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China celebrates 59 years

GABORONE - Relations and cooperation between Botswana and China continue to thrive despite the global economic slow down, says China's Ambassador to Botswana, Mr Ding Xiaoweng.

Speaking during the 59th National Day, the anniversary of the founding of China, Mr Ding thanked Botswana for the P1 million it had donated to China to help alleviate suffering that resulted from the earthquake that hit Sichuan province in May this year.

"Despite the economic slowdown, China's national economy still registered double-digit growth and the living standards of the Chinese people is improving," he said.

Mr Ding said under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, two rural primary schools donated by the Chinese government were under construction and would be completed in Maun and Serowe before the end of this year.

He explained that China also donated a batch of medical material and instruments worth P2 million to Botswana in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

"Section two of the Letlhakeng-Kang Road financed by the Chinese government is underway smoothly and will be completed before June 2009," he noted.

Furthermore, the Chinese Ambassador mentioned that the 12th Chinese medical team, with 46 doctors and nurses will start work in Botswana beginning December this year.

Mr Ding added that the University of Botswana would officially launch the Confucius Institute next year with Shanghai Normal University as its Chinese partner.

He noted that with the support of the international community, including Botswana, both the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and Paralympics were successful.

Speaking at the same occasion the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Phandu Skelemani, explained that Botswana valued its friendship with China.

Mr Skelemani explained that China continued to play an important role in global affairs.

He said Botswana appreciated the help that China rendered in areas such as construction, education and health care. BOPA



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