China and Africa will push forward high-quality, people-friendly and sustainable cooperation between the two sides, senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi has said.
At the recently concluded Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), President Xi Jinping made four proposals for building the China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, announced the implementation of the "Nine Programs" and outlined a blueprint for China's cooperation with Africa over the next three years, which fully met Africa's needs and were warmly welcomed by Africa, Yang told Xinhua in an interview on Monday following his official visits to the Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone.
Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, said China will stay in close communication with Africa to implement case by case and push for high-quality, people-friendly and sustainable China-Africa cooperation.
First, China will fight the COVID-19 pandemic with solidarity and meet Africa's urgent needs, said Yang. At present, access to and vaccination rates of COVID-19 vaccines in African countries are generally low, and the pandemic risk is high. Closing the immunization gap and addressing the inequity of vaccine distribution is a top priority, said Yang.
China will work with African countries as soon as possible to arrange vaccine supply, transportation and other areas in a flexible manner, so as to help African countries reach the target set by the African Union of vaccinating 60 percent of the African population by the end of 2022, he said.
At the same time, China will implement measures such as undertaking 10 medical and health projects for African countries, and sending 1,500 medical personnel and public health experts to Africa, he said.
Second, China will put people and their lives first and support Africa's economic recovery, Yang said, adding that under the framework of the "Nine Programs," China will accelerate the implementation of measures that meet the most pressing needs of Africa's development.
Third, China will promote the transformation and upgrading of China-Africa cooperation and enhance its capacity for sustainable development, said Yang, adding that Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change.
China will work with Africa to advocate green and low-carbon development, vigorously develop solar, wind and other renewable energy sources, and assist Africa in implementing green environmental protection and climate programs, he said.
China will help Africa avert the old path of "pollution first, treatment later" while continue to advance industrialization, Yang said.
China will also aid Africa in the implementation of the digital economy programs and help African countries to bridge the "digital gap" and catch up with the pace of global digital economy development, he added.
Fourth, it is imperative to defend equity and justice and safeguard the common interests of China, Africa as well as other developing countries, said Yang.
China stands ready to work with Africa to encourage more countries and international organizations to join the Global Development Initiative and the Initiative on Partnership for Africa's Development, so as to create a stronger synergy for the international community in supporting Africa's development, he said.
China and Africa, which are the largest developing country and the continent with the largest number of developing countries respectively, have always been a community of shared future with the same weal and woe, and a community of shared interests for win-win cooperation, Yang said.
The more complicated and difficult the situation is, the more importance China attaches to Africa, as the two sides share a sincere friendship, a tradition of solidarity and mutual assistance, a need to seek common development and an alliance which safeguards international fairness and justice, Yang said.
Yang emphasized the necessity for China and Africa to strengthen solidarity and cooperation in face of unilateralism, protectionism, and bullying practices to safeguard the overall interests of developing countries.