in the annals of the development of the Chinese nation and of human civilization.

Comrades and friends,

A hundred years ago, the pioneers of Communism in China established the Communist Party of China and developed the great founding spirit of the Party, which is comprised of the following principles: upholding truth and ideals, staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission, fighting bravely without fear of sacrifice, and remaining loyal to the Party and faithful to the people. This spirit is the Party’s source of strength.

Over the past hundred years, the Party has carried forward this great founding spirit. Through its protracted struggles, it has developed a long line of inspiring principles for Chinese Communists and tempered a distinct political character. As history has kept moving forward, the spirit of the Party has been passed on from generation to generation. We will continue to promote our glorious traditions and sustain our revolutionary legacy, so that the great founding spirit of the Party will always be kept alive and carried forward.

Comrades and friends,

We owe all that we have achieved over the past hundred years to the concerted efforts of the Chinese Communists, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation. Chinese Communists, with comrades Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao as their chief representatives, have made tremendous and historic contributions to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. To them, we express our highest respect.

Let us take this moment to cherish the memory of comrades Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, and other veteran revolutionaries who contributed greatly to China’s revolution, construction, and reform, and to the founding, consolidation, and development of the Communist Party of China; let us cherish the memory of the revolutionary martyrs who bravely laid down their lives to establish, defend, and develop the People’s Republic; let us cherish the memory of those who dedicated their lives to reform, opening up, and socialist modernization; and let us cherish the memory of all the men and women who fought tenaciously for national independence and the liberation of the people in modern times. Their great contributions to our motherland and our nation will be immortalized in the annals of history, and their noble spirit will live on forever in the hearts of the Chinese people.

The people are the true heroes, for it is they who create history. On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, I would like to pay my highest respects to workers, farmers, and intellectuals across the country; to other political parties, public figures without party affiliation, people’s organizations, and patriotic figures from all sectors of society; to all members of the People’s Liberation Army, the People’s Armed Police Force, the public security police, and the fire and rescue services; to all socialist working people; and to all members of the united front. I would like to extend my sincere greetings to compatriots in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese. And I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to people and friends from around the world who have shown friendship to the Chinese people and understanding and support for China’s endeavors in revolution, development, and reform.

Comrades and friends,

Though our Party’s founding mission is easy to define, ensuring that we stay true to this mission is a more difficult task. By learning from history, we can understand why powers rise and fall. Through the mirror of history, we can find where we currently stand and gain foresight into the future. Looking back on the Party’s 100-year history, we can see why we were successful in the past and how we can continue to succeed in the future. This will ensure that we act with greater resolve and purpose in staying true to our founding mission and pursuing a better future on the new journey that lies before us.

As we put conscious effort into learning from history to create a bright future, we must bear the following in mind:

 We must uphold the firm leadership of the Party. China’s success hinges on the Party. The more than 180-year-long modern history of the Chinese nation, the 100-year-long history of the Party, and the more than 70-year-long history of the People’s Republic of China all provide ample evidence that without the Communist Party of China, there would be no new China and no national rejuvenation. The Party was chosen by history and the people. The leadership of the Party is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and constitutes the greatest strength of this system. It is the foundation and lifeblood of the Party and the country, and the crux upon which the interests and wellbeing of all Chinese people depend.

On the journey ahead, we must uphold the Party’s overall leadership and continue to enhance its leadership. We must be deeply conscious of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership. We must stay confident in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must uphold the core position of the General Secretary on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and uphold the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership. Bearing in mind the country’s most fundamental interests, we must enhance the Party’s capacity to conduct sound, democratic, and law-based governance, and ensure that it fully exerts its core role in providing overall leadership and coordinating the efforts of all sides.

 We must unite and lead the Chinese people in working ceaselessly for a better life. This country is its people; the people are the country. As we have fought to establish and consolidate our leadership over the country, we have in fact been fighting to earn and keep the people’s support. The Party has in the people its roots, its lifeblood, and its source of strength. The Party has always represented the fundamental interests of all Chinese people; it stands with them through thick and thin and shares a common fate with them. The Party has no special interests of its own—it has never represented any individual interest group, power group, or privileged stratum. Any attempt to divide the Party from the Chinese people or to set the people against the Party is bound to fail. The more than 95 million Party members and the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people will never allow such a scenario to come to pass.

On the journey ahead, we must rely closely on the people to create history. Upholding the Party’s fundamental purpose of wholeheartedly serving the people, we will stand firmly with the people, implement the Party’s mass line, respect the people’s creativity, and practice a people-centered philosophy of development. We will develop whole-process people’s democracy, safeguard social fairness and justice, and resolve the imbalances and inadequacies in development and the most pressing difficulties and problems that are of great concern to the people. In doing so, we will make more notable and substantive progress toward achieving well-rounded human development and common prosperity for all.

 We must continue to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context. Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology upon which our Party and country are founded; it is the very soul of our Party and the banner under which it strives. The Communist Party of China upholds the basic tenets of Marxism and the principle of seeking truth from facts. Based on China’s realities, we have developed keen insights into the trends of the day, seized the initiative in history, and made painstaking explorations. We have thus been able to keep adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times, and to guide the Chinese people in advancing our great social revolution. At the fundamental level, the capability of our Party and the strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics are attributable to the fact that Marxism works.

On the journey ahead, we must continue to uphold Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and fully implement the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. We must continue to adapt the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s specific realities and its fine traditional culture. We will use Marxism to observe, understand, and steer the trends of our times, and continue to develop the Marxism of contemporary China and in the 21st century.

 We must uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must follow our own path—this is the bedrock that underpins all the theories and practices of our Party. More than that, it is the historical conclusion our Party has drawn from its struggles over the past century. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a fundamental achievement of the Party and the people, forged through innumerable hardships and great sacrifices, and it is the right path for us to achieve national rejuvenation. As we have upheld and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics and driven coordinated progress in material, political, cultural-ethical, social, and ecological terms, we have pioneered a new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization, and created a new model for human advancement.

On the journey ahead, we must adhere to the Party’s basic theory, line, and policy, and implement the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy. We must deepen reform and opening up across the board, ground our work in this new stage of development, fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy, and foster a new pattern of development. We must promote high-quality development and build up our country’s strength in science and technology. We must ensure it is our people who run the country, continue to govern based on the rule of law, and uphold the core socialist values. We must ensure and enhance public wellbeing in the course of development, promote harmony between humanity and nature, and take well-coordinated steps toward making our people prosperous, our nation strong, and our country beautiful.

The Chinese nation has fostered a splendid civilization over more than 5,000 years of history. The Party has also acquired a wealth of experience through its endeavors over the past 100 years and during more than 70 years of governance. At the same time, we are also eager to learn what lessons we can from the achievements of other cultures, and welcome helpful suggestions and constructive criticism. We will not, however, accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us. The Party and the Chinese people will keep moving confidently forward in broad strides along the path that we have chosen for ourselves, and we will make sure the destiny of China’s development and progress remains firmly in our own hands.

 We must accelerate the modernization of national defense and the armed forces. A strong country must have a strong military, as only then can it guarantee the security of the nation. At the point that it was engaged in violent struggle, the Party came to recognize the irrefutable truth that it must command the gun and build a people’s military of its own. The people’s military has made indelible achievements on behalf of the Party and the people. It is a strong pillar for safeguarding our socialist country and preserving national dignity, and a powerful force for protecting peace in our region and beyond.

On the journey ahead, we must fully implement the Party’s thinking on strengthening the military in the new era as well as our military strategy for the new era, maintain the Party’s absolute leadership over the people’s armed forces, and follow a Chinese path to military development. We will take comprehensive measures to enhance the political loyalty of the armed forces, to strengthen them through reform and technology and the training of competent personnel, and to run them in accordance with the law. We will elevate our people’s armed forces to world-class standards so that we are equipped with greater capacity and more reliable means for safeguarding our national sovereignty, security, and development interests.

 We must continue working to promote the building of a human community with a shared future. Peace, concord, and harmony are ideas the Chinese nation has pursued and carried forward for more than 5,000 years. The Chinese nation does not carry aggressive or hegemonic traits in its genes. The Party cares about the future of humanity, and wishes to move forward in tandem with all progressive forces around the world. China has always worked to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and preserve international order.

On the journey ahead, we will remain committed to promoting peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit, to an independent foreign policy of peace, and to the path of peaceful development. We will work to build a new type of international relations and a human community with a shared future, promote high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative through joint efforts, and use China’s new achievements in development to provide the world with new opportunities. The Party will continue to work with all peace-loving countries and peoples to promote the shared human values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom. We will continue to champion cooperation over confrontation, to open up rather than closing our doors, and to focus on mutual benefits instead of zero-sum games. We will oppose hegemony and power politics, and strive to keep the wheels of history rolling toward bright horizons.

We Chinese are a people who uphold justice and are not intimidated by threats of force. As a nation, we have a strong sense of pride and confidence. We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will. By the same token, we will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us. Anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.

We must carry out a great struggle with many contemporary features. Having the courage to fight and the fortitude to win is what has made our Party invincible. Realizing our great dream will require hard work and persistence. Today, we are closer, more confident, and more capable than ever before of making the goal of national rejuvenation a reality. But we must be prepared to work harder than ever to get there.

On the journey ahead, we must demonstrate stronger vigilance and always be prepared for potential danger, even in times of calm. We must adopt a holistic approach to national security that balances development and security imperatives, and implement the national rejuvenation strategy within a wider context of the once-in-a-century changes taking place in the world. We need to acquire a full understanding of the new features and requirements arising from the change to the principal contradiction in Chinese society and the new issues and challenges stemming from a complicated international environment. We must be both brave and adept in carrying out our struggle, forging new paths and building new bridges wherever necessary to take us past all risks and challenges.

We must strengthen the great unity of the Chinese people. In the course of our struggles over the past century, the Party has always placed the united front in a position of importance. We have constantly consolidated and developed the broadest possible united front, united all the forces that can be united, mobilized all positive factors that can be mobilized, and pooled as much strength as possible for collective endeavors. The patriotic united front is an important means for the Party to unite all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, both at home and abroad, behind the goal of national rejuvenation.

On the journey ahead, we must ensure great unity and solidarity and balance commonality and diversity. We should strengthen theoretical and political guidance, build broad consensus, bring together the brightest minds, and expand common ground and the convergence of interests, so that all Chinese people, both at home and overseas, can focus their ingenuity and energy on the same goal and come together as a mighty force for realizing national rejuvenation.

We must continue to advance the great new project of Party building. A hallmark that distinguishes the Communist Party of China from other political parties is its courage in undertaking self-reform. An important reason why the Party remains so vital and vibrant despite having undergone so many trials and tribulations is that it practices effective self-supervision and full and rigorous self-governance. It has thus been able to respond appropriately to the risks and tests of different historical periods, to ensure that it always remains at the forefront of the times even as profound changes sweep the global landscape, and to stand firm as the backbone of the nation throughout the process of meeting various risks and challenges at home and abroad.

On the journey ahead, we must keep firmly in mind the old adage that it takes a good blacksmith to make good steel. We must demonstrate greater political awareness of the fact that full and rigorous self-governance is a never-ending journey. With strengthening the Party politically as our overarching principle, we must continue advancing the great new project of Party building in the new era. We must tighten the Party’s organizational system, work hard to train high-caliber officials who have both moral integrity and professional competence, remain committed to improving Party conduct, upholding integrity, and combating corruption, and root out any elements that would harm the Party’s advanced nature and purity and any viruses that would erode its health. We must ensure that the Party preserves its essence, color, and character, and see that it always serves as the strong leadership core in the course of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Comrades and friends,

We will stay true to the letter and spirit of the principle of One Country, Two Systems, under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong, and the people of Macao administer Macao, both with a high degree of autonomy. We will ensure that the central government exercises overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong and Macao, and implement the legal systems and enforcement mechanisms for the two special administrative regions to safeguard national security. While protecting China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests, we will ensure social stability in Hong Kong and Macao, and maintain lasting prosperity and stability in the two special administrative regions.

Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment of the Communist Party of China. It is also a shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation. We will uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, and advance peaceful national reunification. All of us, compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must come together and move forward in unison. We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward “Taiwan independence,” and work together to create a bright future for national rejuvenation. No one should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Comrades and friends,

The future belongs to the young people, and our hopes also rest with them. A century ago, a group of young progressives held aloft the torch of Marxism and searched assiduously in those dark years for ways to rejuvenate the Chinese nation. Since then, under the banner of the Communist Party of China, generation after generation of young Chinese have devoted their youth to the cause of the Party and the people, and remained in the vanguard of the drive to rejuvenate the nation.

In the new era, our young people should make it their mission to contribute to national rejuvenation and aspire to become more proud, confident, and assured in their identity as Chinese people so that they can live up to the promise of their youth and the expectations of our times, our Party, and our people.

Comrades and friends,

A century ago, at the time of its founding, the Communist Party of China had just over 50 members. Today, with more than 95 million members in a country of more than 1.4 billion people, it is the largest governing party in the world and enjoys tremendous international influence.

A century ago, China was in decline and withering away in the eyes of the world. Today, the image it presents to the world is one of a thriving nation that is advancing with unstoppable momentum toward rejuvenation.

Over the past century, the Communist Party of China has secured extraordinary historical achievements on behalf of the people. Today, it is rallying and leading the Chinese people on a new journey toward realizing the second centenary goal.

 

To all Party members,

The Central Committee calls on every one of you to stay true to our Party’s founding mission and stand firm in your ideals and convictions. Acting on the purpose of the Party, you should always maintain close ties with the people, empathize and work with them, stand with them through good times and bad, and continue working tirelessly to realize their aspirations for a better life and to bring still greater glory to the Party and the people.

 

Comrades and friends,

Today, a hundred years on from its founding, the Communist Party of China is still in its prime, and remains as determined as ever to achieve lasting greatness for the Chinese nation. Looking back on the path we have travelled and forward to the journey that lies ahead, it is certain that with the firm leadership of the Party and the great unity of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, we will achieve the goal of building a great modern socialist country in all respects and fulfill the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Long live our great, glorious, and correct Party!

Long live our great, glorious, and heroic people!

 

Biden Can Redefine U.S-China Policy; But he Must Avoid Doubling Down Trump’s Predominance in Asia.

Analysis by Allawi Ssemanda and Aziz Kalisa.

Vice President Joe Biden talks with Chinese Vice President Xi and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during a luncheon at the State Department, in Washington, DC, February 14, 2012. Curtesy Photo.

For a number of years, United Sates of America (U.S) and China relations has been worsening. Issues ranging from trade, technology, alleged influence peddling, military activities and human rights have always been cited as catalyst for animosity between Washington and Beijing.

Several analysts contend that whereas the origins of this undoubtedly destructive animosity have been in existence for several years, many argue that under the Trump administration, it has greatly worsened to unprecedented levels, on many occasions involving what some viewed as demonising rhetorics from Washington targeting Beijing,  with overly exaggerated and clearly inaccurate assessment(s) of the so-called serious threat Beijing poses to the U.S and allies, giving Trump’s Whitehouse an opportunity to continuously announce sanctions and threats against Beijing. Whether Trump administration’s claims of eminent threats from Beijing are right or otherwise, Trump’s response has always been excessive, political, feckless and largely self-defeating especially his trade traffics against China.

Upon critical analysis of remarks and the known policy position of president elect, Joe Biden, his political associates and those of Democratic Party, as night follows day, one can argue that a Biden presidency is very likely to correct many of Trump’s glaring and egregious mistakes while dealing with Beijing. However, this doesn’t guarantee we will see a total change ending Washington’s bipartisan shift seen in recent years identifying Beijing as U. S’ grand competitor.

However, there is much hope that gone will be the obvious over-the-top ideological rhetoric, endless wee hours tweets and provoking hints suggesting the need for regime change. An argument can be made that the Trump administration’s failure to understand that there is need for the two world’s leading economies to cooperate on key issues such as controlling pandemics, climate change and other crude policy excuses were overly ineffective and costly on key issues like the much-needed trade relations and technology decoupling.

Washington with a more professional and well-coordinated policy processes, a president that is willing to read and absorb briefings of intelligence community and take experts advice, we can predict that gone will be the contradiction and chaos of a Commander in Chief who conducts policy through tweets. Put differently, Biden administration is likely to act more professional, balanced, and arguably, it will try to avoid trade tariffs and decoupling and embrace dialogue.

Yes, all the above really sounds great. However, the real hurdle is seen when we dive into details, and arguably, such clearly called-for redefining and amendments by the new administration to U.S’ China policy will most likely find it hard to redefine and address some other more fundamental realities in regard to bilateral power relations, key being the U.S. leverage Washington hawks may want to see especially America’s position in the entire Asian region.

Presently, the U.S is a deeply divided country as a result of their November 3rd messy presidential elections. History has it that whenever U.S leaders want to unite Americans, leaders always come up with an issue to bring together all Americans under the so-called rally around the flag. Pondering at this, a few questions come up: Will the new Biden Administration follow Trump’s path of demonising and blaming China, referring to Beijing as U.S’ existential threat and the current global order, hence move on justifying worst case assumptions on virtually all China related policies?

Some analysts argue that this is a tact often employed by both Republicans and Democrats in their effort to scare American people so as to get their support for huge defence budgets as well as more unthoughtful and draconian policies toward China. The notion that China is a threat to the U.S and the world order is definitely entirely unjustified. On many occasions, Chinese president Xi Jinping has been clear that China ‘will not seek to dominate’, secondly, at present, analysts believe Beijing is not interested in war since it would disrupt their long plans of economic development. Also, Beijing is not interested in disrupting the current world order as some hawks in Washington contend, this is largely because it is the same order that Beijing has navigated to move to the top. This is evidenced with China’s continued support to the current Global order, such as at the United Nations, World Health Organization, World Trade Organization, World Bank among others.

Upon that background, one can confidently say the fears Washington often talks about that Beijing poses are inaccurate, and grossly exaggerated. This lays a foundation for a second question: Will president Biden appreciate such facts and accurately define where and how China is a threat to Washington as some hawks claim? Such an approach will present Washington in a more sober and pragmatic stance and hence, possibly ease relations and any dealings with Beijing. Other than this, the Biden presidency risks being swallowed with unsubstantiated characterisation at Capitol Hill who believe in Libido dominand concept and back those who don’t believe in a fair competition which will prioritise nothing but a zero-sum game, move with containment methods instead of the much needed constructive forms of engagement which would bring positive results for both.

The other key question is: will Biden administration accept the new bitter reality that gone is the era of Unipolar when the U.S enjoyed military dominance across maritime areas of Asia and such an era will certainly not return in the near future? It is important to note that U.S politicians at Capitol Hill – both republicans and democrats still reflexively boast of America’s military might and the supposed necessity of the U.S to maintain unchanged level of their military dominance in the region of the Asian Pacific while moving to China’s borders as they claim their so-called “freedom of action” in the area. Arguably, one can conclude that it is naïve of Capitol Hill politicians to maintain that poorly conceived notion – that U.S military predominance can help to ensure order, and it is also delusional to imagine that the U.S has that much needed financial muscle of ensuring they retain the kind of military prowess very close to China as they wish to.

The open secret is that the world is headed to a de facto balance of power in Western Pacific between U.S and respective allies on one hand and China on the other. The trouble is that by nature, such balances often are risky – tempting each side to test its strength and leverage. In this case, the issue of Taiwan and Chinese maritime disputes with the United States and her allies may become a reality. However, if the Biden administration approach to the Taiwan question respecting China’s one country policy, arguably, Washington and Beijing will enjoy good relations.

It is upon this background that the new administration in Washington should recognise this strategic shift in the region and the likely negative implications it pauses should Washington politicians insist with their now fruitless efforts of retaining U.S predominance in the region. The most available short- and long-term remedy here is for the Biden administration to ensure Capitol Hill politicians swallow their pride, and transition from defensive and denial-oriented structures, drop the self-given responsibility of policing the region and allow their allies like Japan to own their security, and embrace dialogue with Beijing. Through dialogue, the two sides can initiate a strategic civil-military dialogue through which effective and crisis management mechanism can be established to avoid any future confrontations on issues like South China Sea and the Taiwan Question.

In conclusion, the Biden administration may consider adjusting America’s political alliances in the region, this in the long run will help them realise a positive-sum engagement across the region Beijing inclusive which will help them realise an overall stability and economic growth. When deeply analysed, an uncombative and less military-driven U.S that is willing to cooperate while listening and respecting Beijing’s concern’s in the region will give the above views a chance to thrive and hence the said stable balance, thereby giving the two powers an opportunity of ensuring peace and stable economic development both in the region and beyond compared to the current form of relationship which is a form of contestation for total supremacy. If all the above is considered, the authors believe it will give the Biden administration an opportunity to address the questions we raised earlier and help the U.S to meet some of their interest with regard to China instead of simply trying to right the incompetences left by Trump administration.

 

Allawi Ssemanda is a senior Research Fellow at Development Watch Centre with focus on Global Governance, Foreign Policy

Aziz Kalisa is a Ugandan Lawyer and Research Fellow at Development Watch Centre.

 

Enhanced China-Africa Cooperation Vital to Soften Impact of Covid- 19 – Xi Jinping

Your Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa,

Your Excellency President Macky Sall,

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,

Your Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,

Your Excellency António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Your Excellency Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization,

China’s President Xi Jinping speaks during the China-Africa summit on solidarity against Covid-19 on Wednesday 17th June, 2020

At such a critical moment in the global fight against Covid-19, we are gathered together in this Extraordinary China-Africa Summit. Friends old and new are connected via video link to discuss our joint response to Covid-19 and to renew the fraternity between China and Africa. I thank President Ramaphosa and President Sall for joining me in initiating the Summit, and I appreciate the participation of all colleagues present. I also want to send my regards to other African leaders who are not able to be with us today.

The sudden onslaught of Covid-19 has taken a heavy toll on countries around the world, with the loss of several hundred thousand precious lives. Here, I suggest that we observe a moment of silence for those who have tragically passed away due to Covid-19 and express our condolences to their families.

– In the face of Covid-19, China and Africa have withstood the test of a severe challenge. The Chinese people have put up a fierce fight and made enormous sacrifice to bring the situation in China under control. Still, we remain mindful of the risk of a resurgence. In the same spirit, governments and peoples in Africa have put up a united front and, under the effective coordination by the African Union, have taken strong measures to effectively slow the spread of the virus. These are indeed hard-won results.

– In the face of Covid-19, China and Africa have offered mutual support and fought shoulder to shoulder with each other. China shall always remember the invaluable support Africa gave us at the height of our battle with the coronavirus. In return, when Africa was struck by the virus, China was the first to rush in with assistance and has since stood firm with the African people

– In the face of Covid-19, China and Africa have enhanced solidarity and strengthened friendship and mutual trust. Let me reaffirm China’s commitment to its longstanding friendship with Africa. No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China shall never waver in its determination to pursue greater solidarity and cooperation with Africa.

Colleagues,

Covid-19 is still affecting many parts of the world. Both China and Africa face the formidable task of combating the virus while stabilizing the economy and protecting people’s livelihoods. We must always put our people and their lives front and center. We must mobilize necessary resources, stick together in collaboration, and do whatever it takes to protect people’s lives and health and minimize the fallout of Covid-19.

First, we must stay committed to fighting Covid-19 together. China will continue to do whatever it can to support Africa’s response to Covid-19. China will lose no time in following through on the measures I announced at the opening of the World Health Assembly, and continue to help African countries by providing supplies, sending expert teams, and facilitating Africa’s procurement of medical supplies in China. China will start ahead of schedule the construction of the Africa CDC headquarters this year.

China will work with Africa to fully deliver the health care initiative adopted at the FOCAC Beijing Summit, and speed up the construction of China-Africa Friendship Hospitals and the cooperation between paired-up Chinese and African hospitals. Together, we will build a China-Africa community of health for all. We pledge that once the development and deployment of Covid-19 vaccine is completed in China, African countries will be among the first to benefit.

Second, we must stay committed to enhancing China-Africa cooperation. To cushion the impact of Covid-19, it is important to strengthen Belt and Road cooperation and accelerate the follow-ups to the FOCAC Beijing Summit. Greater priority needs to be given to cooperation on public health, economic reopening, and people’s livelihood.

Within the FOCAC framework, China will cancel the debt of relevant African countries in the form of interest-free government loans that are due to mature by the end of 2020. For those African countries that are hardest hit by the coronavirus and are under heavy financial stress, China will work with the global community to give them greater support, by such means as further extending the period of debt suspension, to help them tide over the current difficulty. We encourage Chinese financial institutions to respond to the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and to hold friendly consultations with African countries according to market principles to work out arrangements for commercial loans with sovereign guarantees. China will work with other members of the G20 to implement the DSSI and, on that basis, urge the G20 to extend debt service suspension still further for countries concerned, including those in Africa.

China hopes that the international community, especially developed countries and multilateral financial institutions, will act more forcefully on debt relief and suspension for Africa. China will work with the UN, WHO and other partners to assist Africa’s response to Covid-19, and do it in a way that respects the will of Africa.

To help Africa achieve sustainable development is what matters in the long run. China supports Africa in its effort to develop the African Continental Free Trade Area and to enhance connectivity and strengthen industrial and supply chains. China will explore broader cooperation with Africa in such new business forms as digital economy, smart city, clean energy, and 5G to boost Africa’s development and revitalization.

Third, we must stay committed to upholding multilateralism. In the face of Covid-19, solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon. China will work with Africa to uphold the UN-centered global governance system and support WHO in making greater contribution to the global COVID-19 response. We oppose politicization and stigmatization of Covid-19, and we oppose racial discrimination and ideological bias. We stand firm for equity and justice in the world.

Fourth, we must stay committed to taking China-Africa friendship forward. The world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. Given the new opportunities and challenges we face, closer cooperation between China and Africa is needed, more than ever. On my part, I will stay in close touch with all of you, my colleagues, to consolidate our friendship and mutual trust, support each other on issues involving our respective core interests, and advance the fundamental interests of China and Africa and, for that matter, of all developing countries. This way, we will be able to take the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to a greater height.

Colleagues,

At the FOCAC Beijing Summit, we agreed to work together to build an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future. Today’s Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against Covid-19 is our concrete step to deliver the commitment we made at the Beijing Summit and to do our part in the international cooperation against Covid-19. I am convinced that humanity will ultimately defeat the virus, and that the Chinese and African people are poised to embrace better days ahead.

 

Thank you.

DWC

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