Jointly writing a new chapter in the friendship between the Chinese and African people – a speech at the Parliament of the Republic of the Congo
(March 19, Brazzaville, March 13, 2003)
President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping
Dear President Sassou,
Distinguished Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament and Speaker Komba,
Ladies and gentlemen, friends:
Hello everyone! I am very happy to have the opportunity to meet with my colleagues and friends in Brazzaville. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, and in my own name, I would like to extend my sincere greetings and best wishes to all the friends present here and through you to the warm and friendly Congolese people!
For a long time, all of you here have been actively engaged in the Sino-Congolese friendship and have promoted China-German exchanges and cooperation in different aspects and made important contributions to the development of China-German relations. Here, I extend my highest respect and sincere thanks to you!
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Congo for half a century, the two sides have been meticulously nurtured and diligently poured out. The tree of friendship between China and Congo has thrived. Today, it is deeply rooted and full of fruits. The comprehensive cooperative partnership between China and Congo in solidarity and mutual assistance has become a model for South-South cooperation. The promotion of friendly cooperation between China and Congo has become a strong consensus of the two governments and peoples.
Although China and Congo are far apart and have different national conditions, the relationship between the two countries has always maintained a strong vitality. The reason for this is that our two countries have established solid political mutual trust on the basis of common ideas and our two countries have established the goal of achieving common development. In the form of mutually beneficial cooperation in various forms, the two peoples of the two countries have forged a profound brotherhood in their adversity and sincere mutual assistance.
In April 2010, after a strong earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai Province, China, the Congolese government generously donated funds to build a primary school in the disaster-hit area. President Sassu himself personally named it “Zhonggang Friendship Primary School.” Now, the children in the disaster-stricken area have spacious new school buildings. They can read and study quietly and run and laugh on the sports ground. All the students in the school eagerly stated in the thank-you note addressed to President Sassou: “The birds are more free because of the vastness of the sky, the horses are more robust because of the broadness of the grassland, and the flowers are even more exposed to sunlight and rain. Gorgeous, our lives are better because of the help of the Congolese government and people.” On behalf of these children, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Congolese government and people!
Ladies and gentlemen!
During this visit to Africa, I had a friendly meeting with the leaders of many African countries and had extensive contacts with people from all walks of life in Africa. I have two prominent feelings.
First, Africa is a continent full of vitality and hope. During the visit, I deeply felt the eager yearning and enthusiastic pursuit of the African people for a better life, and deeply felt the firm belief and strong determination of African leaders to lead the people in their national rejuvenation. This is the most important driving force for the development of Africa. We are pleased to see that in recent years, the situation in Africa has remained generally stable and the economy has continued to grow rapidly.
Although there have been some turbulences in parts of Africa, I firmly believe that these difficulties and twists and turns cannot stop Africa from moving toward peace, development and progress. At this moment, I remembered the poem of an African poet: “Go forward, Africa, let us hear the rhythm of victory in your song!”
The second point is that China-Africa cooperation is promising and has bright prospects. Since the middle of the last century, both in the struggle for national independence and the liberation of the people and in the search for a development path suited to their own national conditions, the Chinese and African people have always sympathized with and supported each other. In the new era, our two sides once again faced the same historical mission on the road to national development and the people’s well-being and achieved fruitful cooperation.
Looking ahead, China’s development will bring unprecedented opportunities to Africa. Africa’s development will also bring unprecedented opportunities for China’s development. We and the two sides should join hands and continue to take the road of mutually beneficial cooperation and common development. We are willing to work with our African friends to seize the historical opportunity, deepen pragmatic cooperation, advance Sino-African friendship, and benefit the people of China and Africa.
Ladies and gentlemen!
The new developments and changes in the international situation have brought us rare opportunities for development and brought us serious challenges. It is the common aspiration of all peoples that peace is not a war, development is not poverty, and cooperation is not to confront.
We advocate the promotion of the spirit of equality, mutual trust, tolerance, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation in international relations and jointly safeguard international fairness and justice. All countries must abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and adhere to the principle that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal, respect the diversity of world civilizations, diversify the development path, promote the democratization of international relations, advance the progress of human civilization, and safeguard world peace and stability. Enhance the common interests of mankind.
China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation, and win-win outcome. It will unswervingly commit itself to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. No matter how the international situation changes, China has always been a good friend and partner of all-weather in Africa.
China will unswervingly cooperate with African countries in solidarity and assistance, continue to increase aid to Africa, expand non-trade and investment, strengthen non-pragmatic cooperation with Africa, and join hands to meet the challenges posed by world economic risks and difficulties.
China will unswervingly increase mutual trust with African countries, consolidate China-Africa’s traditional friendly political foundation, support African countries to follow their own development path suited to their national conditions, and support African countries and African Union and other regional organizations in safeguarding national sovereignty and independently resolving this continent. The efforts of the issue play a constructive role in maintaining peace and security in Africa.
China will unswervingly cooperate with African countries, strengthen coordination in international affairs, jointly tackle global challenges such as climate change, food security, poverty reduction and development, and participate in the formulation of international economic, financial and trade rules, and promote international politics. The economic order has developed in a more just and reasonable direction.
Ladies and gentlemen!
China-Africa traditional friendship is deeply rooted in the people. The profound friendship between the peoples of China and Africa is an important social foundation for China-Africa relations. Only with the enthusiastic participation of the peoples of both sides can China-Africa friendship be viable and vital, and the foundation of China-Africa cooperation can be continuously consolidated. Only by letting the achievements of China-Africa cooperation continue to benefit both peoples, can the development of China-Africa relations be more widely and firmly supported and supported by both peoples.
The folks know each other. Culture is an important bridge and link for people of all countries to increase mutual understanding and friendship. Humanities exchanges are an important pillar of the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa. The development of China-Africa relations requires both the “hard” support for economic and trade cooperation and the “soft” support for humanistic exchanges. Humanities exchanges will provide rich cultural nutrition for the development of China-Africa relations and inject a strong spiritual force!
We are pleased to see that in recent years, China-Africa people-to-people exchanges and humanities exchanges have shown a new phase of rapid development, with increasingly rich contents, increasingly diverse forms, and increasingly fruitful results.
At the same time, we must also realize that there is still much room for the development of civil and cultural exchanges between China and Africa in terms of the expectations of the people of Central Africa and the potential for the development of China-Africa relations.
We should provide more information sources for direct contacts between the two peoples and enhance mutual understanding. Only in this way can the Sino-African friendship take root in the hearts of both peoples and dissolve into the blood of both peoples, which will be handed down from generation to generation and carried forward.
I heard a moving thing. One night in December 2012, Brazzaville suddenly plunged into heavy rain, and some houses in the suburbs were flooded. Three afflicted Chinese overseas Chinese were already out of danger, but when they discovered that their neighbors were still unaware of the danger, they decided to risk their lives to swim near the flooded houses, struggling to open the roof and rescue 12 Congolese people. Neighbors, including 5 children. Their righteous actions were praised by local residents.
This case fully shows that the development of China-Africa’s new type of strategic partnership is rooted in the people and the source of exchanges. Let us work together and use the friendship of the people of China and Africa as a pen, and use the land of China and Africa as a piece of paper to compose a new chapter in the friendship between the Chinese and African peoples!
Ladies and gentlemen!
The legislature plays an important role in the country’s social and political life. The exchanges and cooperation between the legislative bodies of the two countries and direct exchanges between parliamentarians are an important part of the relations between the two countries and an important channel for enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. It is hoped that the legislatures of the two countries will continue to maintain the momentum of friendly exchanges and sincere cooperation. I hope that Members will give full play to their own advantages and contribute to deepening the friendship between the two peoples.
Ladies and gentlemen!
There is also a time when there is a good time together. I will soon leave Brazzaville to return to China. The friendly smile of the Congolese people will often surface in front of me. The sincere words spoken by the Congolese people will always ring in my ear.
I will cherish the joys, emotions and friendship harvested during this trip to Africa in the depths of memory. The brotherly friendship of the African people with the Chinese people will inspire us to make unremitting efforts to promote the friendship between China and Africa.
I believe that the friendship between China and Africa will continue to flow like the Yangtze River and the Congo River.
thank you all.
(People’s Daily Brazzaville, March 29th)