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Address by H.E.Mr.Liu Huanxing, Chinese Ambassador to Botswana, at the Reception on occasion of the 62nd Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

(27 September 2010)

 

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,

 

Good evening!

This year marks the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Botswana and indeed on my own behalf, I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to all of you for your presence tonight and your support rendered to the Chinese Embassy in the past year.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Great progress has been made in China's reform, opening-up and modernization endeavor in the first decade of the 21st century. Over the past ten years, China's economy has been growing over 10 percent annually. Its GDP and trade volume respectively rose from the sixth and seventh place to the second place in the world. China has taken on a completely new look as its total economic output and overall national strength significantly increased and people's living standards greatly improved.With its development entering a new stage in the second decade of the 21st century, China is in an important period of strategic opportunities. China's economy is generally in good shape. Its total economic output reached 5.88 trillion U.S. dollars in 2010. In the first half of 2011, China's GDP grew by 9.6%.

On the other hand, we are still facing a pressing problem. China's development is not yet balanced, coordinated and sustainable and there are many institutional constraints hindering the development. China is the most populated country in the world, with many national development challenges to address. The large proportion of China's rural and impoverished population means the country has not yet released itself from a developing nation status. Facing all the challenges, the Chinese people have both the ability and confidence to maintain steady growth of the economy and bring the country to a new stage of development.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

At the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century and on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese government has declared solemnly again to the rest of the world that it takes a path of peaceful development and is committed to upholding world peace and promoting common development and prosperity for all countries. To take the path of peaceful development is a strategic choice made by China to realize modernization, make itself strong and prosperous, and make more contribution to the progress of human civilization.

China promotes friendly and cooperative relations with all the other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and aligns its own interests with the common interests of the people of the world. China is committed to promoting the common interests of all humanity and bringing the benefit of human civilization to everyone. China cannot develop itself in isolation from the rest of the world, and global prosperity and stability cannot be maintained without China.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Maintaining stability and development in Africa is as much a common responsibility of the international community as a pressing task of African countries. The international community should provide more support and help to Africa, honor their commitments of aid, enhance African countries' capacity for development, and push for a more just and equitable international political and economic order so as to create favorable external conditions for Africa's development.

China's relationship with Africa can be traced back to the 1950s and 1960s, during that time China began providing assistance to the continent despite being in a weak economic state itself. For decades, China has provided sincere assistance to African countries and contributed to their economic and social development. By the end of 2010, China had invested around 40 billion U.S. dollars with direct investment of about 13 billion U.S. dollars in more than 2,000 enterprises from 50 African countries covering various sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, mining and finance.

China has adopted a series of cooperation measures within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and announced six measures of foreign assistance at the UN High-Level Event on the MDGs in September 2010. African countries will be the main beneficiaries of these measures. The effective implementation of these measures goes a long way toward helping African countries eradicate poverty, improve people's livelihood and enhance development capability. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that countries that provide aid to Africa should focus on helping the continent to boost its capability for self-initiated development and should pay attention to improving the livelihoods of Africans in order to ensure that these people receive "real" benefit from overseas assistance. China is ready to work with African countries and the world at large to contribute to the cause of poverty alleviation and development in Africa.

 

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Tonight we are gathering here to celebrate China’s National Day, which comes at 1st October, while the Independence Day of Botswana goes to 30th September. I would like to take this opportunity to extend to H. E. Lt. Gen.Seretse Khama Ian Khama and all Botswana people our warmest congratulations and good wishes.

Over the past 45 years of independence, Botswana has all along enjoyed peace and stability, economic development and social progress. We rejoice at the achievements so far Botswana has gained, and sincerely hope Botswana people to achieve the Vision 2016 and greater success in the years ahead.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

During the past 36 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Botswana, the two countries have been enjoying a very fruitful bilateral relationship and benefitting immensely from the mutual exchanges and win-win cooperation.

Mutual trust has been deepened with high-level exchange of visits. The Vice President of China, H. E. Mr. Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to Botswana last November. The Minster of Education and Skills Development and the minister of Youth, Sports and Culture of Botswana respectively paid visits to China this year. China and Botswana support each other in preserving state sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Economic cooperation serves as the driving force in boosting the bilateral relations between the two countries. Bilateral trade has been growing steadily. Constructed with the interest free loans provided by the Chinese government, the Gaborone Multi-Purpose Youth Center will be handed over to the Botswana government before end of this year.

The Chinese government also attaches great importance to exchange and cooperation with Botswana in fields of culture, education and health. The Diwetse Cultural Group from Selebi-Phikwe of Botswana visited China in July this year and gave marvelous performance of traditional dancing to the Chinese audience. Artists from Thapong Visual Art Centre are also invited to take part in exchange courses in China. Here I would like to mention that, the “Chinese Culture Focus in 2011” is coming to Botswana in November this year, which I am sure will further promote the bilateral cultural exchanges to a new extent.

The Confucius Institute which was established at UB has provided Chinese language training for about 700 Batswana. The Confucius Institute is dedicated to promoting Chinese language and cultural study courses among Botswana students, which I think will further strengthen the bilateral educational and cultural exchanges.

In terms of human resource cooperation, this year another 21 Botswana students go to study in China under the Chinese government scholarship. The short-term training opportunities in business, commerce, information technology and agriculture, etc, exceed 100 offers yearly, which help Batswana enhance expertise in these key technical fields.

Cooperation in fields of health has been strengthened. In June this year, the Ministry of Health of China sent 3 Chinese ophthalmologists to Botswana to provide cataract treatments to 200 Batswana patients. The operations carried out were all successful. Furthermore, all the surgical equipment that was used in conducting the operations was offered to the local hospitals.

The Chinese Government has the sincere goodwill to further strengthen cooperation with Botswana based on equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit. As the Chinese Ambassador to Botswana, I firmly believe that the prospects of China-Botswana bilateral relations are bright and prosperous. We are committed to working together with you to ensure that the great potential in China-Botswana ties is fully tapped in the future.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In closing, may I propose a toast,

to the health of H. E. Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, President of the Republic of Botswana,

to the growing friendship between peoples of our two countries,

and to the continued prosperity of China and Botswana.

Thank you all!

PULA!



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