Enhance China - Africa Unity and Cooperation To Build a Harmonious World --- Speech at University of Pretoria, South Africa, Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China, Pretoria, 7 February 2007

Dear Professor Pistorius, Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria,
Members of the faculty and students,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends,

I am very glad to have this opportunity to come to the prestigious University of Pretoria and talk to you today. First of all, I wish to extend, on behalf of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, cordial greetings to you and best wishes to the brotherly people of both South Africa and Africa. The University of Pretoria will celebrate its 99th birthday in a few days, and I would like to express my warm congratulations to you, Mr. Vice Chancellor, the faculty and students of the University.

South Africa, renowned as the "rainbow nation", has an important place in both Africa and the world. I visited South Africa back in 1999, and I was deeply impressed by its beautiful landscape, the great vitality it enjoyed after breaking the shackles of apartheid and the South African people's dedication to national development. Eight years later, I am now back in South Africa, and I am equally impressed by the great achievements the South African Government and people have made in promoting national reconciliation, economic development and social reform and in enhancing peace and development in Africa. Just as President Mbeki has said, South Africa has entered an "Age of Hope". What you have achieved in South Africa heralds not only the future of this great country, but also the future of Africa and human progress.

During the South African people's struggle against apartheid, the Chinese people stood firmly with you, and our two peoples forged profound friendship. Since China and South Africa established diplomatic relations about 10 years ago, especially since the forging of the strategic partnership in 2004, China-South Africa relations have registered fast and healthy growth on all fronts, and the friendship and trust between our two peoples have been further enhanced. It has been proved that strong China-South Africa relations of all-round cooperation serve the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples, promote unity and cooperation among developing countries and contribute to global peace and development. The Chinese Government and people will work closely with the South African Government and people to enhance mutual political trust and practical cooperation and steadily strengthen China-South Africa strategic partnership to the benefit of our two peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends,

Despite the vast distance between them, China and Africa enjoy a long history of friendly exchanges. Over the years, the Chinese and African peoples shared weal and woe and forged a close bond of empathy and friendship. In particular, over the past half a century, we have supported each other in national liberation and maintained sincere cooperation in development and close coordination in international affairs. China-Africa friendship has stood the test of times, and China-Africa cooperation has benefited both sides. We in China take great pride in our friendship with the African people. The Chinese people and the African people have always been and will remain true friends who treat each other as equals and with mutual trust and all sincerity, good partners of mutually beneficial cooperation and close brothers who stand together in times of difficulty. I call on the Chinese people and the African people to carry forward their friendship from generation to generation. And I am sure that the Chinese and African peoples will live in friendship from generation to generation.

With perseverance and dedication, Africa and its people have in recent years endeavored to promote peace and development on the continent and achieved remarkable progress. We applaud the progress made by you, our African brothers and sisters, and we wish you new success in advancing the great cause of national development and revitalization.

The world today is in profound changes. Peace, development and cooperation are the defining features of our times. The growing trend towards multipolarity and economic globalization presents mankind with both rare opportunity of development and severe challenges. People across the world hope to share opportunities, jointly meet challenges and ensure common development. China is the biggest developing country and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. Our combined population accounts for over one-third of the world's total. Both China and Africa are important forces for global peace and development. To deepen China-Africa traditional friendship, boost practical cooperation and forge in an all-round way a new China-Africa strategic partnership is the shared desire of our two peoples. It is also the calling of the times. We must sustain the momentum of this trend by maintaining close friendship, treating each other as equals and working closely to promote mutually beneficial cooperation and common development, and thus elevate China-Africa friendship and cooperation to a higher level.

The year 2006, which has just passed, will go down as a milestone in the history of China-Africa relations. It bore witness to the success of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. At the Beijing Summit, the Chinese and African leaders unanimously agreed to establish and develop a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchange. They adopted a plan for promoting China-Africa cooperation in the next three years. The Chinese Government announced eight policy steps to enhance practical cooperation with Africa and support Africa's development. They include expanding China's assistance to Africa, canceling the debts of Highly Indebted Poor Countries and Least Developed Countries in Africa, opening China's market to Africa and broadening China-Africa cooperation in the economic and social fields. Closer China-Africa cooperation has focused international attention on peace and development in Africa and raised the standing of Africa in the international community. This further shows that the common development of China and Africa has important and far-reaching significance on promoting the lofty cause of peace and development of mankind.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends,

To truly help the African people and support Africa's development, the international community must help Africa realize economic and social development. The policy steps taken by the Chinese Government to enhance practical cooperation with Africa and support Africa's development are designed to strengthen Africa's capacity for self-development and improve the welfare of the African people. I am making this eight-nation visit to Africa to consolidate China's traditional friendship with Africa, implement the decisions made at the Beijing Summit, expand practical cooperation, promote common development and work with Africa to strengthen the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership. To accomplish this goal, China is ready to make joint efforts with Africa in the following key areas.

Firstly, forge friendship, maintain close political dialogue and coordination and increase mutual understanding and trust. Both China and Africa cherish their traditional friendship and are dedicated to boosting their relations. This is the inexhaustible source of strength for propelling the growth of China-Africa relations. We should maintain high-level exchanges and visits and step up strategic dialogue on major issues of mutual interest to increase our common understanding. We should strengthen interactions between governments, parliaments, political parties and public groups to consolidate the political foundation of China-Africa friendship. China firmly supports the African countries in upholding independence and sovereignty and pursuing models of development suited to their national conditions. It firmly supports the African Union, other regional organizations and the African countries in their efforts to promote peace and stability. China is ready to play a constructive role in helping Africa resolve its differences and disputes by itself. China will remain actively involved in UN peacekeeping operations in Africa.

Secondly, deepen cooperation and expand economic and technological exchanges to achieve mutual benefit and win-win progress. Economic and technological cooperation is an important foundation for growing China-Africa relations. We should expand mutually beneficial cooperation and draw on our comparative strengths. We should also diversify ways of conducting China-Africa cooperation. In addition to trade, we should expand our cooperation to other areas, including investment, technology and project contracting. Priority should be given to agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing and public welfare projects that are vital to people's livelihood. The Chinese Government will continue to take steps to increase import from Africa to balance the trade between the two sides. We encourage Chinese companies to increase investment in Africa, provide technical and management training and help Africa develop processing and manufacturing industries so as to ease employment pressure and enhance the competitiveness of its exports. China will continue to support the New Partnership for Africa's Development. The Chinese Government will fully implement the policy steps announced at the Beijing Summit for strengthening pragmatic cooperation with Africa and supporting its development to help Africa expedite socio-economic development, enhance capacity-building and improve people's livelihood, thus bringing real benefit to the African people.

Thirdly, strengthen dialogue and exchanges between the Chinese and African civilizations and make common progress through mutual learning and enrichment. The Chinese and African peoples both created splendid cultures in the long course of history and made important contribution to the progress of human civilization. We should bolster exchanges and interactions between the Chinese and African civilizations at different levels and in diversified forms to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples. We should strengthen cooperation in education, science, technology, public health, culture, sports and tourism, support closer cooperation between cultural institutions, news media, academic groups and institutions of higher learning, and encourage the holding of cultural festivals, art performances and exhibitions and sports events. In particular, we should enhance cooperation in human resources development and increase popular support for growing China-Africa relations.

Fourthly, treat each other as equals and strengthen cooperation in international affairs to uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries. China and Africa have extensive common ground and a fine tradition of cooperation on major international issues. It serves our shared interests to strengthen coordination in international affairs. We should work together to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and enhance consultation and coordination at the United Nations and other multilateral institutions. We should urge the international community to enhance the awareness of collective security and develop a new thinking on security featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination so as to foster an enabling international environment for common development. We should jointly meet global challenges and step up consultation and cooperation on non-traditional security issues including major communicable diseases, avian influenza and transnational crimes. We should promote South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue, call on the international community to focus attention on Africa, urge developed countries to deliver their commitments of improving market access, increasing aid and debt relief, and take effective steps to help African peoples resolve their difficulties. China will work to see to it that in carrying out UN reform, more attention is paid to development and that priority is given to addressing the under-representation of developing countries, African countries in particular, in the United Nations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends,

China has always taken a keen interest in Africa's development, and the Chinese people have always been deeply concerned about the welfare of the African people. We fully support Africa's cause of peace and development and sincerely hope to contribute our share to helping the African people build their homeland and improve their lives.

The Chinese are a peace-loving nation. We believe in cooperation and harmony among nations, and we hold that the strong and the rich should not bully the weak and the poor. Six hundred years ago, Zheng He, a famed Chinese navigator of the Ming Dynasty, headed a large convoy which sailed across the ocean and reached the east coast of Africa four times. They brought to the African people a message of peace and goodwill, not swords, guns, plunder or slavery. For more than one hundred years in China's modern history, the Chinese people were subjected to colonial aggression and oppression by foreign powers and went through similar suffering and agony that the majority of African countries endured. From the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, the Chinese people launched a heroic struggle to fight colonial aggression and foreign oppression, achieve independence and liberation and build a new China of the Chinese people. Having realized this century-long historic mission, the Chinese people today are working as one to make life better for themselves. Because of the sufferings they experienced and the struggle they launched, something they will never forget, the Chinese people are most strongly opposed to colonialism, oppression, and slavery of all manifestations. Because of this, the Chinese people have the most profound sympathy for all other nations in their pursuit of independence, happiness and their aspirations. Since the founding of New China in 1949, the Chinese Government and people have provided the African people with firm political, material and moral support in their heroic struggles for liberation and against colonial rule. China has never imposed its will or unequal practices on other countries and will never do so in the future. It will certainly not do anything harmful to the interests of Africa and its people. China respects the political systems and paths to development independently adopted and pursued by the African people that suit their national conditions. China supports the African countries in strengthening democracy, the rule of law and good governance. And China supports them in fully tapping their potential and actively participating in international cooperation and competition.

In the course of fast growth of China-Africa cooperation, it is natural that new issues and new challenges may arise. Yet, compared with the larger interests of China-Africa cooperation, these issues, which occur in the course of advance, can surely be resolved through friendly consultation and deepened cooperation. China takes seriously the concerns about the imbalance in the structure of China-Africa trade and the scope of Chinese investment. We have taken and will continue to take effective steps with African countries to address those concerns. I am confident that with our concerted efforts, China-Africa cooperation will continue to enjoy steady progress.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends,

Since the policy of reform and opening-up was introduced in 1978, the Chinese people have succeeded in embarking on a path of development suited to China's national conditions. They have dedicated themselves to building socialism with Chinese features, greatly boosting productivity and China's national strength and raising their own living standards. Between 1978 and 2006, China's GDP grew to US$2.6269 trillion from US$216.5 billion, and its trade jumped to US$1.7607 trillion from US$20.6 billion, while the number of the rural poor shrank from 250 million to 21.5 million. China has on the whole brought a moderately prosperous life to its people. On the other hand, we are keenly aware that China is still the world's largest developing country with a huge population, weak foundation and uneven regional development. China ranks behind the 100th place in terms of per capita GDP and faces numerous difficulties and challenges in its development endeavor. It will take many years of dedicated efforts before we can catch up with the medium-level developed countries. Under the guidance of the scientific thinking on development that puts people first and calls for comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development, we will give top priority to economic development, deepen reform and opening-up, increase people's welfare, work to build a harmonious society, and move steadily towards our development goals.

China's development is peaceful, open, cooperative and harmonious in nature. We aim to build a harmonious society at home and work with other countries to build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity. China is dedicated to peace, development and cooperation. We will continue to pursue the independent foreign policy of peace, the path of peaceful development and the opening-up strategy for mutual benefit. The Chinese people are ready to work with the African people to build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity. We should advocate mutual respect among and participation by all countries, promote multilateralism and democracy in international relations and work for equality, democracy and justice in the international community. We should encourage strengthened cooperation and exchanges between countries, urge the international community to implement the Millennium Development Goals and support other developing countries in fully tapping their strengths to speed up their development. We should work for a fair and just multilateral trading and financial system and we should work to move economic globalization in a direction that benefits all countries. We should encourage dialogue and mutual learning between countries, respect for and preservation of cultural diversity and diversity in development models and harmonious co-existence of different civilizations so that global development will be full of vitality. Furthermore, we should jointly address global security issues through enhanced dialogue and coordination, and resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation to uphold regional and global security and stability.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends,

Young people are the future of a country and the hope of a nation. I see so many young faces in the audience today. In my younger days, I was involved in youth affairs in China. I like to talk to young people and benefit from them. Being with you today, I can feel your youthful vigor and this brings me back to the unforgettable years when I was a young man of your age. Being young is enviable and I wish you a great future. The future of South Africa lies with you, and the hope of African renaissance lies with young people in Africa.

The young Chinese and Africans are a dynamic force in advancing China-Africa friendship and in building a harmonious world. Greater interactions and deeper understanding and friendship between them are crucial for forging enduring China-Africa friendship. The Chinese Government sees great value in the exchanges between Chinese and African youths and is committed to strengthening these exchanges. Over 20,000 African students have studied in China on Chinese Government scholarships and their experiences have contributed to greater understanding and friendship between the African and Chinese youths. At the same time, more young Chinese have come to Africa to study or on voluntary service programs. The University of Pretoria alone has over 260 Chinese students. Currently, China provides 2,000 government scholarships for African students each year. The Chinese Government will double the number in the next three years. We also encourage young Chinese volunteers to come to Africa to participate in Africa's development.

Here, I wish to take this opportunity to make an announcement. The Chinese Government will invite 500 African youths, including university students, to visit China in the next three years. I hope some of you here will visit China on this program.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends,

To renew China-Africa traditional friendship, develop the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership and build a harmonious world is our shared strategic decision and historical mission. Let's join hands and work tirelessly to realize this common vision.

Thank you.

Issued by Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

7 February 2007

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