Xi highlights 'shared destiny'
Updated: 2013-03-25 23:56
By Wu Jiao in Dar es Salaam and Li Xiaokun in Beijing (China Daily)
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) delivers a speech at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Center in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on March 25, 2013.[Photo / Xinhua]
Relations with Africa will be expanded as ties become more important, president vows
China will intensify its efforts to expand relations with Africa as ties take on greater importance amid a "shared destiny", President Xi Jinping said on Monday in his first speech elaborating on China's African policies.
Beijing also hopes to see better relations between other countries and Africa, he said.
China-Africa ties are more complicated, compared with those in previous generations, and leaders must display wisdom to tap the huge potential, experts said.
Xi made the remarks during a keynote speech in Tanzania, the second leg of his first overseas visit since being elected earlier this month.
Xi has been a regular visitor to Africa, and he has witnessed continuous progress.
"Let me assure you that China will intensify, not weaken, its efforts to expand relations with Africa," Xi said at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Center.
China built the center, the first one of its type in Tanzania, for free, and the handover ceremony was held on Monday.
Unity and cooperation with African countries have always been an important foundation for China's foreign policy, the president said.
"This will never change, not even when China grows stronger and enjoys a higher international status.
"China and Africa will continue to support each other on issues involving their core interests and major concerns.
"A review of this period of history shows that China and Africa have always been a community with a shared destiny," Xi said.
China will continue providing assistance to Africa without any political conditions, he said.
Trade between China and Africa reached some $200 billion last year, he said, adding that China will provide a $20 billion credit line to African nations from 2013 to 2015.
Beijing will also expand cooperation with Africa in investment, financing, transnational and trans-regional infrastructure development, Xi said.
China will train 30,000 African professionals and provide 18,000 government scholarships to African students from 2013 to 2015, and increase technology transfer and experience sharing with Africa, he added.
Xi said China insists on equality among all countries, irrespective of size, strength and wealth.
He said Beijing expects a more united Africa and better relations between Africa and other countries,
"Africa belongs to the African people," he said
"In developing relations with Africa, all countries should respect Africa's dignity and independence," he said.
In addition, Xi said "China will face squarely and sincerely the new developments and new problems" confronting China-Africa relations.
"We should properly handle any problem that may arise in a spirit of mutual respect and win-win cooperation. I am convinced that there will always be more opportunities than challenges and more solutions than difficulties."
In a humorous aside, appreciated by the audience, Xi mentioned a Chinese TV series, A Beautiful Daughter-in-law Era, which was a big hit in Tanzania.
The television episode was dubbed in Swahili and broadcast in eastern African countries last year to give African audiences a glimpse of the intricacies of life in China.
"Sino-Tanzania ties have endured a lot, and with the test of time, will grow from strength to strength. We are ‘all-weather friends'," Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete said ahead of the speech.
Tanzania's policy toward China is "guided by Tanzania's own judgment based on its basic interests", he said. "So far, China has been a dependable supporter and an ally of African countries and other Third World countries ... in their appeal for a just and equitable world economic order," Kikwete added.
James F. Mbatia, an engineer and chairperson of the National Convention for Construction and Reform, said Africans "have the capacity to judge who is helping us".
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Li Lianxing in Dar es Salaam and Zhang Chunyan in London contributed to this story.