Li Keqiang’s “461 framework” for the China-Africa strategic partnership


Graphic included with Beijing Youth Daily report on May 12 on Li Keqiang’s visit to Africa.

From May 4 to 11, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited the African continent, paying official visits to Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya. Li’s first official visit to Africa comes 50 years after another landmark visit to Africa by a Chinese premier, Zhou Enlai, in 1963-1964.

On May 5, Li delivered a speech in Addis Ababa at the African Union Conference Center, where he proposed what the media later called the “461 Framework” for the China-Africa strategic partnership – Li’s new, modern vision for taking China-Africa relations to a new level. The “461 Framework” refers to four principles for deepening cooperation, six areas to promote new projects, and one platform for cooperation.



The four principles outlined by Li are the following:

  • First, treat each other with full sincerity and as complete equals
  • Second, enhance solidarity and mutual trust
  • Third, jointly pursue inclusive development
  • Fourth, innovate on practical cooperation

The six areas to promote new projects Li outlined are the following:

  • Industrial cooperation projects
  • Financial cooperation projects
  • Poverty reduction projects
  • Ecological and environmental protection projects
  • Cultural and people-to-people exchanges
  • Enhancing peace and security

The “one platform” component of the structure refers to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which Li in his speech described as having played “an important role in enhancing collective dialogue and practical cooperation between the two sides”.

During his speech in Addis Ababa, Li also expounded on China’s view of the African continent by means of the concept of the “Three poles” (三个一极). The first of these poles is the view of Africa as a global political arena; the second is the view of Africa as a location for global economic growth; and the third is the view of the continent as a location for diverse culture.

For a full English translation of Li’s May 5 speech, see here.

On May 12, the day after Premier Li Keqiang completed his trip to Africa, Beijing Youth Daily published an article on the state of the strategic partnership between China and Africa. Basing its reporting on Xinhua and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Beijing Youth Daily expounded on Li Keqiang’s idea of a new era for China’s relations with Africa. In 2006, according to the article, China and Africa agreed to establish a new type of strategic partnership, and more recently this process was enhanced by Xi Jingping’s visit to the continent as well as visits to China by African heads of state. The article then quotes a statement by Li Keqiang on his visit to Africa: “China-Africa relations are relations of solidarity, common development, and mutual civilisation.” The article explains that this “new type of strategic partnership” means that China and Africa have complete confidence in each other, and that there is no difference whatsoever between them on important matters.

Links and sources
Beijing Youth Daily (北京青年报): “四六一”引路未来中非关系