Recently there have been many important events in China and the world. I will take this opportunity to introduce to you relevant information on three hot topics: the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to be held in Senegal, and the Taiwan question.
The Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the CPC
The 19th Central Committee of the CPC convened its sixth plenary session in Beĳing from November 8 to 11, 2021. This session is of historical significance. It reviewed and passed a resolution on the major achievements and historical experience of the CPC’s endeavors in the 100 years of its glorious journey. H.E. President Xi Jinping, who doubles as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a work report at the meeting on behalf of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
The session pointed out that over the past century the Party has made great achievements in different periods of China’s development. In the period of the new-democratic revolution from 1921 to 1949, the Party successfully led the Chinese people to oppose imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism, seek national independence and the people’s liberation, and create the fundamental social conditions for realizing national rejuvenation through bloody battles and unyielding struggles. In the period of socialist revolution and construction from 1949 to 1978, the Party successfully led the Chinese people to realize the transformation from new democracy to socialism, carry out socialist revolution, promote socialist construction, and lay down the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundations necessary for national rejuvenation through a spirit of self-reliance and a desire to build a stronger China. In the new period of reform, opening up, and socialist modernization from 1978 to 2912, the Party successfully led the Chinese people to continue exploring the right path for building socialism in China, unleash and develop the productive forces, lift the people out of poverty and help them become prosperous in the shortest time possible, and fuel the push toward national rejuvenation by freeing minds and forging ahead. Following the Party’s 18th National Congress, socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era. The Party has successfully led the Chinese people to fulfill the First Centenary Goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and has embarked on the new journey to achieve the Second Centenary Goal of building a strong modernized socialist country in all respects, and achieving the great national rejuvenation through a spirit of self-confidence, self-reliance and innovating on the basis of what has worked in the past.
The endeavors of the Party and the people over the past century represent the most magnificent chapter in the millennia-long history of the Chinese nation. These achievements have enabled China to complete a process of industrialization that took developed countries several centuries in the space of mere decades, lifting over 750 million people out of extreme poverty, and bringing about the two miracles of rapid economic growth and enduring social stability.
The session summarized 10 basic experiences the Party has accumulated: upholding the Party’s leadership, putting the people first, advancing theoretical innovation, staying independent, following the Chinese path, maintaining a global vision, breaking new ground, standing up for ourselves, promoting the united front, and remaining committed to self-reform. These 10 aspects are the fundamental guarantee for the successes of the cause of the CPC and the Chinese people. Adhering to the 10 basic experiences is essential for making continued successes.
This session stressed the significance of upholding Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position in the Party and defined the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. By firmly upholding and safeguarding General Secretary Xi’s core position, the whole Party has an anchor, the entire Chinese people have a backbone and the giant vessel of China’s rejuvenation has a helmsman. By defining the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, it ensures that the Party can keep moving forward in the right direction. It ensures the Party can abide by the law of development, make sound plans for the development of the cause, meet difficulties head-on, and lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in opening bright prospects of national rejuvenation.
The session has made full political preparation for the incoming 20th National Congress of the CPC next year. At a time when the timeframes of the two centenary goals converge and the world is experiencing profound changes unseen in a century, this meeting is of great significance to the long-term prosperity and stability to the Chinese nation.
The Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)
The Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held on November 29 and 30 in Dakar, Senegal, the current African co-chair of FOCAC. The theme of the conference is “Deepen China-Africa Partnership and Promote Sustainable Development to Build a China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era”. The conference will review and assess the implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit as well as the joint China-Africa response to COVID-19, and chart the course for China-Africa cooperation for the next three years and beyond. The seventh China-Africa Business Conference will take place in parallel with FOCAC in Dakar virtually.
During this conference, China and Africa will further build consensus, focus on how to deepen cooperation in such key areas as health, industrial production capacity, infrastructure, trade and investment, digital economy, green development, peace and security, and human capital development. China is working with African members of FOCAC to step up preparations for the conference and ensure that this Conference will be a complete success.
FOCAC is an important platform for collective dialogue and effective mechanism for practical cooperation between China and Africa. Since its inception in 2000, FOCAC has spearheaded international cooperation with Africa and become a golden brand for South-South cooperation. In the face of changes and a global pandemic unseen in a century, foreign ministers and ministers of economic cooperation of all the 55 FOCAC members will be invited to gather together in Darkar and discuss new plans for future cooperation. This will inject new impetus into the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership and make new contributions to upholding the overall interests of developing countries and advancing world peace, stability, development and prosperity in a post-COVID era.
The 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit was a major success, which set a new direction for strengthening China-Africa solidarity and cooperation under the new situation. H.E. President Juliu Maada Bio was invited to pay a state visit to China and attend the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit. Since 2018, Sierra Leone-China practical cooperation has achieved fruitful results. China has enhanced assistance to Sierra Leone in the areas of agriculture, health and sanitation, education, transportation, optical fiber communications, infrastructure building and human resources development etc.. China-Sierra Leone comprehensive strategic partnership has been further strengthened.
I am convinced that the incoming FOCAC Ministerial Conference will achieve new tangible results, which will elevate China-Africa and China-Sierra Leone cooperation to a new level.
The Taiwan Question
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the People’s Republic of China’s lawful seat in the United Nations. On 25 October 1971, with the support of friendly countries, especially African countries, including Sierra Leone, the UN General Assembly at its 26th Session adopted Resolution 2758 with an overwhelming majority. The Resolution decided to restore all lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the UN, which has been widely upheld by the international community all the time.
Recently there are some noises stirring up the so-called “meaningful participation” of Taiwan in the UN organizations. I believe our Sierra Leonean friends will not be misled by those noises. I wish to take this opportunity to explain a little bit on the Taiwan question so that you can have a better understanding.
First, there is only one China in the world, of which Taiwan is an inalienable part. Taiwan has been part of China since ancient times. The Chinese people were the earliest developers of Taiwan. Starting from the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century, the Chinese governments of different periods set up administrative bodies to exercise effective jurisdiction over Taiwan. From 1895 to 1945, Taiwan was occupied by Japan. The Cairo Declaration in 1943 and the Potsdam Proclamation in 1945 stressed that Japan must return Taiwan to China. After the Chinese people’s victory in the war against Japanese aggression in 1945, China regained its sovereignty over Taiwan. Between 1945 and 1949, there was a civil war between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China. The Kuomintang regime was overthrown and the People’s Republic of China was founded in October 1949. A group of military and political officials of the Kuomintang forces took refuge in Taiwan. Since then there has been a state of temporary division between Taiwan and the mainland of China. But this has not changed the fact that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China.
Second, as a province of China, Taiwan is not eligible to become a member of the UN. The UN is an intergovernmental international organization composed of sovereign states. The Resolution 2758 has solved once and for all the issues of China’s representation in the UN and its system in political, economic, legal and procedural terms. The government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing the whole of China in the UN. The system, agencies and the Secretariat of the UN should abide by the one-China principle and UNGA Resolution 2758 when dealing with Taiwan-related affairs. The current Taiwan authorities led by the Democratic Progressive Party, refused to acknowledge the 1992 consensus, which acknowledges that “both sides of the Taiwan Straits will follow the one-China principle” .This subsequently became the political foundation for cross-Straits consultations. The attempt by the current Taiwan authorities led by Democratic Progress Party to “return to the United Nations” is devoid of any legal or practical basis and is doomed to failure.
Third, China’s position of upholding national sovereignty and territorial integrity and adhering to the one-China principle is not to be challenged. The Chinese nation has an honourable tradition of opposing division and safeguarding unity. No one should underestimate the resolve, the will, the ability of the Chinese people to defend our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
During the just-concluded virtual meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden, President Xi stated China’s principled position on the Taiwan question. He noted the new wave of tensions across the Taiwan Strait, and ascribed the tensions to the repeated attempts by the Taiwan authorities to look for US support for their independence agenda as well as the intention of some Americans to use Taiwan to contain China. Such moves are extremely dangerous, just like playing with fire. Whoever plays with fire will get burnt. Achieving China’s complete reunification is an aspiration shared by all sons and daughters of the Chinese nation. We have patience and will strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with utmost sincerity and efforts. That said, should the separatist forces for Taiwan independence provoke us, force our hands or even cross the red line, we will be compelled to take resolute measures. President Biden reaffirmed the US government’s long-standing one-China policy, stated that the US does not support “Taiwan independence”, and expressed the hope for peace and stability to be maintained in the Taiwan Strait.
China must and shall be reunified. I firmly believe that China’s just cause of opposing division and realizing national reunification will as always be understood and supported by all the countries across the world including Sierra Leone.