|Action Plan Adopted at China-Africa Summit, Mapping Cooperation Course|
BEIJING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- A milestone China-Africa summit concluded in the Chinese capital Sunday afternoon with an ambitious action plan that aims to boost bilateral cooperation to a higher level.
China and Africa will strengthen cooperation in politics, economy, international affairs and social development, says the action plan adopted at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
The document endorsed by leaders of China and 48 African nations attending the unprecedented high-profile diplomatic gathering in China-Africa history charted a roadmap of cooperation for the 2007-2009 period.
The two sides agreed to continue the momentum of high-level visit and dialogue to enhance traditional friendship and mutual trust, promote exchange of views and close coordination on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues, and share experience on governance to pursue common development and progress.
China and Africa "condemn and oppose terrorism in whatever form," and will "explore ways of counter-terrorism cooperation," says the action plan, vowing strengthened cooperation.
It says China and Africa "are opposed to double standard" while recognizing the leading role of the United Nations and UN Security Council in the international campaign to check terrorism.
They agreed to set up a mechanism of regular political dialogue between foreign ministers of the two sides within the FOCAC framework, deciding that the following year of every FOCAC Ministerial Conference, foreign ministers from the two sides will hold political consultation in New York on the sideline of the UN General Assembly to exchange views on major issues of common interest.
The action plan calls for increased international cooperation in promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
"China supports Africa's efforts in realizing the objective of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Africa on a voluntary basis," says the document, adding that China will continue to support the "humanitarian de-mining operations" in Africa and its combat against illicit trade in small arms and light weapons with financial and material assistance and related training.
The two sides also agreed in the document to intensify cooperation to face up to non-traditional security issues, including natural disasters, refugees and displaced persons, illegal migration, transnational crimes, drug smuggling and communicable diseases, which challenge the world peace and security.
They pledged to uphold the important role of the United Nations in international affairs and promote multilateralism and democracy in international relations, says the document, reaffirming respect for the UN Charter, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the principles in the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
The UN reform should be based on democratic negotiations and conducive to maintaining unity among UN member states, says the plan, calling for priority of developing countries, African countries in particular, in the UN Security Council reform.
On economic cooperation, the two sides will work together to seek common development, the document says.
China and African countries "resolved" to bolster joint energy and resources exploration and exploitation under the principle of reciprocity and common development, says the action plan.
Noting China and Africa are "highly complementary" in energy and resources sectors, the document says "better information sharing and pragmatic cooperation" in these sectors "serves the long-term interests of both sides."
China will work to help African countries "turn their advantages in energy and resources into development strengths" while giving "high priority" to environmental protection and sustainable development in the continent, the action plan says.
The plan also voices the two sides' determination in combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, Ebola, Chikungunya, avian influenza and other communicable diseases.
The Chinese government has decided to assist African countries in building 30 hospitals and provide 300 million yuan (37.5 million U.S. dollars) of grant for providing anti-malaria drugs to African countries and building 30 demonstration centers for prevention and treatment of malaria in the coming three years, it says.
The Chinese government will establish more Confucius Institutes in African countries to meet the locals' needs in Chinese language teaching and will encourage Chinese universities to teach African languages, the plan says.
It also spells out China's decision to help African countries set up 100 rural schools in the coming three years and increase the number of scholarships for African students in China to 4,000 a year by 2009 from the present 2,000.
The Chinese government also vowed to provide annual training for a number of educational officials as well as heads and leading teachers of universities, primary, secondary and vocational schools in Africa, according to the document.
It says China's new decision to extend the Approved Destination Status (ADS) to the nine African countries of Algeria, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Gabon, Rwanda, Mali, Mozambique, Benin and Nigeria has raised the number of ADS countries for Chinese tourists to 26.
The number of Chinese tourists to Africa reached 110,000 in 2005, doubling the 2004 figure, according to the Exit-Entry Administration Bureau of the Public Security Ministry.
The two sides also resolved to promote dialogue and exchanges in environmental protection and cooperation in human resources development, the document says.
Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a package of major assistance, investment, trade and other key cooperation measures with Africa in an effort to forge a new type of strategic partnership on Saturday morning when addressing the opening ceremony of the summit themed on "friendship, peace, cooperation and development."
Later Saturday, a high-level dialogue and entrepreneurs conference opened at the Great Hall of the People, where Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao proposed China and Africa fully tap cooperation potential.
The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation closed yesterday with the adoption of an action plan. The plan defined the tasks and goals in the four major areas of collaboration between China and African countries for the 2007-09 period.
Below are some of the highlights of the action plan:
Chinese and African leaders agreed to continue high-level visits and set up a mechanism of regular political dialogue between foreign ministers to promote political co-operation.
The two sides will enhance traditional friendship and mutual trust, conduct regular exchange of views and close co-ordination and co-operation on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues. The will share experience on governance to pursue common development and progress.
The two sides resolved to strengthen and give full play to existing mechanisms between China and Africa, such as bilateral commissions, foreign ministries' political consultation, mixed commissions on economic and trade co-operation, and joint commissions on science and technology. The resolved to expand co-operation in the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and other international and regional organizations, and actively explore ways of pragmatic co-operation with third parties on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and win-win results.
To promote mutual respect, deepen understanding and enhance co-operation, the two sides will strengthen friendly contacts in various forms between the National People's Congress of China and parliaments of African countries as well as the Pan-African Parliament.
The two sides will support the establishment of sister-province/state and sister-city relations between the two sides and promote exchanges and co-operation in local development and administration.
To meet the need of growing economic and trade relations and personnel exchanges between China and Africa, the two sides will strengthen consular co-operation and take effective measures to facilitate mutual visits and protect personal and property safety, and lawful rights and interests of their citizens.
The two sides will promote exchanges and consultation between judiciaries, police and other law enforcement authorities, improve their capability to jointly prevent, investigate and combat crimes, enhance co-operation in legal assistance, extradition and repatriation of criminal suspects and management of emigrants, and work to resolve the issue of illegal migration through consultation.
The Chinese Government will continue to strengthen its co-operation with the African Union (AU) and sub-regional organizations and institutions in Africa, support the AU's leading role in resolving African issues, and take an active part in UN peace-keeping operations in Africa.
In the economic sphere, the two sides agree to enhance co-operation in areas ranging from agriculture, investment, trade, finance, infrastructure construction, energy, natural resources, science and technology and information.
China and African countries will bolster their companies' joint energy exploration and exploitation under the principle of reciprocity.
The two sides will give encouragement and support to their enterprises in conducting joint exploration and rational exploitation of energy and other resources based on the principle of mutual benefit and common development.
China and its African partners will improve information sharing and pragmatic co-operation in these sectors to serve the long-term interests of both sides.
China will give high priority to African concerns of environmental protection and sustainable development, and help African countries turn their advantages in energy and resources into development strengths.
In the international arena, China and African countries call for international involvement in poverty relief efforts in Africa. They recognize that the international community should work actively to build an international environment conducive to poverty alleviation and common development to help Africa achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals.
China and Africa welcomed the establishment of the Human Rights Council by the United Nations.
It says China will support the efforts by African countries that seek World Trade Organization membership, pledging to step up co-ordination for the early resumption of the Doha Round of negotiations.
China and Africa will strengthen co-operation in countering terrorism and promoting nuclear disarmament.
The two sides will also work to strengthen consultation and co-operation in international affairs, serving the common interests of both sides and other developing countries.
China and Africa condemn and oppose terrorism in whatever form and will explore methods of counter-terrorism co-operation.
China and Africa are opposed to double standards, while recognizing a leading role of the United Nations and UN Security Council in the international campaign against terrorism.
China and African countries call for increased international co-operation in promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. China supports Africa's efforts in realizing the objective of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Africa on a voluntary basis.
China will continue to support humanitarian de-mining operations in Africa, and its campaign against illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, with financial and material assistance and related training.
The two sides also agreed to strengthen co-operation to face up to non-traditional security issues, including natural disasters, refugees and displaced persons, illegal migration, transnational crime, drug smuggling and communicable diseases, which challenge world peace and security.
As far as social development is concerned, the Chinese Government will continue to provide assistance and join in debt-reduction efforts. It will expand joint-programmes in human resources development as well as in the fields of culture, education, health care, environment, tourism, media and exchanges among the peoples.
In medicine and health care, China and Africa will intensify co-operation in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, Ebola, Chikungunya, avian influenza and other communicable diseases. China will also help African countries establish quarantine and public health emergency response mechanism, in addition to building new hospitals and prevention centres, providing free anti-malaria drugs and sending medical teams.
In tourism, China has granted tourist destination status to 26 African countries. The nine new countries on the list are Algeria, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Gabon, Rwanda, Mali, Mozambique, Benin and Nigeria.
The Chinese Government will extend ADS (approved destination status) to more qualified African countries at their request.
Collaboration in the fields of education will include building more Confucius Institutes in African countries to meet the locals' needs in Chinese language teaching. Meanwhile, Chinese universities will be encouraged to teach African languages.
China and African countries recognize the need to collaborate in environment protection, share experiences and boost sustainable development on both sides.
China and Africa are resolved to promoting dialogue and exchanges in environmental protection and co-operation in human resources development.
China will train more environmental protection administrators and experts for African countries in the coming three years and the number of trainees will increase year on year.
Meanwhile, the two sides will step up co-operation in capacity building, prevention and control of water pollution and desertification, maintenance of bio-diversity and the development of environmental protection industry and demonstration projects.
They will also work with the United Nations Environment Programme for multilateral co-operation in the environment sector.