|Remarks at the Reception to Mark The Achievements of the Beijing FOCAC Summit and The Convocation of the 4th FOCAC Ministerial Conference|
by H. E. Mr. Zhou Yuxiao, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia
on November 4, 2009
Hon. Minister Alubanke King Akerele,
Other government officials,
Dean and members of the diplomatic corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Let me warmly welcome all of you to this reception to mark the progress that has been made in the implementation of the follow-up actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa cooperation or FOCAC in its short form held in November 2006 and the convocation of the 4th FOCAC Ministerial Conference to be held on November 8-9, 2009 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt which is the co-Chair and the host.
As you all know, at Beijing FOCAC Summit, the Chinese and African leaders decided to forge a new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa, produced a declaration and an action plan. On behalf of the Chinese government, President Hu Jintao announced 8 measures to enhance substantial cooperation with Africa.
In the past three years, all the relevant Chinese government departments and the Chinese diplomatic missions in Africa were instructed by the top Chinese leadership to ensure full and effective implementation of the plan and the measures and allow none of them to be reduced to a mere lip service. The Chinese determination was matched by the African side. With the joint efforts made by both China and the African countries, great progress has been made in China-African cooperation. China’s target to double its aid to Africa will have been achieved by the end of 2009. Measures on zero-tariff for African countries have drastically increased African export to China. Debt cancellation for African countries has been fully completed. China-Africa Development Fund has become operational. The construction of the AU Conference Center has been underway for a year. 6 instead of 5 economic and trade zones have started to be built in the relevant African countries. China has trained 13,307 Africans on applicable techniques and skills like paddy-rice growing, fish-raising, biogas, mini hydropower and etc. Chinese youth volunteers and senior agricultural technical experts have been sent to Africa steadily. Construction of hospitals, agro centers and rural schools has been carried out as planned.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is particularly gratifying to see that the implementation progress in Liberia is as fast as expected. President Hu Jintao’s official visit to Liberia three months after the Beijing Summit unfolded the implementation process. Now, all promised Chinese aid programs are either completed or being carried out as planned with no one off the track. The Malaria Prevention and Treatment Center in JFK hospital became operational in 2008. The Tubman Military Barracks and the three schools were handed over to the Liberian side in the first half of this year. The Fendall Campus, the Tarpeta Hospital and the Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in CARI will be completed before June next year. 12 Youth Volunteers have arrived in Liberia and started their volunteer services in various government departments or public institutions. About 500 Liberians have participated in the human resources training programs held in China. 106 Liberian students have been awarded scholarships to pursue their university education in China. More detailed information on implementation results is available from the materials placed on that table.
The main reason behind the efficient execution of the follow-up actions of the Beijing Summit is that both the Chinese and Liberian governments have been paying special attention to China-Liberia cooperation. The Liberian government always gives its fullest support and cooperation to the Chinese side. Whenever problems and difficulty turn up, the Liberian government, especially Madam President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is always quick to respond and iron them out in a prompt manner. My colleagues in the Embassy and I myself are also always available at the offices of the relevant Liberian government officials and the project sites to help and push for smooth implementation of the programs.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very pleased to inform you that the 4th FOCAC Ministerial Conference will be held on November 8-9 in Egypt. The conference has two major tasks to perform. One is to review the implementation of the follow-up actions of the Beijing FOCAC Summit and the other is to draw a new plan of action for cooperation between China and Africa in the next three years. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and more than 10 African leaders including Madam President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be present at the opening ceremony of the Conference. The foreign ministers including the Hon. Minister Akerele and ministers in charge of economic matters from China and Africa will use the occasion to discuss how to further expand and deepen China-Africa cooperation in various fields and jointly cope with the current global economic downturn. With a view to forging closer ties and facilitating common development, China will announce some new measures to assist Africa. I am confident that, with joint efforts to be made by all the participating countries, particularly by the Egyptian host that has been doing an excellent job in preparing the event, the forthcoming Conference will be another success and serve as a landmark in the history of China-Africa friendship and cooperation.