Your Honourable MEC for Finance Mrs Cronje,
Honourable MEC for Health Dr Dhlomo,
Honourable colleagues of Consular Corps,
Distinguished Guests and Compatriots,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Evening!
On the auspicious occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, I, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Durban, extend warm greetings to all compatriots in KwaZulu-Natal, and appreciation to all the friends in South Africa well represented by the distinguished audience.
During the past sixty-two years, especially since its embarkation on reform and opening up, China has obtained remarkable achievements, which may be summarized as: firmly pursuing the path of development with Chinese characteristics while merging into the world. This path is distinctively characterized by its domestic policy of scientific, independent and open development, and by its foreign policy of peaceful, cooperative and common development.
At present, Chinese government is implementing the 12th five-year Plan. The Plan, with scientific development as the theme, focuses on transforming extensive economic development pattern to save resources, protect environment and push sustainable economic development, deepening reform and opening up, securing and improving the livelihood of the people and promoting social harmony and stability. This Plan reflects China's real conditions, embodies the people-oriented ruling concept and conforms to the trend of world development.
China will continue to unswervingly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and follows a path of peaceful development, so as to promote the world's peaceful, cooperative and common development. Viewed in the broader, global and historical context, the path of peaceful development may be defined as follows: China should develop itself through upholding world peace and contribute to world peace through its own development. It should achieve development with its own efforts and by carrying out reform and innovation; at the same time, it should open itself to the outside and learn from other countries. It should seek mutual benefit and common development with other countries in keeping with the trend of economic globalization, and it should work together with other countries to build a harmonious world of durable peace and common prosperity. This is a path of scientific, independent, open, peaceful, cooperative and common development. Now China is interacting actively with the international community with a more opening posture and playing a bigger role in international affairs. You are all welcomed to read the recently issued White Paper of China's Peaceful Development.
This year marks beginning for South Africa and China to deepen their comprehensive strategic partnership. At the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao, South African President Zuma visited China attending the summit conference of Brics, which South Africa newly joined this year. Chairman Wu Bangguo of Chinese National People's Congress paid an official visit to South Africa. We also see more cooperation in Sino-South African economy and trade and it takes on a robust look in their exchange of culture, education and science and technology. The visit by Chinese Navy Fleet to Durban highlighted the enhanced military exchanges between the two countries.
In 2011, the friendly cooperative relations developed further between KwaZulu-Natal and its Chinese counterparts and deeper cooperation has been achieved in the fields of economy and trade, education and agriculture. The Juncao Mushroom Project under discussion as an ODA project of China is expected to create more jobs for the locals. The sister cities and provinces conducted more exchanges and mutual-visits. The Provincial Director General Mr Ngidi visited Shanghai, Guangxi and Shenzhen. And Chinese delegation from Shanghai and Guangzhou visited KwaZulu-Natal. Next month a Beijing education delegation is to visit KZN.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
2011 is also a very busy year for both KwaZulu-Natal and Durban. After hosting the IOC conference in July, Durban will host COP17 under worldwide focus. All circles of life of this country have done a lot in reducing emission and coping with climate change. In the past two days, KwaZulu-Natal held a Pre-Cop17 Summit at ICC under the theme of "Working Together: Saving Tomorrow Today". China is seriously engaged in energy conservation and emission reduction. We hope that as members of BASIC countries, China and South Africa will cooperate to contribute to achieve positive results for COP17, and wish the Conference a success.
Last but not least I would like to say is that this year marks the 100th anniversary of Chinese Revolution of 1911. The compatriots across the Straits commemorate the event in blessing our nation rejuvenation and motherland early unification. So you are more than welcomed, after dinner, to view the picture exhibitions on Chinese Revolution of 1911 and modern China.
I propose a toast:
To the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China,
To the friendship and cooperation between the two peoples of China and South Africa,
And To the health and happiness of all our guests and friends present tonight. Cheers!