2. Mutual Respect and Common Development
China-Africa cooperation is about mutual support between developing countries. Over the years, China has formed a distinctive approach to win-win cooperation with Africa. The approach is in line with the traditional Chinese philosophy, "Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you." It also corresponds to the fundamental interests of African countries and the basic norms of international relations. It is a hallmark of China-Africa solidarity and cooperation and can serve as a useful reference for international cooperation with Africa.
China's approach involves upholding four principles:
– Upholding sincerity, friendship and equality. The Chinese people have worked together with African people in pursuit of a shared future. China respects, appreciates and supports Africa.
– Upholding shared interests and the greater good, with greater emphasis on the latter. In its cooperation with Africa, China applies the principles of giving more and taking less, giving before taking, and giving without asking for something in return. It welcomes African countries aboard the express train of China's development with open arms.
– Upholding a people-oriented approach in pursuing practical cooperation with efficiency. In its cooperation with Africa, China gives top priority to the interests and wellbeing of the peoples of China and Africa, and works to their benefit. China is committed to fully honoring the promises it has made to its African friends.
– Upholding openness and inclusiveness. China stands ready to work with other international partners to support Africa in pursuing peace and development. It welcomes and supports all initiatives that further Africa's interests.
In developing relations with Africa, there are five lines that China will not cross: no interference in African countries' choice of a development path that fits their national conditions; no interference in African countries' internal affairs; no imposition of its will on African countries; no attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and no pursuit of selfish political gains through investment and financing cooperation with Africa.
3. The Lofty Goal of Building a Community of Shared Future
At the FOCAC Beijing Summit in 2018, China and Africa reached a strategic agreement to build a China-Africa community of shared future characterized by joint responsibility, win-win cooperation, happiness for all, cultural prosperity, common security, and harmony between humanity and nature. This is a fundamental program of action, and a lofty goal for the two sides. It has charted the course for China-Africa cooperation in the new era.
– In assuming joint responsibility, the two sides will reinforce mutual understanding and support on issues involving each other's core interests and major concerns, and boost coordination on major international and regional issues. These efforts will enable the two sides to uphold the common interests of China and Africa as well as other developing countries.
– In pursuing win-win cooperation, China and Africa will seize the opportunity created by the complementarity between their respective development strategies and the major opportunities presented by the Belt and Road Initiative. This will allow them to expand areas of cooperation and unlock new cooperation potential.
– In delivering happiness for all and growing China-Africa relations, the clear goal of the two sides is to make people's lives better. The cooperation between the two sides must deliver real benefit to the people in both China and African countries.
– In pursuing cultural prosperity, China and Africa will work to strengthen the bond between their peoples by increasing exchanges, mutual learning and harmonious co-existence between the civilizations of the two sides, invigorating their civilizations and cultures, enriching their artistic creations, and providing richer cultural nourishment.
– In seeking common security, China is ready to play a constructive role, and will support African countries in strengthening their independent capacity for safeguarding stability and peace. China firmly supports African countries and the African Union (AU), as well as other regional organizations in Africa, in their efforts to solve African issues in African ways.
– In promoting harmony between humanity and nature, China will strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Africa on climate change, clean energy, prevention and control of desertification and soil erosion, protection of wildlife, and other areas of ecological and environmental sensitivity. Through their combined efforts, the two sides will make China and Africa beautiful places for people to live in harmony with nature.
Ultimately, it is for the Chinese and African people to judge the results of China-Africa cooperation. China's aim in developing cooperation with Africa will always be to promote the fundamental interests of the Chinese and African people. It will never make containment of any third country an aim of its policy in Africa.