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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Zhang Yiming for the 69th China's National Day

Hon. Christine //Hoebes, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, and the Chief Guest of the Namibian Government,

H.E. Madame Penehupifo Pohamba, Former First Lady of the Republic of Namibia,

Hon. Margareth Mensah Williams, Chairperson of the National Council,

Honorable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,

Ambassadors, High Commissioners,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

My Chinese compatriots,

Friends from the media,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

First of all, I would like to warmly welcome you all to today’s reception and together with us to commemorate the 69th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The TV documentary played just now is produced by a team from NBC, which took them several months to travel all over the country to film and interview. The documentary vividly depicts the past, present and future of China-Namibia relations. I believe that everyone present here shall feel delighted and encouraged. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy and in my own name, I would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to all friends who have always been in support of China-Namibia friendship.

Since founding of the New China in 1949, China has witnessed a miraculous development in both Chinese and human history under the leadership of the Communist Party, by transforming a poor and weak old China into the world's second largest economy. In 1978, China started to implement the reform and opening up policy, which enable China to achieve a leap-forward development and its overall national strength has been enhanced significantly. The poverty rate has dropped sharply from 97.5% 40 years ago to 3.1% in 2017 which means more than 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty.

Not only China now becomes the world's largest trading country and the second largest investor, but also it has the world's largest network of highway, high-speed railway and mobile phone communications. China’s middle-income population is larger than any other countries. Its contribution to the world economic growth has now exceeded 30%, which makes China one of the main driving forces behind the world economy. China's development achievements shall be the pride of its people, so as to the whole developing world including our African brothers and sisters!

So, what is the secret behind China’s success? The answer is to uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China and to commit to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. China follows a people centered way. Without our people’s supports, we couldn’t have achieve as such great as we see today.

Development is the key to almost all problems in China. China adheres to reform, opening up, and new concepts of development as well. The relationship between reform, development, and stability has been well coordinated, and China’s economy and national power have grown from strength to strength.

As far as external concerned, China actively participates in and promotes the process of economic globalization, adheres to a development path with opening up and win-win cooperation. Furthermore, China proposed the "Belt and Road" initiative and firmly embraces an open world economy and the multilateral trading system, strongly objects protectionism and unilateralism. We welcome all friends and countries to share opportunities that comes with China's development. All these efforts made by China have been widely welcomed by the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2018 is a remarkable year for China-Africa relations. China always see Africa as a foundation of its overall diplomatic layout. In July this year, after President Xi Jinping’s re-election as the Head of State, he once again chose Africa as his first state visit destination. It is his 9th time to visit this continent.

Just at the beginning of this month, 50 heads of state and government along with other representatives from 54 African members of the FOCAC gathered in Beijing to discuss the blueprint of China-Africa friendship and cooperation. This successful FOCAC Beijing Summit has become the latest milestone in the history of China-African relations.

During the Summit, President Xi Jinping stated that, China will follow a “five-no” approach in its relations with Africa: No.1, no interference in African countries’ pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; No.2, no interference in African countries’ internal affairs; No.3, no imposition of China’s will on African countries; No.4, no attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and No.5, no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Africa.

President Xi Jinping also announced that China will launch Eight Major Initiatives in the next three years and beyond. To support these Initiatives, China will extend 60 billion US Dollars of financing to Africa in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies. In addition, for those Africa's least developed countries that have diplomatic relations with China, all the debt they have incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due to mature by the end of 2018 will be exempted.

All these efforts are China’s response to the concerns of Africa’s development, and show the firm determination and sincere desire of China to further develop its relationship and to achieve a common development with Africa.

“Though bosom friends thousands of miles apart, no distance as China and Africa are sharing a heart”. Both China and Africa have a painful history of colonization and aggression, and are victims of colonialism and imperialism. As the famous Chinese sage Confucius said, “One should not impose on others what he himself does not desire.” China has never implicated the same sufferings upon other countries and nor will it do in the future.

Colonialism has never been in China’s diplomacy vocabulary. All the unreasonable and unjustifiable accusation against China-Africa cooperation, like "new colonialism" or "debt trap", will be proven meaningless and useless, as the China-Africa cooperation keeps rolling forward.

China always adheres to the principle of mutual respect, mutual benefit in its cooperation with Africa, and is always committed to its promise. Thus China will continue to sincerely give assistance to Africa's development and commit itself to building of a community of shared future for China and Africa.

The year of 2018 has ushered in a new era for the development of China-Namibia Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership. H.E. President Geingob visited China twice this year and the two heads of state met each other 3 times on various occassions. The chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, H.E. Li Zhanshu, visited Namibia successfully in May. The frequent high-level exchanges highlight the increasing mutual political trust between our two countries.

This year, the Protocol on Beef Exporting was signed which makes Namibia the first African country to be allowed to export beef to China. I am glad to announce that, the first batch of beef will very likely be shipped to China next month. Among 30 African countries, Namibia has signed the MoU on the “Belt and Road” initiative cooperation with China.

Let me give you some examples to show our friendship. This year, 30 China-made pickup trucks donated by Chinese government have been commissioned into Namibia wildlife protection authorities, more than 200 Namibian cataract patients came back to light thanks to Chinese doctors, more than 300 primary and secondary school students have won the "Chinese Ambassador Scholarship" and 10,000 “Love Schoolbags” have conveyed the friendship of the Chinese people to Namibian pupils.

In the first quarter of this year, China substitute South Africa for the largest export market of Namibia, which demonstrates our pragmatic cooperation is full of vitality. Since the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit in 2015, Chinese Companies in Namibia have created 11,000 jobs and generated a tax revenue of 250 million Namibian dollars. 20 China-aid projects have been completed or underway with the support of nearly 3 billion Namibian dollars grants provided by the Chinese government, which tremendously benefits both Namibia and its people.

Namibia enjoys many exceptional advantages in terms of pushing forward Belt and Road cooperation and building itself as a regional economic hub. There is a bright future for the pragmatic cooperation between our two countries. I am confident that the China-Namibian relations can become a model for China-Africa relations and South-South cooperation.

Taking this opportunity, I also would like to introduce to you Mr. Yang Jun, our new Deputy Chief of Mission and political counselor. He has worked for Chinese Embassies in Asia, Africa and Europe and has rich experiences in diplomacy. I hope that our dear friends could support him just as you have done to his predecessor Counsellor Li Nan, and help him to quickly get acquainted and get familiar with Namibia as well to love this Land of Brave!

Now, Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I propose a toast.

For the 69th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

For the further development of China-Namibia Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership.

And for the health of President Xi Jinping, and President Dr. Hage Geingob!

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