Jan 23, 2017, 10:48 AM
Chinese Embassy in The Gambia, on Thursday 29 September, celebrated the 67th
independence anniversary of the People’s Republic of China won through a
long-run battle that was finally conquered in 1949 under the leadership of Mao
Since then the Chinese revolution has steadily been bearing fruits into becoming today the 2nd largest economy in the world.
“67 years ago, on 1 October 1949, the Chinese nation after over a century-long arduous struggle achieved complete independence and national liberation,” said the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia H.E. Zhang Jiming while delivering his country’s independence day anniversary speech at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on Thursday 29 September, an occasion attended by a large number of members of the diplomatic and consular corps in The Gambia.
Ambassador Zhang said the founding of the People’s Republic of China marks a historic turning point in the modern history of China, and “has its significance throughout the world”.
“67 years on and especially over the past 38 years of reform and opening up, China has made tremendous progress thanks to the leadership of CPC and the tenacity and hard work of the Chinese people of one generation after another,” he said.
“The recent history of China, as President Xi Jinping said, is a course of blazing a new trail, a course of delivering tangible outcomes, a course of achieving common prosperity and a course of China and the world embracing each other.”
Ambassador Zhang said modernizing a big country with a population of more than 1.3 billion is an endeavour never undertaken in the history of mankind, and this means China must pursue its own path of development.
He explained further: “The path we have tracked is socialism with distinctive Chinese features. Along this path, and pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace and a fundamental policy of opening-up, China has, with merely 7% of the world’s arable land, managed to feed its people and make life markedly better for the whole population, which is 22% of the world’s total; China has lifted over 700 million people out of poverty which accounts for over 70% of the global poverty reduction efforts; China has lifted its per capita GDP from merely 35 US dollars in 1949 to nearly 8,000 US dollars today.
“China has succeeded in turning itself into the world’s second largest economy, the second largest direct overseas investor and the biggest trader of goods.
“China now is the largest trading partner for nearly 130 countries, including The Gambia. Even in the first half of this year, against the backdrop of a sluggish global economy, China achieved a 6.7% growth of its economy, contributing 39% to the global economic growth.
“As the largest developing country in the world, China has in just a few decades accomplished what has taken many countries several hundred years to achieve.”
Ambassador Zhang took the opportunity of the occasion to express their appreciation and thanks to the Gambian government and their friends from all walks of life for the commitment and efforts in promoting the friendly relations between China and The Gambia, and for “the generous support and kind assistance” in the process of establishing the Chinese Diplomatic mission in The Gambia, which came into fruition in March this year.
“This is the first Chinese National Day Celebrations hosted by the Chinese Embassy in The Gambia since the People’s Republic of China and the Islamic Republic of The Gambia resumed diplomatic ties in March this year,” the Ambassador noted.
In 2015, China-Africa Cooperation was lifted to a new high with the success of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), where President Xi Jinping announced that China would implement ten cooperation plans with Africa in the coming three years, and would provide $60 billion financial support accordingly.
This year 2016 is the first year for China and Africa to implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit.
“As manifested by the recent Coordinators’ Meeting at Beijing, rapid progress has been achieved on the follow-up actions of the Johannesburg Summit. China is keeping its promises and suiting the action to the word,” the ambassador noted.
He said: “Committed to the new cooperative concepts, i.e., common, intensive, green, secure and open development, China and Africa are taking advantage of the two major distinctive strengths of our relations namely, the political mutual trust and economic mutual complementarity, and conform with the needs of each other, draw on their respective strengths, and make joint efforts to promote industrialization and agricultural modernization in Africa through industry alignment, transfer of technology and human resources capacity development. China and Africa are marching forward through win-win cooperation for common development.”
Ambassador Zhang said China welcomes The Gambia joining the FOCAC family.
“The normalization of our relations serves the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries and peoples,” he said
“Ours is a relationship of friends, brothers and partners, one that is based on equality, mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual benefit and common development.
“China-Gambia bilateral relations now enjoy a dynamic momentum of development. Our mutual understanding is deepening, our economic and commercial cooperation is expanding, our people-to-people exchanges are lively, our coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues is strong.
“A lot have been achieved in just six months. We have agreed to launch an International Conference Center project as the flagship of our cooperation priorities.
“The first group of Gambian students on Chinese Government Scholarships has started their study in China. Nanning city and Banjul have renewed their sister links and carried out the exchange of visits. And there are more being worked out and implemented which I believe will soon come to fruition for the benefit of our two countries and peoples.
“Under the leadership of H.E. The President of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia and his government, The Gambian people are striving for the Vision 2016, Vision 2020 and Vision 2025. China applauds The Gambia’s achievements and sincerely wishes The Gambia greater success on all fronts of national development. China will stand by The Gambia and be supportive of its efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and advance social-economic development.”
In his remarks on the occasion, Hon. Abdoulie Jobe, Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment on behalf of the Government of The Gambia, said: “I would not hesitate to emphasise that the recent resumption of Diplomatic ties between the People’s Republic China and the Islamic Republic of The Gambia is not a coincidence, rather the decisions made by our two leaders in this respect were based on common and shared values underpinned by the principles of mutual trust and respect, as well as a common sense of purpose to consolidate our bilateral cooperation for the advancement of the welfare of the peoples of our two countries.”
Minister Jobe said it is because of the “great importance” attached to the China-Gambia bilateral relations that “we are recently witnessing several developments and milestones in our efforts to further consolidate the friendly ties between the two countries”.
The trade minister also said that in a short space of a few months, the bilateral relations between China and The Gambia had garnered momentum and yielded “significant developments”.
“This demonstrates the readiness of both countries to further strengthen our very promising relationship,” he said, adding: “The Islamic Republic of The Gambia stands hand in glove with our Chinese brothers and sisters in advocating a nuanced approach to foreign relations with a strong emphasis on development first, win-win cooperation, mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Minister Jobe also, on behalf the President, the Government and people of The Gambia, congratulated President Xi Jinping, the Government and people of China on “the auspicious occasion of the 67th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China”.