China – The Peoples Republic of China has pledged unconditional support to Uganda’s push for sweeping reforms at the United Nations Security Council, commended Uganda government in safeguarding Africa solidarity, castigated external interference and politics of bullying.
The Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, Luosang Jiangcun who commended Uganda for safeguarding African solidarity and stability as a member of The C-10, on Thursday met the Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa at Parliament.
“China-Uganda relations are stronger than ever and we appreciate Uganda for its critical role in safeguarding Africa’s solidarity and shared interests as a member of C-10,” Jiangcun said.
“China appreciates and supports Uganda in its critical role in safeguarding national stability, exploring a development path suited to your national conditions and we support Uganda in opposing external interferences, politics of bullying and will support you in defending nation sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity,” he added
Secondly, Jiangcun, called for deepening strategic synergies and expanding practical cooperation, reinstating that “China will continue to encourage Chinese companies to invest and operate in Uganda and create more jobs for the local economy. We will help you Uganda to improve manufacturing levels and expand exports of value added products.”
He added: “We should strengthen cooperation in international affairs, defend shared interests and safeguard multilateralism.
China is ready to work with Uganda to strengthen communication and cooperation in areas including human rights, counter terrorism, poverty reduction and climate change and we want to strategic synergies with Uganda on multilateral platforms including the UN and the African Union.”
“China will continue to take active measures to optimize the trade structure. We welcome Uganda to make good use of mechanisms and platforms including China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo and China International Expo, and China welcome you to use these platforms to expand exports to China.”
The Committee of Ten African Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors (The C-10) was created during a meeting of Ministers and Governors in Tunis in November 2008.
The members of the C-10 are: Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, the Central Bank of West African States (CBWAS), and the Central Bank of Central African States (CBCAS).
Earlier, in his welcoming remarks, deputy speaker Tayebwa had sought Jiangcun’s support to Uganda’s push for major reforms at the UN Security Council through China-Africa cooperation.
“We want to assure our Chinese friends that Uganda will continue to fight for equal representation at the UN Security Council and will push for reforms to make sure Africa gets two permanent seats on the Security Council as per the consensus of the African Union. We welcome and continue to appreciate the support of China in reforming the Security,” Tayebwa said.
“Council especially during this period when the world is at crossroads. We support an efficient and effective United Nations that works for all the State Parties with equal treatment, fairness and justice. Uganda is a member of the Committee of 10 on UN Security Council Reform -which reflects Africa’s legitimate right and aspiration to rectify the historical injustices endured by the continent.”
He added: “Uganda and China enjoy a very strong relationship dating back to colonial times. China supported not only Uganda but many African countries to attain their independence. We are forever grateful for this.”
In June this year, the Deputy Speaker called for the creation of two permanent seats for Africa at the United Nations Security Council, in renewed calls for the body’s reforms. He was speaking at the 63rd Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) – European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels, Belgium. Tayebwa explained that it is a shame that Africa which is three times bigger than Europe, is not permanently represented at the UN Security Council.
“There are no permanent members from Latin America or Africa, and China is the only Asian member … this damages the legitimacy of the Security Council if it is seen as a forum dominated by the west and great powers, where the global south and smaller states are marginalised,” Tayebwa said, adding that “This has no standing in any modern society; we cannot continue living in the era of 1945 before most of us were born.”
The Deputy Speaker reasoned that unrepresentative nature of the council came into play during the Libyan conflict, where he said the United Nations Security Council approved the bombardment of the North African country without the input of Africa.
The proposed reforms at the UNSC mainly covers the following aspects: categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship.
The Deputy Chairman also told Tayebwa that China will be sending medical teams to Uganda and that the Chinese leaders will continue to strengthen cooperation in the medical and health area with Uganda to make contributions to the health and wellbeing of Ugandan people.
The Deputy Speaker explained that Uganda and China have continued to enjoy, deepen and consolidate good relations in diverse fields – including cooperation in political, security, economic, social, cultural and scientific disciplines.
“I want to appreciate H.E. Xi Jinping the president of the People’s Republic of China for the great friendship he has exhibited towards Uganda in particular and Africa at large,” he said, adding that “Mr Jinping, is great friend of Uganda indeed. His good working relationship with H.E President Yoweri Museveni has ensured steady development of our country and our relations are at level never seen before.”
Uganda and China according to Tayebwa have worked closely bilaterally and in the multilateral arena on regional and international issues including under the Group of 77 and China.
He revealed that the Chinese Government provided a fleet of 70 vehicles and accreditation equipment to Uganda to host the Third South Summit – which was initially slated to be hosted in Kampala in April 2020 but was postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic.”
“With the Summit now confirmed for January 2024, China have generously provided an additional 70 vehicles to support Uganda’s successful hosting. We are very grateful for this support,” he said.
The visiting Chinese official said next year’s NAM summit “will further improve Uganda’s international influence and China will send high-level delegations to attend the summit and we will continue to make contributions to the success of the summit.”
Support for Covid-19
Appreciating Chinese support and contribution to the Uganda and the entire global war against the pandemic, Tayebwa described the Covid-19 battle as “one of the greatest challenges of our life time”.
“Uganda’s strategy was prevention to protect our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. However, during that period when most of the vaccines were being shared among the global powers to protect their citizens, China donated 50,000 testing kits and 600,000 doses of vaccines for COVID-19. This helped us to save our people.”
According to Deputy Speaker Tayebwa, Uganda continues to exports raw-materials to China which fetch low prices compared to the imports which are high value industrial products. The total earnings from Uganda’s exports to China stand at US$ 57.7m compared to $880 million imports from China.
“We appreciate the Chinese government under the FOCAC arrangement and the Special Preferential Tariff Treatment for Uganda’s Exports. However, we continue to appeal for more technology transfer to add value to our products and more access of Uganda manufactured goods to the Chinese market. The unlimited access will improve the balance of trade…” he explained.