|Speech by Consul General Hao Guangfeng at the National Day Reception|
Honorable Minister Mr. Membathisi Mdladlana,
Honorable Premier Mrs. Hazel Jenkins,
Honorable MP Prof. Ben Turok,
Honorable MP Mr. Shiaan-Bin Huang,
Respected Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato,
Honorable Speaker Mr. Sheikh Shahid Esau (Western Cape Parliament),
Honorable Mr. Norman Shushu, MEC for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (Northern Cape),
Ladies and Gentlemen, Colleagues from the consular corps,
The year 2010 marks the 61st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. We are so happy to get together with our friends present here celebrating this auspicious occasion. On behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Cape Town, I would like to express my warm welcome to all of you and extend my deep gratitude for the contributions you've made to the Sino-South African friendship.
In the past 61 years, especially in the past 3 decades since the reform and opening up, China made tremendous achievements both economically and socially, thus having significantly improved the well being of her people. China is also playing an increasingly important role in international affairs. Last year, facing world financial crisis Chinese government took down to earth, effective and efficient measures to tackle it. Its large-scale economic stimulus programs helped to bring about an annual GDP growth of 8.7%, and therefore served as an important positive factor contributing to the stabilization and recovery of the world economy. In the second quarter of this year, China became the second largest economy in the world. Chinese people all over the world are proud of the rapid development.
However, we are equally, humbly and soberly aware that China, as a developing country with a population of 1.3 billion people, ranked somewhere around 100th in the world in per capita terms. Chinese annual GDP per capita is just more than US$3700 while that of South Africa is US$ 5800. Moreover, China still faces a great challenge to acquire a balanced economic and social development by enhancing innovation capability and perfecting social security system. According to a World Bank report released a couple of weeks ago, over 64 million Chinese people are still living in extreme poverty in 2010, and about 40 million more people were short of food last year because of the global economic crisis since late 2008. Common Prosperity remains the aspiration of the Chinese people and the inspiration of the Government.
Chinese government is committed to and upholds the guiding principle that development is of paramount importance, and spares no efforts in maintaining stable, sustainable and relatively fast economic growth in order to upgrade the livelihood of the people. Domestically, we will further deepen the reform and widen the opening-up, focusing on environment protection, social fairness and justice in order to build a harmonious society. Internationally, we will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, unswervingly follow a win-win strategy of mutual benefits with all countries, and dedicate ourselves to building a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and South Africa 12 years ago, Sino-South African relations have witnessed all-round and rapid development, with the friendship and trust between our two peoples being further enhanced. Frequent visits and exchanges between the leaders of our two countries laid a solid foundation for fruitful strategic dialogue, and expanding bilateral cooperation in all areas. In March 2010, Mr. Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, paid an official visit to South Africa. In August, President Zuma paid a successful state visit to China, during which the heads of state of our two countries decided to upgrade our strategic partnership in a comprehensive manner, which embodies the two sides' mutual trust and broad common interests in the new situation, with 16 agreements on economic cooperation signed. In October, Speaker Sisulu of the South African National Assembly will pay an official visit to China. In November, Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping will visit this beautiful country. Frequent contacts between the leaders of the two countries are conducive to strengthening our relations. Exchanges in economy, trade, education, culture, science and technology will certainly follow up.
China is now South Africa's largest trading partner, and South Africa's biggest export country is China. Our bilateral trade volume last year saw a ten-fold increase over that of 1998 and reached US$ 16 billion. The exchanges between our sister provinces and sister cities have also witnessed great progress. In June, Northern Cape delegation participated in "2010 Hunan Forum for Sister-Cities Cooperation" in Changsha. In the past few days, Governor Jiang Daming from Shandong province attended the fifth regional leaders summit hosted by Western Cape province, and exchanged views with Premier Zille on promoting cooperation in economic and other fields. Mayor Plato will visit China again next month.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The year 2010 will be remembered for the splendid and spectacular South African FIFA World Cup. The hospitality of the people and the beauty of this Rainbow Nation impressed the whole world. South Africans have a hundred and one reasons to be proud of it. We were among and with South African people in the Green Point Stadium and were overwhelmed by the gala atmosphere. We witnessed South African people making history not only of the African Continent but also of the whole world. The ardent zeal of World Cup lingers on and flies across the ocean to the South African Pavilion in Shanghai World Expo. Together with South Africa, over 240 countries or institutions are showcasing their own brand names and culture. Both successful world events manifest our unity, ability and achievement, and also our shared aspiration for a better life and a harmonious world. I firmly believe that our comprehensive strategic partnership is a great treasure with huge potentials that we will tap to benefit our two peoples and the human race.
Ladies and Gentlemen, now I would like to propose a toast,
To the prosperity of China and South Africa,
To the happiness and friendship of our two peoples,
To your health,