Embassy in The Gambia, Sunday celebrated the Chinese new lunar festival also
known as Spring Festival held at the Chinese Embassy in Bijilo.
The spring festival marks the beginning of 2019 for the Chinese and is the most widely observed festival throughout the whole of China.
Ambassador Ma Jianchun said, “for thousands of years in our history, the Spring Festival has always remained the most significant and spectacular festival of the Chinese people.”
He said the Spring Festival is the grandest and the most important annual event for the Chinese, adding that last year marked the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up that the nation has scored tremendous achievements in the past 40 years of hard work.
“Over the past four decades, China’s economy has grown from a pond to an ocean. In 2018, the gross domestic product reached over 90 trillion RMB, and the growth rate was at 6.6%, which continued to be one of the highest among major economies around the globe,” he emphasised.
Ambassador Jianchun said the year 2018 was marked by uncertainty but unilateralism and protectionism were further developed and the international system came under serious strain. “In such circumstances, China has kept cleaving waves and forging ahead toward its intended destination. We held the Bo’ao Forum for Asia, which stated loud and clear that China’s door of opening-up will not close but even wider,” he said.
He added that China has hosted the first China International Import Expo, which was the world’s first national-level expo devoted to imports. “China hosted the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which advocated building an even stronger China-Africa Cooperation with a shared future.”
Ambassador Jianchun further mentioned some of the projects that his country launched in The Gambia in 2018, which included China-aid infrastructure and roads and bridges construction in Upper River Region.
He said The Gambian National Electricity Transmission and Distribution Project has been signed and Chinese experts will soon come to The Gambia for feasibility study of the project. He also stated that Chinese agricultural experts will also come to The Gambia soon.
According to him, sometime last week, the China-aid “Brightness Action” campaign was practiced at Sheikh Zayed Regional Eye Care Center in Kanifing, during which 206 Gambian patients underwent free eye surgeries carried out by Chinese doctors and regained eyesight. “Confucius Institute at the University of The Gambia will be inaugurated shortly, which will boost China-Gambia cultural exchanges and bring the hearts of our people even closer to each other.”
Ambassador Jianchun said the year 2019 will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, saying it is a critical juncture in ‘our’ journey towards the great renewal of the Chinese nation and a crucial year for meeting the first centenary goal, namely ushering in a moderately prosperous society in all aspects.
He also emphasised China’s strong commitment to stand firmly for the existing international order and to ensure the success of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held this year in Beijing, advance friendship and cooperation with all countries including The Gambian, and to take active part in shaping global governance.