On Sep 27th, the Chinese Embassy in South Africa held the National Day Reception, celebrating the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu, as the guest of honor attended the reception. South African First Ladies, ministers and deputy ministers, high-level officials, ambassadors and high commissioners of the diplomatic corps as well as over 600 guests from various social sectors attended the ceremony.
Ambassador Tian Xuejun said in his remarks that since the founding of the new China 67 years ago, especially over the past three decades of reform and opening up, China has transformed itself from a poor and rather closed country to the world's second largest economy, lifting over 700 million population out of poverty. Today, China prides itself as the world's biggest trader in goods, the third largest global investor, and the biggest trading partner of over 120 countries. In the first half of this year, China has maintained a sound economic momentum with a growth rate of 6.7%, contributing 26% to the world economic growth.
China will always remain steadfast to peaceful development, pursue mutually beneficial partnership and win-win cooperation with other countries and strive to create for mankind a community of shared future, a future of peace and development. China successfully held the G20 Hangzhou Summit in early September, which for the first time put the issue of development front and center of the global macro policy framework, including supporting African countries and the Least Developed Countries in their industrialization.
Ambassador Tian pointed out that this year is the year for the implementation of the outcomes of the FOCAC Joburg Summit. It took only eight months for China and Africa to have reached 243 agreements, totaling over 50 billion US dollars. Working together, China and South Africa have constantly lifted bilateral practical cooperation to new heights and have achieved early harvests in a multitude of areas. China Huawei has launched in South Africa its first Innovation and Experience Center on the African continent, which would train 1000 local IT talents over the next five years. Chinese businesses have taken an active part in the planning and development of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone, working actively to build an energy and metallurgical complex in the area. China's Guangdong Province has recently established sister province relationship with KwaZulu-Natal province, and the two provinces have reached important agreement on strengthening blue economy cooperation.
Minister Zulu congratulated on the National Day of China. She said President Xi Jinping’s state visit to South Africa and the FOCAC Joburg Summit last December were very fruitful. China honors its commitments and tangible progress has been made in the outcome implementation work. China supports the economic development of South Africa by expanding investments and trade. At the same time, both presidents reached consensus on establishing a high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism which will deepen mutual understanding and create new opportunities. She stressed that China’s leadership in the world can only produce positive outcomes and lead to a path of prosperity. South Africa stands ready at all times to work with China to ensure that the China-South Africa cooperation produces the desired fruits.
The reception enjoys a number of spotlights including wonderful photo exhibition, exciting cultural performances and delicious Chinese food. The Chinese companies set up exhibition stands to display their business achievements in South Africa and contribution to the local communities. Guests all spoke highly of the reception and wished stronger China-South Africa and China-Africa relations.