5. Cooperation on Peace and Security
Without security and stability, there can be no development. As a constructive participant in peace and security affairs in Africa, China has always championed the principle of African people solving African issues in their own ways, and advocated the need to address root causes as well as symptoms and seek cooperation for the benefit of all parties. It supports the right of African countries and the AU to play a leading role in the region's peace and security affairs. China supports their efforts to promote peace and stability and fight against terrorism. China endorses the "Silence the Guns in Africa" initiative in countries and regional organizations such as the AU. China will continue to support the UN in providing financial support for the AU's independent peacekeeping operations. Based on the principles of respecting the will of African countries, not interfering in African countries' internal affairs, and observing the basic norms governing international relations, China is actively exploring constructive participation in promoting and maintaining peace and security in Africa.
China and Africa continue to expand exchanges and hold dialogues in the field of peace and security. Since 2019, China has co-hosted or hosted the Dialogue on the Implementation of China-Africa Peace and Security Initiative, the First China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, and the Video Conference on Military Medicine under the forum. It has also actively participated in important conferences or forums held by African countries in related fields. The Chinese Government's Special Representative for African Affairs has actively engaged in mediation efforts in Africa, and played a unique and constructive role in Africa's peace and security endeavors. Through various means such as port calls and joint exercises and training, China has provided strong support to African countries in strengthening national defense and the armed forces, and to countries in the Sahel region and those bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Guinea in upholding security and combating terrorism in their regions. China has launched assistance programs and helped train African military personnel under the Belt and Road Initiative, and in areas of law and order, UN peacekeeping missions, fighting piracy and combating terrorism. China supports the UN in playing an important role in maintaining peace and stability in Africa. Among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, China has sent the largest number of peacekeepers to the continent.
Since China first took part in UN peacekeeping operations in 1990, more than 80 percent of its peacekeepers have been deployed in Africa. Over 30,000 Chinese peacekeepers have been sent to Africa to perform tasks in 17 peacekeeping mission areas. More than 1,800 peacekeepers are currently performing missions in five of these areas – Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the DRC), Abyei, South Sudan and Western Sahara. In accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, the PLA Navy has deployed regular convoys in the Gulf of Aden since 2008. To date, it has dispatched 39 escort taskforces, providing protection to approximately 7,000 Chinese and foreign vessels in about 1,400 groups. China also decided to donate 300,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to UN peacekeepers, with priority given to those in African mission areas. As of August 2020, a total of 11 Chinese military peacekeepers had sacrificed their lives for the noble cause of peace in Africa.
China and Africa embrace the expansion of orderly personnel exchanges. They have worked on consular cooperation, increased cooperation between law enforcement departments, and acted against various cross-border crimes. In 2019, Chinese citizens made 607,000 visits to the African continent, while the number of African visitors to China reached 685,000. Growth in personnel exchanges promotes the rapid development of consular relations. In terms of strengthening law enforcement capacity in African countries, since 2018, China has trained over 2,000 African law enforcement officers and provided police supplies. It has dispatched peacekeeping police to African mission areas under the aegis of the UN, and collaborated in dealing with criminal cases, intelligence exchanges, experience-sharing and joint operations under the framework of Interpol.
III. Strengthening Mutual Support
Friendly relations between the PRC and Africa have endured through more than half a century and withstood the test of time. The two sides have always stood firmly together at critical junctures and on major issues. African countries have provided important support for China's endeavors to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests, promote reunification, and achieve national rejuvenation through development. China has firmly supported African countries in realizing national independence, following development paths that fit their national conditions, promoting regional integration, and strengthening themselves through unity. China and Africa have joined forces in confronting the grave challenge posed by Covid-19, further reinforcing their friendship. The solidarity between the Chinese and African peoples enables them to overcome difficulties and obstacles and build a bright future.
1. Upholding International Equity and Justice
China and Africa are important partners in advancing the reform of the global governance system and the reshaping of the international order. Fifty years ago, at its 26th Session, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 by an overwhelming majority, restoring the lawful seat of the PRC in the United Nations. Since then, China has played a role of growing importance on the international stage. Among the 76 votes in favor of the resolution, 26 were cast by African countries, while 11 of the 23 sponsors of the draft resolution were from Africa. In the current complex and volatile international situation, China and Africa are jointly advancing multilateralism. They unequivocally oppose protectionism and unilateralism, support each other on issues involving the core interests and major concerns of either side, and safeguard the common interests of developing countries. The theory and practice of China-Africa cooperation provide examples for developing countries in handling international affairs, and important references to the reform of the global governance system.
– Practicing true multilateralism. Holding high the banner of multilateralism, China and Africa steadfastly support the international system with the United Nations at the core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. The two sides earnestly maintain international fairness and justice and push the international order in a fairer and more reasonable direction. They reject unilateralism and protectionism, and safeguard an open world economy and the multilateral trade system. China and Africa firmly support an increase in the representation and say of developing countries in the international governance system, especially African countries. When casting its vote in the United Nations, China always stands for developing countries.
– Jointly safeguarding legitimate rights. China and Africa understand and support each other on major issues such as those related to their sovereignty, territorial integrity, national dignity, and development interests. All African countries with diplomatic ties with China strictly abide by the one-China principle and firmly support China's reunification. China steadfastly supports African countries in safeguarding sovereignty and independence, calls on the international community to assist African countries in safeguarding their right to subsistence and development, objects to any form of racism and racial discrimination, and actively pushes for the lifting of unreasonable unilateral sanctions against African countries. Within the Security Council, China and three African members have established a "1 + 3" consultation mechanism to exchange views on and coordinate responses to major international and regional issues. Since 2017 while holding the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, China has initiated open debates on "Enhancing African Capacities in Peace and Security", "Peace and Security in Africa: Strengthening Peacekeeping Operations in Africa", "Peace and Security in Africa: Countering Terrorism and Extremism in Africa", and "Peace and Security in Africa: Addressing Root Causes of Conflict in Post-pandemic Recovery in Africa". These have pushed the international community to strengthen unity and cooperation and provide stronger support for Africa's lasting peace.
China and Africa have both proposed that the rights to subsistence and development are seen as the primary and basic human rights, that equal importance is attached to all human rights, that exchanges and cooperation on human rights are carried out on the basis of equality and mutual respect, and that individual countries' right in choosing their development paths is respected. They both oppose politicization of human right issues and double standards, and object to interference in other countries' internal affairs under the pretext of championing human rights. In response to Western anti-China forces' mudslinging and false accusations on China in regard to Xinjiang- and Hong Kong-related issues, African countries, alongside other developing countries, have voiced their collective or individual support for China's position, at the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly's Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee, commonly referred to as the "Third Committee." African countries agree with China's human rights principles, and support the resolution on the contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights and the resolution on promoting win-win cooperation in the field of human rights proposed by China at the Human Rights Council.
China calls on the international community to press forward with reform of global economic governance and offer concrete support for Africa's development. During the G20 Hangzhou Summit, at the initiation of China, a G20 Initiative in Support of Industrialization of Africa and Other Least Developed Countries was issued. In 2015, China announced the establishment of a China-UN Peace and Development Fund. Between 2016 and 2020, its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Sub-Fund sponsored 34 projects in fields such as poverty alleviation, health, energy access, technology innovation, and infrastructure, with African countries being the major beneficiaries. In May 2021, China and Africa launched the Initiative on Partnership for Africa's Development together. The two sides share the view that supporting the development of Africa is the consensus and shared responsibility of the international community. China calls on international partners to increase support to Africa in such areas as response to Covid-19 and other pandemics and post-Covid reconstruction, and to pool resources in those areas where Africa's most urgent needs lie, with a view to providing greater impetus to Africa's development.