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Remarks by H.E. Mr. Zhang Yiming at the Performance by Yunnan Culture and Art Troupe

Hon. Christine // Hoebes, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation;

Cde. Marco Haosiku, Deputy SG of SWAPO party,

Ambassadors and High Commissioners, ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening!

In the Chinese lunar calendar, on 5th February, we will celebrate the New Year, the most important traditional festival. The Spring Festival is a festival of resigning the old and welcoming the new, and it is also a good day to sow the seeds. Chinese people believe, at the very beginning of the year, everything takes on a fresh and new look. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Namibia, I would like to extend my warm welcome to everyone and my best wishes to all the guests present tonight!

I am happy to have so many friends tonight to share with us the deepest joyfulness of the new year. I also feel delighted that China and Namibia score rather fruitful achievements and enjoy flourishing relations in the past year of 2018. President Hage Geingob visited China twice. Chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee of China, Li Zhanshu, visited Namibia successfully with many bilateral fruits. The relationship between the two countries was upgraded to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. A series of important documents were signed or renewed, such as the "the Belt and Road" MOU, Agreement on Namibian Beef Export to China and etc. The relationship between the two countries has been upgraded and maintains a high level. I believe the future of China and Namibia relationship will be much more splendid!

People to people exchanges account an important part of the China-Namibia relations. A culture that belongs to its nation also belongs to the whole world. Cultural exchanges can cultivate sentiment, enhance understanding, deepen friendship, reach the depths of the human mind, and arouse strong emotional resonance /'rɛznəns/. Art is beyond borders, languages. It can build a bridge of friendship for people from different countries. The Yunnan Cultural and Art Troupe used to perform in Namibia in 2017. The dances and songs with strong national characteristics left a deep impression on the local audience and were warmly welcomed by them. With the Spring Festival around the corner, we are so happy to invite Yunnan artists again, to bring us the joyful festival atmosphere from our motherland.

Located in the southwestern border of China, Yunnan Province has a beautiful scenery, pleasant climate, outstanding people, and is known as the “Colorful Yunnan”. Yunnan has an area of ​​390,000(Three hundred ninety thousand) square kilometers, almost half of Namibia's territory, and it has a population of 46 million, which is 20 times the population of Namibia. Kunming is the capital city of Yunnan Province, known as “spring city” in China, which has the similar altitude to Windhoek. Yunnan enjoys very rich tourism resources, including the ancient town of Lijiang, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain that is precipitous /prɪ'sɪpɪtəs/ and beautiful, the Cangshan mountain and Erhai lake that are poetic and romantic. It is expected that Yunnan has received more than 600 million domestic and foreign tourists in 2018.

Yunnan is also a famous hometown of ethnic minorities. The people from 26 ethnic groups have lived harmoniously in Yunnan. They are good at singing and dancing. They are outgoing and hospitable. There have been a lot of talented people coming out of this province. The artists in Yunnan have many touring performances around the world and won many awards. I believe that artists from Yuxi city of Yunnan Province will surely bring us wonderful shows and a joyful and memorable night.

Finally, I wish today’s performance a complete success, I wish you a happy Spring Festival and everything goes well in the coming year of Pig. Thank you!

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