|Consul General Kang Yong Praises Ties with Eastern Cape|
On 22nd September, Consul General Kang Yong held China's National Day reception at the International Conference Center of East London in Buffalo City, Eastern Cape. Mr. Phumulo Masualle, Premier of Eastern Cape Province, Mr. Xola Pakati, Executive Mayor of Buffalo City Metropolitan, Mr. Dumani Zozo, Mayor of Mthatha attended the reception. Guests in the reception also included MEC from Eastern Cape Province, Speakers and Mayco members from Buffalo City and Sarah Baartman District Municipality and officials from municipal departments and local SAPS. Representatives of the local Chinese community, Confucius Institute in Rhodes University, BAIC South Africa and FAW South Africa were also present.
Consul General Kang Yong is giving a speech
Following is Consul General Kang's speech at the reception
Ladies and gentlemen, Good evening!
October 1st of this year is the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. My wife and I are very happy to have all of you here to celebrate the Anniversary. This is the first time for my office to hold national day reception outside Cape Town and the first time in Eastern Cape.
Eastern Cape is a very important province in South Africa. It has beautiful natural scenery, abundant resources and produce, hard working and friendly people. And mostly important, here is hometown of the founding father of new South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Many prominent ANC veteran leaders were born here. The province is also home to the hundred-year old Fort Hare University, where the African Identity started to emerge and quite a few African countries' first generation leaders received education.
Every time we came to Eastern Cape, we feel like coming back home. Everything here seems so familiar to us. Such a kind of natural feeling comes from the similar past experience we both have when we were invaded and enslaved. The feeling comes from the friendly cooperation between Chinese Communist Party and African National Congress. We are friends! We are comrades!
As you know, the China-South Africa relationship is at its best stage in history. Our cooperation is all-round, from political to economic, from trade and investment to culture and education, from science and technology to military and defense exchanges. Likewise, relation between Eastern Cape and provinces in China is also robust. Less than one month ago, ground-breaking ceremony of BAIC Automobile SA base was held in Coega Industrial Park in Nelson Mandela Bay. Within 2 years' time, a huge automobile factory will come into being, eventually will produce 100,000 cars and vans a year. Co-funded by BAIC in China and IDC in South Africa, the 11 billion Rand investment will create 13,000 jobs for local community and is another landmark project of China-South Africa cooperation.
In President Zuma's State of Union speech early this year, he especially mentioned 2 Chinese enterprises, Hisense in Western Cape and BAIC in Eastern Cape. I am very proud that both of them are in the consular area of my office.
This year, Hisense SA has become No. 1 brand both in TV and refrigerator markets in South Africa. I hope, in a few years' time, BAIC SA will also become a well known brand in South Africa. I am fully confident about it. In fact, the First Automotive Works group (FAW) in Coega Industrial Park has been operating for 2 years. FAW in Coega directly created 200 jobs and has produced more than 2000 trucks, among which 300 were exported to other African countries. I have no doubt there will be more FAW trucks running on roads in this country. Furthermore, FAW SA has established a FAW Social Responsibility Fund, providing support to 6 nearby schools. So far the fund has provided school uniforms and stationeries worth more than 200,000 Rand.
I believe, as China-South Africa relations continue to develop, there will be more Chinese companies coming to Eastern Cape, especially in IDZs in Buffalo and Nelson Mandela Bay.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Exchanges between our two peoples are fundamental to our friendship. During the past 8 years, the Confucius Institute in Rhodes University has been running well. Through efforts by teachers in the Institute, students get to know about China, learn Chinese language and familiarize themselves with Chinese culture. Many students went to China for summer camps, to experience daily life of Chinese people and the charm of Chinese culture. In future, they will be the driving force for China-South Africa friendship. I wish to take this opportunity to thank teachers and volunteers in Confucius Institute for their hard work and also Rhodes University for all the support it has rendered to the Institute.
The Art Festival in Grahamstown is the biggest art festival in South Africa and on African continent. It is an important platform for exchanges between South Africa and other countries. In recent years, art troupes from China actively participated in the festival. This year it was the Guangzhou opera and dance art troupe that showcased beautiful Chinese folk dance and delicate emotions of the Chinese people. During their visit, they were also enlightened by artistic South African and African dancing.
Now, people of Jincheng city in Shanxi Province of China are looking forward to art troupe from Cacadu region which will give them exciting and excellent show of South African culture. I know students from Buffalo city went to Jinhua city for exchange program. They stay in homes of ordinary Chinese people. They live, study and work together. It must be amazing experience in their life. And very soon, young kids from Jinhua City will come to Buffalo City to enjoy the same " home-stay" programme.
In this context, I'd like to tell you the story of a girl Amanda Hobana. Early August, there was a G20 Summit held in Beijing. This is a Girls 20 Summit, a cooperative project between the NGO of China and Canada. 20 girls from 20 countries were discussing the ways to promote women's participation in social and economic affair. The meeting put forward its proposal in the G20 Summit held early this month in Hangzhou. Amanda Hobana is from Motherwell. She is a Grade 3 student majored in accounting in Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She is representing South Africa in the meeting. I saw her picture in the Great Wall. She was so happy and excited. Asked about what she expressed in the meeting, she said she was there to give a township girl's voice. Asked about here future target, she said she wants to be Motherwell's youngest chartered accountant in 2020. The wish is simple, sincere and down to earth. It is from so many young people like Amanda Hobana that I see the promising future of South Arica.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Chinese citizens in this province made a special contribution to the exchanges between Eastern Cape and China. Now, about 10,000 Chinese people live in the province, mainly in Buffalo and Nelson Mandela Bay. Most of them run shops and factories .Their business might not be big, but they are paying taxes and employing staff. What surprised me is even in some remote villages, there are Chinese people running shops there. They work hard, live harmoniously with local people and provide affordable goods and service to local people just at their doorsteps.
We highly appreciate the hospitality South African government and people have extended to the Chinese people here. I would like to specially thank Premier Masuella for his kind help in a criminal case happened in Aliwal North last February in which 2 Chinese were killed and their warehouse burnt. Premier Masuelle, thank you. For quite some time, frequent armed robberies against Chinese people travelling along high way between East London and Mthatha caused fear among Chinese community. Recently, SAPS in Queenstown and SAPS in Mthatha made arrest to some criminals who constantly robbed Chinese people along high way. I want to express the high appreciation to the SAPS. Thank you, SAPS. The care, attention and protection from Eastern provincial government and SAPS will enhance Chinese community's confidence to do long term business in the province.
Ladies and Gentlemen
In Chinese lunar calendar, today is Qiu Fen, literally meaning starting day of Autumn. Since we are in southern hemisphere, today in fact is starting day of Spring. Let's embrace the Spring of the Rainbow nation. Let's embrace the Spring of China-South Africa friendship.
May I propose a toast :
To the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China,
To friendship between our two countries,
To health and fortune of all friends in this room.
Mr. Phumulo Masualle, Premier of Eastern Cape Province is giving a speech
Mr. Xola Pakati, Executive Mayor of Buffalo City Metropolitan is giving a speech
Consul General Kang with the representatives of the Chinese community
Consul General Kang with guests