President Xi congratulates AU on 20th founding anniversary
Adoba Echono, Abuja
Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent congratulatory message to the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Macky Sall, who is also the Senegalese President, on the 20th anniversary of AU’s founding and the establishment of China-AU diplomatic relations.
Xi pointed out that in the past 20 years, the AU has led African countries in striding forward along a path of seeking strength through unity, development, revitalization and integration, and in demonstrating Africa’s strength in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, upholding multilateralism and safeguarding the common interests of developing countries.
According to the Chinese President, “China and Africa have always been good friends, good partners and good brothers sharing weal and woe.”
He said China-AU relations have stood the test of changing international circumstances, and bilateral cooperation has expanded in depth and width, playing an important leading role in carrying forward China-Africa traditional friendship and strengthening solidarity and cooperation in the new era.
President Xi said he attaches great importance to the development of China-AU relations and stands ready to work with President Sall and other Heads of State of the AU member countries to embark from the new starting point of the 20th anniversary of the China-AU diplomatic ties.
He also pledged to carry forward the spirit of China-Africa friendly cooperation, fully implement the outcomes of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), firmly support each other on issues concerning their respective core interests and major concerns, continue to increase the representation and voice of developing countries in international affairs and make new contributions to the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
For his part, Macky Sall who said President Xi‘s warm congratulatory message on the 20th anniversary of the founding of the AU, fully demonstrates the close friendship between African and Chinese people, expressed his sincere gratitude to Xi.
He highly appreciated the traditional friendship, solidarity and cooperation between Africa and China, as well as the dynamic partnership under the framework of the FOCAC.
Sall reiterated that Africa firmly supports the one-China principle, and also supports the African continent to work with friendly China to build the China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
The African Union (AU) was officially launched in July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, following a decision in September 1999 by its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to create a new continental organisation to build on its work.
The decision to re-launch Africa’s pan-African organisation from OAU to AU was the outcome of a consensus by African leaders that in order to realise Africa’s potential, there was a need to refocus attention from the fight for decolonisation and ridding the continent of apartheid, which had been the focus of the OAU, towards increased cooperation and integration of African states to drive Africa’s growth and economic development.