Speech by Consul General Fei Mingxing at the Gala Evening in Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
( Saturday 21 September 2019, Durban City Hall)
2019/09/25
 

His Excellency Mr Sihle Zikalala, Premier of KwaZulu Natal Province,

Hon Velenkosini Hlabisa, Leader of the Opposition of KZN Legislature,

Councillor Mpumi Sithole, Member of the Executive Committee of the eThekwini Municipality and Representative of Mayor Kaunda

Diplomatic colleagues,

Members of Chinese institutions and Chinese community 中资机构同志们,侨胞们

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

 

Good evening! 大家晚上好!

 

My warmest welcome to you all to the gala evening in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Also welcome to Guizhou Song and Dance Troupe specially here for tonight's show. Further, I would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to KwaZula Natal (KZN) Provincial Government and the eThekwini Municipality, friends of all walks of life, members of Chinese institutions and community in KZN, for your understanding of, cooperation with, support for China and Chinese people throughout the past 70 years.

 

In the 70 years, especially during the 40 years of reform and opening up, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, through hard endeavor of Chinese people, China has made outstanding achievements in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. China is now the world's second largest economy, largest industrial country, largest trader in goods, and biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves.

 

China's GDP has grown by 450 times. Over 740 million people have been lifted out of poverty. People's life expectancy has been increased to 76.7 in 2018 from 35 in 1949. Remarkable achievements have been made in manned space flight, lunar exploration, quantum science, deep-sea exploration, supercomputing and satellite navigation. China has resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hongkong and Macau and implemented "one country two systems" in both regions. The Chinese people are now united and confidently working toward rejuvenation of the nation.

 

In the 70 years, China has become closely integrated with the world. The People's Republic of China restored its lawful seat in the UN. China has become a member of WTO and a strong force for multilateralism. China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind. China has been contributing more than 30% of world economic growth for years and playing a significant role in promoting peace and progress of mankind.

 

In the 70 years, Chinese people has supported South African people in their fighting against the apartheid and pursuit for economic and social progress. The new South Africa and China established diplomatic relations in 1998 and our bilateral relations have realized a triple jump from partnership to strategic partnership and now to comprehensive strategic partnership. Our relations boast four advantages of political mutual trust, economic complimentarity, people-to-people friendship and international coordination, and are underpinned by four cooperation platforms, namely Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), BRICS, BRI, and South-South Cooperation, bringing more and more tangible benefits to our two peoples.

 

In 2018, our two way trade reached US$43.5 billion, increased by 27 folds from the beginning of our diplomatic relations. Chinese business has invested over US$25 billion in South Africa and created over 400,000 local jobs. In KZN, Chinese companies such as COSCO Shipping, ZPMC, YOA and Huawei have been strengthening their cooperation with local partners. A group of Chinese artists have recently performed at the Reed Dance for the first time ever and were overwhelmingly received. The Chinese community members have opened many factories and training centers in Newcastle, Mandini and Bluff, and they rushed to the aid of floods stricken brothers and sisters in Durban in April 2019, with blankets, biscuits,shoes and other items.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the year 2019 celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of new China,the 25th anniversary of the the new South Africa and the 20 anniversary of the launching of the Chinese Consulate in Durban. China is currently dedicated to its "two centenary goals", namely building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the centenary of the CPC (in 2021) and building a modern socialist country by the centenary of the People's Republic of China in the middle of this century. South Africa aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. And KZN strives to be a prosperous Province by 2035, with a healthy, secure and skilled population, living in dignity and harmony, acting as a gateway to Africa and the world". Chinese President Xi Jinping said, "The Chinese and African people should enhance unity, cooperation, mutual support and assistance so as to make our dreams come true. " As close friends, partners and brothers, let's jointly redouble our efforts for our dreams and join our hands for building a community with a shared future for China and South Africa.

 

May China and South Africa be prosperous!

 

May friendship of China and South Africa and our peoples be everlasting.

 

祝中南两国繁荣富强!

祝中南两国和两国人民友谊地久天长!

 

Thank you. I wish you a pleasant evening.

CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA IN DURBAN All RIGHTS RESERVED