Unity Makes Strength
Wang Yi Puts forward Four Proposals on Strengthening China-Africa Cooperation
On September 26, 2019 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting between China and African members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at the UN headquarters in New York. Foreign Ministers of the current UNSC African members including Foreign Minister Marcel Amon-Tanoh of Côte d’Ivoire, Foreign Minister Simeon Oyono Esono Angue of Equatorial Guinea, and Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor of South Africa, and Foreign Ministers of the incoming UNSC African members including Foreign Minister Kalla Ankourao of Niger and Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui of Tunisia attended the meeting.
Wang Yi put forward four proposals on strengthening China-Africa cooperation in the UNSC.
First is to make strength through unity. The biggest challenge in the current international situation is unilateralism, which directly challenges the basic norms governing international relations, impacts the role of the UN, and harms the benefits of a vast number of developing countries and small and medium-sized countries including African countries. To cope with the challenge, China and Africa need to work hand in hand and walk side by side for only unity makes strength. In the UNSC, if the three African members speak with one voice, their influence would mean more than only three votes, but rather would cover the entire African continent. If China stands together with Africa, the influence will be greater than just four votes, but rather would lead other countries to follow, and influence and shape the UNSC's agenda. Since 2018, there has been a "3+1" coordination mechanism between China and the UNSC African members, and this coordination mechanism should be fully used.
Second is to resolve disputes through negotiations. The Chinese side has always been advocating solving hotspot issues through political means. Africa boasts a good tradition of negotiation and experience in successful mediation of African regional and subregional organizations. Many complex challenges in the UNSC Agenda, especially African hotspot issues, are mostly the seeds sowed by colonialism, while some are directly related to external factors. We need to jointly make good use of Chapter Ⅵ of the UN Charter and the UN in mediation and conciliation.
Third is to achieve self-improvement through autonomy. African countries and their people know about African issues best, and Africa has the competence and intelligence to address them. When addressing African hotspot issues, the UNSC should listen to and respect the will of Africa, give play to the role of the regional and subregional organizations, and encourage and support the endogenous solutions from Africa. The Chinese side is willing to strengthen coordination with the African side, and firmly advance Africa’s capacity building for independent peace operations.
Fourth is to solve fundamental problems through development. China and the large number of African countries, as developing nations, need to put economic and social development first and support each other in their choices of development path. The Chinese side is willing to align its Belt and Road Initiative with African Union's Agenda 2063, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and development strategies of African countries, so as to boost the development capacity of African countries and address the root causes of conflict. We should jointly push the UN to increase its input in Africa's development. The Ebola epidemic broke out again in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the Chinese side has provided prompt assistance as well as human and material aid within its capacity and will continue to do so. China is willing to coordinate with African countries and mobilize the UN and the World Health Organization to reinforce the aid and give play to the role of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC.