Chairman Jia repeatedly stressed that mutual understandings, mutual respect, mutual support and mutual benefit are the source of China-Africa friendship and the cornerstone of China-Africa relations. African countries have all along given firm support to China on issues concerning China’s major and core interests and offered strong support to China’s economic development. The Chinese people will always remember the selfless help from the African people. Chairman Jia reaffirmed that China cherishes its traditional friendship with Africa and will firmly stand with the African countries and support them in their efforts to independently choose their development paths, resolve regional issues on their own and seek strength through unity. While pursuing its own development, China has always endeavored to seek common development with Africa and promoted African development through its own development.
Chairman Jia attended the inauguration ceremony of the AU Conference Center and Office Complex, a project built with China’s assistance. This project was one of the eight measures announced by President Hu Jintao on behalf of the Chinese government at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2006 to expand cooperation with Africa. This high-quality building complex delivered on schedule serves as a testament to China’s commitment to and a new historic monument for China-Africa friendship and cooperation.
The African Union stands as a banner for African pursuit of strength through unity and an important force in upholding peace, stability and development of Africa and the world. President Hu Jintao sent a congratulatory message to the 18th AU Summit and Chairman Jia Qinglin attended its opening ceremony. It was the first time for a Chinese leader to attend the AU Summit. Chairman Jia voiced firm support for the African Union during his speech. He said that the profound and complex changes taking place in Africa and the world have affected, in no small magnitude, the cause of peace, stability and development in Africa and posed growing challenges to Africa in its efforts to enhance strength through unity and solve its own issues independently. Meeting the Millennium Development Goals remains a daunting task for Africa. It is all the more important for African countries, at this crucial moment, to strengthen unity and stick to its own path. Africa and the African Union have a future.
Leaders of African countries applauded the traditional friendship between Africa and China. They said that such friendship is deeply rooted in the same historical experience. China respects and supports Africa. This is what China says and what China does. They appreciated China’s valuable support and assistance over the years and thanked China in particular for helping build the AU Conference Center and Office Complex, which they believe, serves as a symbol of African renaissance and renews the hope of the African people for a better future. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said that China’s firm commitment to implementing cooperation projects with African countries is an important contributor to African renaissance. One could feel the warmth and vitality of the China-Africa friendship throughout the brand new AU Conference Center and Office Complex. Rounds of big applause resonating in the large conference hall spoke to the heart of the African countries: in the journey of African development, China is always Africa’s trust worthy brother, friend and partner.