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Speech by the Consul General at the Reception of the 60th Anniversary of Founding of P.R.C

2009-09-25
 

Speech by the Chinese Consul General Mr. Liu Yantao

 at the Reception of the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China

ICC Durban 2009/9/25

 

Your Honorable MEC for Education Mr. Senzo Mchunu,

Your Honorable MEC for Health, Dr. Dhlomo,

Your Honorable Deputy Mayor Councilor Logie Naidoo,

Dear overseas Chinese compatriots,

Dear colleagues from the Durban Consular Corps,

Distinguished guests from all walks of life,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

All protocol observed.

Good evening. Sanibonani.

Today, we get together with joy to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. In Chinese culture, the 60th birthday is the most significant birthday in people's life. Chinese people uses lunar calendar, and believes that 60 years is a basic period of cycle in nature, and then a brand new cycle will start. On this special occasion, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Durban, I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings to our overseas Chinese compatriots, including the elder overseas Chinese in KwaZulu-Natal. Thank you very much for coming and let all of us send our sincere best wishes to our mother country, and wish her Happy 60th Birthday. I also want to express my sincere thanks to all our South African friends who are present today, thank you for your support. Siyabonga.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On October 1st, 1949, the People's Republic of China was founded, with the dream for national independence and people's liberation finally coming true, and ushered in a new historical era. In 1978, the Reform and Opening-up policy was carried out, starting a new chapter of constructing Socialism with Chinese Characteristics.

During the past 60 years, the Chinese economy and society has witnessed an all-round development, and the Gross Domestic Product has reached 4400 billion USD last year from 10 billion USD when the country was founded. People' living standard has greatly improved from poverty to having enough to eat and wear, then to a well-being life. In the early days, China was an illiterate and semi-literate country. Nowadays, since the popularization of 9-year compulsory education, illiteracy among young and middle-aged adults has been eliminated. In the past, because of lack of medicines, people's average life time was only 35 years, whereas it rises to 73 years now, thanks to the rapid development of medical industry. After 60 years of exploration, under the guide of the Scientific Outlook on Development, China is going on an all-round, coordinated and sustainable development track by constructing material civilization as well as political, spiritual and ecological civilizations.

In 2008, Chinese economy has contributed 22% to the growth of world economy. Under the background of world financial crisis, the Chinese government has carried out a serial of measures, making the Chinese economy take the lead in recovery. China has become a significant engine for the world economy to recover and develop. China's food storage is twice as much as the world average amount. Using less than 10% of the world cultivable land, China solved the food problem for 22% of the world population, contributing greatly to the world food security. Not long ago, after the State Council issued China's National Climate Change Program, the National People's Congress approved a resolution on climate change, to accelerate the country's attempts to tackle the global warming and actively deal with climate change. At the beginning of this year, the UN Human Rights Council has successfully finished the Review of China's human rights situation, and most countries in the Council praised China for its remarkable accomplishments in the field of Human Rights.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The 60 years of China are meanwhile 60 years of the existence of the Taiwan issue. Under the common efforts of the compatriots across the strait, the cross-strait relationship has been marched onto a path of peaceful development and sound interactive tendency. Promoting the peaceful development of the cross-strait relationship and finally realizing the peaceful reunification of the two sides across the strait are the trend of the times and common aspiration of the people.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

In the past 60 years, China's diplomacy has made great contribution to safeguarding national sovereignty, safety and interests, as well as promoting world peace, development and cooperation. Hands in hands with other countries, China actively takes part in promoting the resolve of world and regional hot issues, and fulfills its obligations as a responsible great power. China's proposal of establishing a Harmonious World, has won wide consent and support from international society.

China's friendly cooperation with other developing countries has continuously made great progresses. With the 1st Ministerial Conference of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2000 as the milestone, the China-Africa relations have entered a new age. In 2006, China successfully hosted the Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, and announced the 8 measures to assist African countries. Till the end of 2008, the trade volume between China and Africa has reached 106.8billion USD. The 4th Ministerial Conference of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum will be hosted by the end of this year, and will discuss new measures to enhance China-Africa economic and trade cooperation, and to solve the African food security problem fundamentally by assisting Africa countries to raise their agricultural technology and productivity.

Ladies and gentlemen:

Since China and South Africa forged diplomatic relations in 1998, under our concerted efforts, the bilateral strategic partnership has developed rapidly and deeply, and multi-dimensional cooperation has achieved huge accomplishments. Bilateral political contacts have been frequently conducted. The two countries has formed mutual understanding and support on major issues of common concern, and strengthened communication and coordination in multi-lateral frameworks such as UN and Group 20, and emphasize consultation on major international and regional issues such as tackling the global financial crisis. Ruling parties of the two countries have formally established an exchange mechanism. The bilateral economic and trade cooperation has shown a powerful momentum, with increasing exchanges in the fields of culture, education, tourism, and sports. In April, after South Africa successfully carried out the fourth election, Chinese President Hu Jintao assigned a Special Envoy to attend the inauguration ceremony of President Zuma. A few days ago, our President Hu Jintao met with President Zuma on the sidelines of the UN climate change summit, and both sides agreed to deepen bilateral relations and boost cooperation between the two countries in various fields. In the first half of this year, China-South Africa trade volume ran up to 6.85 billion USD, making China the No. 1 trade partner of South Africa. In March, the first representative office of China-Africa Development Fund was established in Johannesburg. Currently, in the global atmosphere of financial crisis, China and South Africa need to work in partnership even more to deal with the crisis and promote common development.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The friendly cooperative relationship between KZN and China has kept developing in various areas. Up till now, 6 sister provinces and cities and one sister ports have been established between the two sides. This year, quite a few Chinese delegations visited KZN, and Businessmen from Sichuan and Shandong Province also hosted business seminars with Durban businessmen, which provided a platform for economic cooperation. The Juncao Mushroom Base in Cedara, supported by the KZN Department of Agriculture and the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, will be completed in the coming November, which will benefit more and more local farmers. After a high school graduate Khmalo from Newcastle was granted with a full scholarship to study in Shanghai for a bachelor degree, the Shanghai municipal government provides another 8 scholarships to KZN, and has promised to assist in constructing teaching facilities for 2 schools in rural areas. With the assistance from Chinese Hanban, the first Chinese course will be kicked off at the beginning of next year in Westville Boy's High School. Meanwhile, visitors from all walks of life to China are increasing day by day.

We are really excited to see the deepening of the overall exchanges and close cooperation between China and KZN, which is the expectation and aspiration of all the staff members working in our Consulate General, and also relies greatly on the support and help from all of you who are present today.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We are so glad to see the achievements South Africa has made in social and economic development during the past 15 years, and its significant role in international stage. 

The measures taken by the SA government to counter the financial crisis have achieved some preliminary results. The SA government's "Batho Pele principles" have great similarities with China's governing concept of "People-centric", which is putting people first. The "One Home, One Garden" campaign launched by the KZN government is also very similar with China's rural development method. As an old saying goes, great minds think alike. We feel really excited and close with South Africa when we see these similarities. Next year, South Africa will host the first-ever World Cup on the African continent, and we sincerely wish it a great, great success.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I believe, with our joint efforts, the traditional friendship and mutual-benefit cooperation will be strengthened and pushed forward to a higher level, and the China-South Africa strategic partnership will definitely achieve better development. I do feel confident about that.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Now, I'd like to propose a toast:

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and wish her Happy Birthday,

To the friendship and cooperation between the two peoples of China and South Africa,

And To the health of all our guests and friends,

Cheers!

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