Assistant Foreign Minister Deng Li Attends Opening Ceremony of Ninth Meeting of China-Africa Think Tanks Forum

On November 5, 2020, the Ninth Meeting of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF) opened in Beijing. Assistant Foreign Minister Deng Li attended the opening ceremony and delivered a speech. Cai Fang, Vice President of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and President of China-Africa Institute, and Martin Mpana, Dean of African Diplomatic Corps to China and Cameroon's Ambassador to China, delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. Joaquim Alberto Chissano, African President of the International Consultative Committee of the China-Africa Institute and former President of Mozambique, also gave an online speech. Over 200 experts, scholars, media personnel, and African envoys to China attended the meeting in the online or offline forms.

Deng Li said, over the past two decades, China and Africa have seized development opportunities and achieved common development through all-round cooperation. The Forum has become a distinct symbol in international cooperation with Africa and in South-South cooperation. Despite headwinds of economic globalization, sluggish world economy, and lingering unilateralism and bullying practices, China and Africa continue to advance cooperation. This is because the two sides adhere to mutual respect and equality, work for win-win, practical, efficient and people-first cooperation, and follow the pioneering, innovative, open and inclusive spirit.

While the cooperation has progressed very well, there are also challenges as some countries are trying to undermine China-Africa cooperation by launching groundless attacks. However, we firmly believe that China-Africa friendship is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people and the cooperation serves the fundamental interests of the Chinese and African people. China-Africa relations are unbreakable. No attempts to drive a wedge between China and Africa to sabotage the relations will succeed at any time or in any form. China and Africa will unswervingly work together for an even stronger community with a shared future, and our relations will make still greater progress.

Deng emphasized, the world today is undergoing profound changes. We must take on new missions and meet new requirements in view of new situations in the new era. Therefore, the scholars of the China-Africa Think Tanks should treat China-Africa relations with a global vision and from a rational perspective, and focus on practical needs to offer intellectual support for fostering greater synergy between our strategies, and expanding practical cooperation; experts should go to the people, and address real difficulties in bilateral cooperation, thus contributing wisdom to the development of the China-Africa relations in the next stage; both parties should tell our stories and speak with one voice to create a better public opinion environment for our cooperation.

The CATTF, an important thematic forum of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), has been held for eight times since its inception in 2011. This year's meeting is hosted by the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the FOCAC, organized by China-Africa Institute and co-organized by Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University, China Institute of International Studies, and Center for African Studies at Peking University.

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