5th China-Africa People's Forum opens in Chengdu

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, July 23, 2018
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Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the fifth China-Africa People's Forum, which opened in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province on Monday morning.

The fifth China-Africa People's Forum opens in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, July 23, 2018. [Photo/ China.org.cn]

By adhering to the three principles for China-Africa people-to-people friendship -- "enhancing people-to-people friendship, promoting practical cooperation and furthering world peace," Xi said the forum serves as "an important bridge" between the Chinese and African people, which has played an active role in promoting people-to-people exchanges between the two sides since 2011.

The China-Africa People's Forum were previously held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2011, Suzhou, China in 2012, Khartoum, Sudan in 2014 and Yiwu, China in 2015.

"It is my hope that this forum provides an opportunity for all of you to share ideas and experiences, build consensus and to contribute your insights and suggestions on friendly people-to-people cooperation between China and Africa," Xi said.

Song Tao, head of the International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, read Xi's congratulatory letter at the forum's opening ceremony. Xi is currently abroad on a new round of state visits to African countries including Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa and Mauritius.

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan called China and Africa "natural allies" through the years bearing similar historical experiences, similar struggles and the same development goals.

"We should be promoters for political mutual trust, we should be pushers for economic mutual benefit, we should be practitioners to learn from and reflect on each other's civilizations, we should be watchers for security mutual aid, and we should be collaborators for multilateral interactions," said Wang outlining his vision during his keynote speech.

Clément Mouamba, prime minister of the Republic of the Congo, also spoke at the opening of the forum, praising China-Congo cooperation as a model under the comprehensive strategic partnership formed between two countries, "We don't agree with those groundless accusations against China-Africa cooperation. Congolese people have their say on this."

He encouraged other African leaders to explore and implement China's Belt and Road Initiative in the future, which can not only bring benefits to Chinese and African people who strive to eliminate poverty, but also enlarge the framework of the forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

Vincent Meriton, vice president of the Seychelles and Party president of the People's Party, said China is gradually becoming a global leader in pushing forward the construction of a fairer globalization, "Africa has suffered a lot in the past. We have been slaves, we have been colonies, and our resources have been robbed, but now Africa has turned the page and looks forward to becoming a land of hope in the future. With such an ally and friend as China, we can build new partnerships, find new solutions, and reach new deals to achieve win-win."

Meriton said that Seychellois people can also join the Belt and Road Initiative soon and believed that the forum can provide more opportunities for African non-governmental organizations to develop and play greater roles in pushing forward social progress and improving people's welfare.

The fifth China-Africa People's Forum, under the theme of "pooling strength from the people for stronger China-Africa friendship and mutual trust," is jointly hosted by the China NGO Network for International Exchanges and Sichuan provincial government, and serves as a warm-up for the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to be held in September.

The forum will explore how NGOs can utilize their unique advantages and play an important role in promoting China-Africa friendship and cooperation, and to push forward the building of a community with shared future for China and Africa. It will also issue a plan to initiate 30 cooperative programs for the Chinese side to implement in Africa in civil areas over the next three years.

More than 190 guests and representatives from China and 30 African countries will attend the meeting held from July 23 - 24.

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