|Remarks by Consul General Fei Mingxing at 2019 KZN Chinese Spring Festival Gala-Dinner & Celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the Launching ofthe Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Durban(Sibaya, 16 January 2019)|
Respected Madam Fawzia Peer, Deputy Mayor of the eThekwini Municipality ,
Respected Dr Musa Ngubane, Mayor of Amajuba District Municipality,
Respected Mr Richard Radebe, Director of International Relations of KwaZulu-Natal,
Respected Madam Gao Meizhu, President of Chinese Women Federation of KwaZulu Natal,
Respected Mr WU Lin, Co-Dean of Confucius Institute at Durban University of Technology,
Ladies and Gentlemen, friends:
Good evening and Happy New Year!
Today is January 16. The number "16" symbolizes "smooth" in Chinese. First of all, I wish everyone a SMOOTH and pleasant year of 2019! And congratulations on the 107th anniversary of the Africa National Congress (ANC) in Durban last week. It augurs well of South Africa and KwaZulu Natal (KZN)!
On October 1, 2019, the People' Republic of China will celebrate its 70th birthday. During the past 70 years, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have made unremitting explorations and tenacious struggles for the realization of socialist modernization. The Chinese nation has achieved a tremendous transformation-it has stood up, grown rich, become strong, and now it embraces the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation. Great achievements have been made during the 40 years of reform and opening up and building socialism with Chinese characteristics. China is now the world's second largest economy, largest manufacturer, biggest trader in goods and No 1 in foreign exchange reserve, has lifted 740 million people out of poverty and created a miracle in human development history. When I spoke with my mum over the phone recently, she said, "How good our life is now! The government gives us elderly more and more money. We all want to live long enough to see New China in its 100th birthday."
On April 27, 2019, New South Africa and KZN will turn 25 years old, young and full of vigor. In 1994, the people of South Africa, after an arduous struggle, ushered in the birth of a new South Africa, and KZN came into its being, the people of South Africa setting foot on a new historical journey. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa in 1998, our bilateral relations have achieved a leapfrog development from partnership to strategic partnership and to comprehensive strategic partnership. In 2017, our two way trade reached $39.17 billion, an increase of 26 folds from the beginning of our diplomatic relations; Chinese businesses have invested over US$25 billion in South Africa, an increase of over a hundred times from 1998, creating over 400,000 local jobs. KZN is one of the most important regions for our mutually beneficial cooperation. A dozen of Chinese enterprises such as COSCO Shipping, Bank of China, YOA, Huawei and ZPMC have invested in manufacturing, services and ICT in KZN. Chinese community members have been active in and supportive to our bilateral programs while more and more Chinese tourists visit Durban. I firmly believe that China-South Africa win-win cooperation will be instrumental to KwaZulu-Natal's coping with challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality for its vision for 2030!
February 9 this year marks the 20th anniversary of the launching of the Chinese Consulate General in Durban. Over the past 20 years, the Consulate General has been productive and fruitful in promoting friendship and mutual cooperation between the two countries and safeguarding legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and institutions. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express heartfelt appreciation to the Government of South Africa and KZN. Our thanks also go to friends from all walks of life including the local Chinese community and Chinese institutions. Thank you for your great support and valuable assistance throughout the past 20 years.
You might know Mr. Ma Rongfa present here today. He helped the first consul general settle down in Durban and has been helping the Consulate General serve the Chinese community since then. Though close to 90 years old, he is not yet "retired." How about Mr Msawenkosi Cyril Mpanza (Msa)? He is an ordinary Zulu brother, the first porter at the renovation site of the Consulate General before it moved into the current location. And he was the last to leave upon the completion of the project. He might be more familiar with the consulate's premises than I am.
Looking to future, we hope to see more Mr. MAs and MSAs. Meanwhile, you could rest assured that the Chinese Consulate General in Durban will always be a bridge for Community of Shared Future for China and South Africa, and a strong backing and warm home for local Chinese compatriots and Chinese institutions in KwaZulu Natal!
Dear comrades and friends,
The Chinese New Year is around the corner. It is the time for reunion, joy and sharing! By Chinese lunar calendar, 2019 is the year of Pig. Pig in the Chinese zodiac symbolizes faithful, friendly and wealth. As it is approaching, I would like to recall with you few lines of the Zulu movie YESTERDAY:
"There is a Yesterday, but more Todays, and most Tomorrows. Why? Because there are most Beauties. "
May China and South Africa be blessed with peace and prosperity!
May the Chinese New Year bring you with good health and family happiness! Happy Chinese New Year!Thank you.