Speech by Acting Consul General Ding Qiao at the Graduation Ceremony of Pax College

Good evening, CEO Brenda Govender of Pax College, Former Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of DUT, Professor Sibusiso Moyo, Susan Knowles from the U.S. Consulate General, faculty members, graduates, friends: 


It is a great pleasure to be here today again, on this wonderful day when we are gathered to celebrate your academic success.  It is the second time I am invited for the graduation ceremony. I know the mission of Pax College is to provide tertiary education and training according to the manpower and technological needs of working industries. Thanks, CEO Brenda Govender. You 've been doing such a great job as always. Every time we met and talked, I am inspired and motivated by you. 


The theme of this event is the African Dream. First I would like to talk a little about the Chinese Dream. (play the video) From the video, you could feel how hard the Chinese people work. As our President Xi said, empty talk harms the country and hard work makes it flourish.


What is the Chinese dream? The Chinese Dream is to achieve the rejuvenation of Chinese nation. The goal is to bring about a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2021, when the CPC celebrates its centenary; building China into a modern socialist country which is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious, which is to be achieved by 2049, when the People's Republic of China marks its centenary; and the dream of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will then be realized.


China has gone through reform and opening-up for more than 40 years, we have finally embarked on the right path to achieve the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and made impressive achievements in this pursuit.  This path is one for building socialism with Chinese characteristics.  China is still a developing country, with 1.4 billion people.  And we are still in the primary stage of socialism and will remain so for a long time.  We know that we still have a long way to go and much hard work to do before we can turn our blueprint into reality.


The Chinese Dream has another aspect: Foster a community with a shared future for mankind, so as to make greater contribution to world durable peace and common prosperity.


What is the African Dream? I think the economic development, the equity, people having work to do and living a decent life in a safe society , no corruption and social cohesion. So Chinese Dream and African Dream have a lot of common ground and shared interests: to realize the self-sustainable development and to have a better livelihood for the people. China is always advocating peace, development, cooperation and win-win, following the principle of planning together, building together and sharing together. Now the two countries are blessed with three unique advantages of political mutual trust, economic complementarity, and friendship between our two peoples. Our President Xi has paid state visit to SA for 3 times.  Now your deputy President David Mabuza is in Beijing, paying an official visit and will co-chair with our Deputy President Wang Qishan for the seventh plenary meeting of China-SA Bi-national Commission, which is to promote trade and economic relations for the two countries. Our State Councilor and Foreign Minister H.E. Wang Yi visited Durban two weeks ago and had successful meetings with your President Cyril Ramaphosa and your Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor. 


Two years ago, the first shipment of SA beef arrived in China, making SA the first African country to export beef to China.  And SA's exports of minerals, fruits, wine and marine products are also growing fast.  SA will set up the first Commodity China Exhibition and Trade Center in Dongguan, Guangdong Province. the Center is now under building and will be in operation two years later.  Today SA stands as the largest host in Africa for Chinese tourists, students, overseas Chinese, as well as the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms.


I remembered vividly this April, KZN suffered the flood and lost 70 lives. Chinese Embassy and Consulate General in Durban called on the local Chinese community and Chinese enterprises to donate, it took less than 2 days to raise more than R1.4 million value of goods, such as blankets, warm clothes, sports shoes , rain shoes and food, altogether five trucks of goods.  They drove 9 hours overnight from Johannesburg, to Pretoria and then Durban to deliver the goods. That's how China helps SA.


For SA youth, China offers opportunities including scholarship schemes, training opportunities, research projects, exchange programs and job and business opportunities.  There are more than 3000 SA students studying in China now. You all know Huawei,  Huawei's ICT skill training program and talent program include Huawei SA ICT competition, Bursary program for 30 students every year, Huawei Seeds for the Future Program's sponsorship to 10 students.


Aberdare is a leading cable manufacturer in South Africa. It has expanded its business and charity service to local community and made increasing donations to education for children since it was acquired by a private Chinese firm. It is a good example of how Sino-South African win-win cooperation benefit peoples of both countries especially the young ones.


As Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China- Africa Cooperation, "China will do more to help Africa alleviate poverty, pursue development, increase employment and income and better the lives of its people". China annually creates over 10 million job opportunities and lifts over 10 million people out of poverty. By 2020, we shall be able to lift all poor people out of poverty, which is going to be a miracle. We are ready to share our experience and practices with South African friends.  Moving forward, China stands ready to remain the most reliable friend and the strongest partner in SA's pursuit of economic and social transformation.


Graduates, no matter what you do next, I hope some of you could be Ambassadors of China-SA relations. I remember a Russian girl living in Durban, she attended Mandarin courses and later she became a Mandarin teacher in the Confucius Institute of DUT. Graduates, you will enter the society very soon. The world needs your energy, your passion. I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted and well-educated, you have never known hardship or heartbreak.  You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for success.  But always be bold, be fearless, dream big, and the most important thing is hard work.  Labor is the source of wealth and happiness.  My young friends, we are all young only once.  Now is a time for you to make the most of your youth.


Before I conclude my speech, I would like to share a story with you.  It is about a very successful and devoted Chinese.


As a small child , he was very selfish, always grabbing the best for himself.  One day, his father cooked 2 bowls of noodles, one with an egg on top while the other bowl with no egg on top.  It is like forty or fifty years ago, it was hard to have eggs those days, He chose the bowl with egg! To his surprise, he saw that his father's bowl of noodles had two eggs at the bottom beneath the noodles!


His father smiled and taught him to remember that what your eyes see may not be true. He added that, If you make a habit of taking advantage of people, you will end up losing.  The next day,his father again cooked 2 bowls of noodles: one bowl with an egg on top and the other bowl with no egg on top. He chose the one without egg, and the bowl didn't have any eggs. The third day, he was asked to choose, he told his father, "Dad, you choose first. You are the head of the family and you contribute the most to the family". His father chose the bowl with one egg on top. But there were two eggs at the bottom of for the boy's bowl.  So from then on, he remembers that when you think for the good of others, good things will always naturally happen to you.

As we continue on the remaining journey of 2019, think for the good of others. Don't be selfish, Put others first and your joy and success will be completed.


I wish you all very good lives and best wishes to Springbok for the World Rugby Final, Go Bokke! Go Bokke!