Remarks by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a Joint Press Availability with Tanzanian Foreign Minister
8 January 2021
Friends from the Press,
Good afternoon. It gives me great pleasure to visit Chato, the hometown of President John Magufuli. I appreciate the hospitality shown to my delegation by our Tanzanian hosts. We are pleased to see that under the leadership of President Magufuli, the Tanzanian government and people have worked hard to develop the country, and have found a path toward national renewal suited to your conditions. As your friends, we are truly happy for you and offer our hearty congratulations.
As China’s iron-clad friend in Africa, Tanzania has had a special place in the history of China’s foreign relations. For people of my age, stories about the China-Tanzania friendship left an indelible mark on our youthful mind.
We will never forget how Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai and President Julius Nyerere nurtured our all-weather friendship with sincerity and good faith. Premier Zhou Enlai travelled long distances to visit Tanzania. President Nyerere visited China 13 times. All this made our friendship such a splendid chapter in our shared history.
We will never forget that over 50,000 Chinese engineers and technicians travelled thousands of miles to Africa and, side by side with the people of Tanzania, built the TAZARA Railway despite formidable difficulties. In building this railway of freedom and friendship for Southeastern Africa, 65 Chinese experts made the ultimate sacrifice. Their sweat and blood helped nurture the unfading flower of China-Africa friendship.
We will never forget that Tanzania and other African brotherly countries helped the People’s Republic of China restore its lawful seat at the United Nations (UN) in 1971. Former Prime Minister Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, Tanzania’s representative to the UN, applauded and cheered in the hall to congratulate China, leaving a moment of defying power politics and speaking up for justice in the history of the UN. At the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic, we specially presented our old friend Dr. Salim with a Friendship Medal.
More importantly, we will never forget that President Xi Jinping visited Tanzania during his very first trip to Africa since he assumed office as President of China in 2013. During that visit, President Xi put forth the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith and the principle of pursuing greater good and shared interests, which have since been the guiding principles of China’s policy toward Africa. The significance of China-Tanzania relations has gone beyond the bilateral scope, and our bilateral relationship has played an important and exemplary role in China-Africa relations and South-South cooperation.
Just now, I met with President Magufuli and held talks with Foreign Minister Kabudi. We reached important consensus on further deepening China-Tanzania relations.
We agreed that the traditional friendship between China and Tanzania is a valued asset for the two countries and for the Chinese and African peoples. We must cherish it, and carry it forward from generation to generation.
We agreed to make good use of our similar thinking and common goals about national, political party, and military development, enhance exchanges at all levels, and deepen experience-sharing on governance.
We decided to strengthen practical cooperation. We will join hands together to pursue Belt and Road cooperation, and support more Chinese business investment in Tanzania. China will import more quality products from Tanzania. China fully understands the importance of the Central Line project to Tanzania. It will continue to support Tanzania in advancing major infrastructure projects, accelerating industrialization, and enhancing capacity building for self-generated development.
We agreed to step up coordination on international affairs. We will support multilateralism, oppose external interference, uphold international justice and equity, and build a strong defence for our respective core interests and the shared interests of the developing world.
Friends, this is my 15th visit to Africa. What has impressed me most throughout this visit is that no matter how the international situation changes, no matter what challenge we face, and no matter what kind of disturbance and disruption we encounter, the traditional friendship between China and Africa has withstood the test of time, and is getting stronger and stronger. China and Africa are comrades-in-arms, brothers going through thick and thin, and partners for common development. As a good and true friend of African countries, China will make unremitting efforts with Africa to deepen our comprehensive strategic partnership and build an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.