Visitors to the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo select products from Africa at the exhibition held in Changsha, Hunan province, in July. CHEN ZHENHAI/XINHUA
The third China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, held from Monday to Saturday, saw representatives from China and about 50 defense officials and military officers from African countries and the African Union discussing how to strengthen China-Africa security cooperation.
With the theme of "Implementing the Global Security Initiative and Strengthening China-Africa Solidarity and Cooperation", the forum charted the course of future Sino-African security relations.
Over the years China and Africa have forged an unbreakable bond in their fight against imperialism and colonialism, and embarked on a path of cooperation and development. Judging by the development of Sino-African relations, the two sides seem set to write a new chapter of peace and development amid the increasingly complex and ever-changing international landscape, and build a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future.
President Xi Jinping attaches great importance to the development of China-Africa ties and has put forward the concept of "sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith" to strengthen the Sino-African friendship, which has become the guideline for China-Africa peace and security cooperation.
At the Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2015, President Xi proposed that the "five major pillars" of China-Africa relations be strengthened and announced 10 major cooperation plans with Africa over the following three years. At the FOCAC summit in Beijing in 2018, he emphasized the importance of building a community with a shared future in security.
And at the eighth FOCAC Ministerial Conference in 2021, highlighting the achievements of China-Africa friendly cooperation, he said China will make greater contributions to peace and security in Africa, and implement the initiative on China-Africa Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Security.
China and Africa have always supported each other in times of need. The Chinese people will never forget the generous support from African countries following the catastrophic Wenchuan earthquake in May 2008. The African countries helped China by sending relief and reconstruction materials. During the most challenging time of Chinas fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, too, the African countries supported China in various ways.
On the other hand, whenever African countries have faced difficulties, including the Ebola virus pandemic, the Chinese government and military have come to their aid. For instance, during the Ebola virus pandemic, the Chinese military sent medical experts to West Africa to boost the healthcare systems there and treat the patients.
And after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, the Chinese military sent medical expert teams, and medical supplies, including COVID-19 vaccines, to many African countries to help them fight the pandemic.
Besides, Chinese peacekeeping personnel have served in 17 UN peacekeeping missions in Africa, with 11 of them sacrificing their lives in the line of duty, and more than 80 percent of the serving Chinese peacekeepers are still deployed on the continent.
China and Africa have always supported each other on issues involving their core interests, coordinating closely in international security affairs, and defending the legitimate interests of developing countries.
From "carrying us into the United Nations" in the 1970s to adhering to the one-China principle, from supporting China in the South China Sea arbitration case and opposing Western countries smear campaign against China, African countries have always supported Beijings just positions.
In the face of Western accusations against China-Africa peace and security cooperation, many African leaders and people have refuted them, asserting that the accusations are baseless. Similarly, China has supported African unity and African countries efforts to become self-reliant. It has also supported African countries playing a more active role in global governance and a bigger role in international affairs.
More important, China has spoken up for Africa in international forums and organizations such as the United Nations, calling on the international community to respect Africas reasonable demands and legitimate rights. In fact, China-Africa peace and security cooperation has helped African countries bolster their independent security capability and address the peace and security issues.
The Chinese military has maintained close, high-level exchanges with African countries militaries, conducted professional and technological exchanges, and built or improved military academies, military hospitals, training centers and other facilities. And by doing so, it has helped African countries train their military personnel and strengthen their security mechanism. The two sides have also held joint military drills to boost their respective national defense capacity.
Amid the unprecedented changes in the global landscape and increasing traditional and non-traditional security threats, ensuring peace and security has become the common aspiration of the Chinese and African peoples. Looking ahead, guided by the China-proposed Global Security Initiative, China and African countries will deepen their cooperation and forge ahead with determination to achieve their goals of promoting common development, safeguarding their national security, and maintaining regional and global peace and stability.
The authors are researchers at the Peoples Liberation Army Academy of Military Science.
The views dont necessarily reflect those of China Daily.