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Seizing Development Opportunities of the New Era: Sharing New Benefits of Win-Win Cooperation





By Amb. Yang Zigang | Eritrea Profile

Speech by Ambassador Yang Zigang at the Reception Marking the 69th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China:

Honorable ministers,

Honorable colleagues of the diplomatic corps,

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Kemey Amsikum! This is the first national day reception I have hosted since we moved to this new compound in May. It is a great delight to have you all here with us this evening to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

The past 69 years have been a marvelous journey for China. This journey has witnessed China’s historic leap forward, from getting up on its feet, setting out to achieve economic prosperity to growing ever stronger. The most spectacular achievements were made during the past four decades since China started its reform and opening-up in 1978. China’s GDP has averaged an annual growth rate of around 9.5%, and more than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty. Today’s China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial producer and the largest trader of goods, and by getting integrated into the world economy, China has contributed over 30% of global economic growth in recent years, and has become a key anchor and driver for the world economy as well as a positive force in advancing development and prosperity of the world. From now on, China will continue to promote reform and opening-up. The door of China’s opening-up will be even wider than before.

In October last year, the CPC held its 19th National Congress, which mapped out a new grand blueprint for China’s further development. Currently, the Chinese people are marching forward in big steps to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

This year also marks the 5th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has achieved tangible cooperation outcomes. China has signed cooperation documents on BRI with over 100 countries and international organizations. The total trade volume of goods between China and relevant countries along the Belt and Road have surpassed 5 trillion US dollars. Chinese enterprises have established over 80 economic and trade cooperation zones in 43 countries along the Belt and Road, which brought several billion US dollars of tax revenue for the host countries and created tens of thousands of employment opportunities for the local communities. The BRI has grown into the world’s largest and most open cooperation platform. It is gratifying that more and more African partners are participating in the BRI construction.

During September 3rd to 4th, the Beijing Summit of Forum On China- Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was successfully held. The leaders of China and over 50 African countries gathered together in Beijing and discussed China-Africa cooperation strategies and action plans in the time to follow. The Summit adopted two important outcome documents: ‘Beijing Declaration’ and ‘Beijing Action Plan 2019-2021’. These two documents aim to combine China-Africa joint endeavors to build the Belt and Road with the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the African Union 2063 Agenda as well as national development strategies of different African countries.

President Xi in his keynote speech elaborated on China’s Africa policies and thoughts and announced ‘EIGHT ACTION PLANS’ for deepening China-Africa practical cooperation. Those plans focus on China-Africa practical cooperation in 8 major fields including industrial promotion, facilities connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health care cooperation, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, peace and security.

With regards to practical cooperation, President Xi declared that China would offer another 60 billion US dollars to Africa through government assistance, investments and financing from financial institutions and enterprises in the following three years. China will offer Africa 50,000 government scholarship opportunities and 50,000 training opportunities, and invite 2,000 African youth to visit China. President Xi also pledged that China would upgrade 50 medical and health care programs in Africa and train more African doctors and specialists.

President Xi highlighted that China promises to follow a ‘FIVE-NOs’ approach in its relations with Africa. Those ‘FIVE NOs’ are: NO interference in African countries’ pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; NO interference in African countries’ internal affairs; NO imposition of our will on African countries; NO attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and NO seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Africa.

I firmly believe that there will be a brilliant prospect for China-Africa friendly relations and comprehensive cooperation in the years to come.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

We are so glad to see that in recent months, the regional situation of the Horn of Africa has experienced a series of positive and dynamic changes, President Isaias with his wisdom, insight and charisma of a statesman played a critical and significant role in it. The relevant countries took bold actions to reconcile each other and made constructive endeavors to consolidate peace and stability in this region, which is enormously conducive to economic and social development as well as to the durable peace and complementary cooperation in this region. Against this background, China welcomes the positive changes and stands ready to strengthen practical cooperation in various areas with Eritrea and all the other regional countries under the framework of FOCAC Beijing Summit and the BRI, and will continue to play a positive role in promotion and consolidation of peace and prosperity of the region.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

In recent years, China has remained to be Eritrea’s largest trade partner and largest investor. Our cooperation in infrastructure, agriculture, mining, housing, education, medical care and energy sectors have yielded fruitful results and brought real benefits to the peoples. Up until this August, 1,100 Eritreans have had training classes in China and nearly 300 Eritrean students obtained Chinese government scholarship.

In my opinion, in the new era, China-Eritrea bilateral ties could focus on the following three major aspects:

First, exploring cooperation opportunities from the Belt and Road Initiative and FOCAC to realize common development of our two countries.

Second, working together to boost political trust and mutual support in international and regional affairs, to promote solidarity and common interests among all the developing countries.

Third, pushing forward our people-to-people exchanges to construct the bridge of friendship through civil society, and advance mutual understanding and learning of our brilliant culture and civilizations.

I am convinced that so long as we take China-Eritrea relations from a strategic and long-term perspective and work hand in hand to seize the opportunities that we have, China- Eritrea bilateral ties can make more remarkable achievements and our peoples will be able to share fruitful results of our win-win cooperation. Let us work together to make China-Eritrea relations a good model for building the China-Africa community with a shared future.

Now, may I propose a toast:

To the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China,

To the friendship of Chinese and Eritrean peoples,

And to the peace and prosperity of the world,

Cheers!

Yekenyeley!

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