Nothing is more important than a true friend

By He Yin, People’s Daily

While delivering an important speech at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Center in Tanzania on March 25, 2013, during his first visit to Africa after assuming the Chinese presidency, Xi Jinping expounded on China’s policy of working with Africa to pursue peace and promote development in the new era.

He announced that China will continue to treat its African friends with sincerity, aim to achieve real results in its cooperation with Africa, follow affinity in strengthening China-Africa friendship, and honor good faith in solving problems arising from cooperation.

During the visit, Xi proposed for the first time the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests.

Today, the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith have become the defining feature of China’s Africa policy, as well as a general guideline for China to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with all developing countries.

China has always been a true friend and reliable partner for developing countries and will always remain so. It will always breathe the same air, share the same future and grow with fellow developing countries.

China has stood in solidarity with other developing countries amid an evolving international environment, global volatility, and multiple crises, and worked together to uphold international justice and promote common interests, forging a new paradigm of equality, sincerity and mutual assistance among developing countries.

China believes that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. China upholds justice and opposes the practice of the big bullying the small, the strong lording over the weak, and the rich oppressing the poor, just as it opposes interference in others’ internal affairs.

China firmly safeguards the international system with the United Nations at the core and the international order underpinned by international law, practices true multilateralism, stands for developing countries and reinforces mutual support with other developing countries on issues involving core interests and major concerns of either or both, so as to make global governance system fairer and more equitable.

Xi stressed that China’s vote in the UN will always belong to developing countries. With China’s promotion and the active response from all parties, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has witnessed steady development, the “BRICS Plus” cooperation has deepened and expanded, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank and other mechanisms have grown into significant multilateral financial organizations, serving as important platforms of cooperation for developing countries.

China has taken the lead in publicly supporting the inclusion of the African Union in G20 and has continued to encourage Africa to play a bigger global role.

China always believes that Africa belongs to the African people. In developing relations with Africa, all countries should respect Africa’s dignity and independence.

In developing relations with other developing countries, China never interferes in their internal affairs, but supports their endogenous growth and helps them strengthen their capability to independently solve their own problems and regional problems.

China has proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative, worked with others to promote development and safeguard security, and advanced exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, which fully indicates its respect and sincerity to other developing countries.

If implemented fully, the BRI could lift 32 million people out of moderate poverty globally—those who live on less than $3.20 a day, a World Bank report said.

On international and regional hotspot issues, China has always made objective and fair judgments on issues based on their own merits, injecting more certainty into addressing the root causes of international conflicts and solving security challenges facing humanity.

There is no one-size-fits-all model for development in the world. It is important to respect the diversity of civilizations and development paths.

The development of the international situation once again proves that intervention from the outside and so-called democratic transformation entail nothing but harm. Developing countries are more determined to take their destiny firmly in their own hands.

Chinese modernization presents a new model for human advancement, expands the channels for developing countries to achieve modernization, and provides a Chinese solution to aid the exploration of a better social system for humanity.

China advocates inclusiveness, dialogues and harmonious coexistence among different civilizations and social systems, and respects each country’s right to choose its own development path and model.

Beninese President Patrice Talon said that China has become a non-negligible force. He noted China’s models, its efforts on itself and good governance are “elements that should inspire the underdeveloped countries a lot, that development is within everyone’s reach.”

Nothing is more important than a true friend. Changes of the world, of the times and of history are unfolding today in ways like never before. Developing countries need to strengthen solidarity and cooperation and jointly cope with challenges more than ever.

China will keep standing with other developing countries and be their true friend, sharing weal and woe. It will make the pie of cooperation bigger, build the force of progress stronger, and make greater contributions to world peace, stability, development and prosperity.