Remarks by Ambassador Zhou Pingjian of China at the Seminar on Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa
2022-10-14 22:45

(Nairobi, October 13, 2022)

Prof. Peter Kagwanja, Chief Executive of Africa Policy Institute,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

    It is my great honor and pleasure to attend this Seminar on Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa. I thank Prof. Kagwanja and API for the kind invitation.

    The Horn of Africa enjoys a unique strategic position and great development potential. However, in recent years, hotspot issues have intensified and sometimes erupted into conflicts and confrontations, which are totally against the interests of people of the countries in the Horn of Africa and should not continue any longer.

    As a common friend to countries in the Horn of Africa, China has always been committed to promoting peace, stability and development in the region.

    During his visit to Kenya at the beginning of this year, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi put forward the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa, which is aimed at supporting regional countries in addressing the triple challenges of security, development and governance, achieving lasting peace and security, and embracing development and prosperity.

    Afterward, in March, the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Xue Bing paid a successful visit to the Horn countries including Kenya. In June, the first China-Horn of Africa Peace, Good Governance and Development Conference was held in the capital of Ethiopia, which is another important joint step by China and Africa to advance the Outlook.

    African issues should and can be addressed in an African way. China stands ready to play a constructive role but will never force its views on others. We encourage regional countries to develop a path that would suit their national conditions. We will continue to support regional countries in seeking strength through solidarity and realizing lasting peace and stability as well as development and prosperity in the Horn of Africa.

    Dear Friends,

    Our world today is undergoing accelerating changes unseen in a century, and it has entered a new phase of uncertainty and transformation. The once-in-a-century pandemic has continued unabated. Regional conflicts keep flaring up. The Cold War mentality and group politics are resurfacing, so are unilateralism and protectionism. Economic globalization has encountered headwinds. Deficit in peace, development, trust, and governance has grown. Human society has reached a crossroads and faces unprecedented challenges.

    At this moment critical to world peace and development, President Xi Jinping proposed for the first time the Global Development Initiative (GDI) in September last year and the Global Security Initiative (GSI) at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022. 

    The GSI champions commitments in six areas: to stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries; stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously; stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation; and stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains. This important Initiative gives explicit answers to questions of our times such as what security concept the world needs and how countries can achieve common security.

    China is not only the initiator of the GSI, but also a campaigner for its implementation. In this regard, China has always been supporting our African brothers. More than 80 percent of China’s military peacekeepers and 75 percent of its contributions to the peacekeeping assessment are deployed in Africa. China’s naval fleet has escorted nearly 7,000 Chinese and foreign vessels through the troubled waters off Somalia. 

    According to the nine programmes that President Xi announced at the opening ceremony of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) last November, China will undertake 10 peace and security projects for Africa, continue to deliver military assistance to the AU, support African countries’ efforts to independently maintain regional security and fight terrorism, and conduct joint exercises and on-site training between Chinese and African peacekeeping troops and cooperation on small arms and light weapons control.

    In short, on the road leading to peace and security, China will always walk side by side with our African brothers.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    The key to understanding China is to understand the Communist Party of China (CPC). In three days, on October 16, the CPC is set to open its 20th National Congress. It will be an important meeting to be held at a critical time as China embarks on a new journey toward its second centenary goal of building a modern socialist country in all respects. At this national congress, the CPC will fully review the major achievements made and valuable experience gained in China’s reform and development endeavors. It will also formulate programmes of action and overarching policies to meet China’s new development goals on the journey ahead in the new era and the new expectations of the people. We will continue to follow the Chinese path to modernization to achieve the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and we will continue to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. By doing so, we will create new opportunities for the world with new advances in China’s development and contribute our vision and strength to world peace and development and human progress.

    To conclude, I wish the Seminar fruitful deliberations and a great success.