Windhoek-Dignified guests among them diplomats and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi, were on Tuesday among the people that celebrated the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Also in attendance were the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Peya Mushelenga, the Chairperson of the National Council Margaret Mensah-Williams, the Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma and Swapo Party SG Nangolo Mbumba.
At the reception characterised by pomp and fanfare, hosted at the sprawling Embassy of the People’s Republic of China by Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, before guests could tuck into a banquet fit for a king they were shown a video on China’s remarkable rise from a peasant economy to a country that is possibly the richest in the world.
“The video shown just now has vividly illustrated the historic changes of China over the past 68 years. On 1 October 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong solemnly declared the birth of New China in Tiananmen Rostrum. With the hard work of the Chinese people for 68 years, China has turned itself from a weak and poor country to one of the world powers,” stated Zhang the Chinese ambassador to Namibia.
“Particularly, in less than five years after the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), China’s economic and social development has made historic achievements under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with President Xi Jinping as the core,” the Chinese ambassador informed his guests.
“China is now the world’s second biggest economy, the biggest manufacturing country, the biggest trading nation. China contributes an annual average of 31.6 percent to the world’s economic growth, more than the sum of those of the United States, the eurozone and Japan,” stated the newly appointed ambassador.
“At the same time, China is promoting a sustainable development strategy by implementing the concept of innovation, coordination, green, open and shared development, persisting in administering the country according to law, protecting the ecological environment and improving people’s well-being. By 2021, we are expected to achieve the first ‘Centenary Dream’ of becoming a country of moderate prosperity,” enthused ambassador Zhang. China, as a responsible country, is committed to building a new international relations system, with the core of cooperation and win-win in promoting diplomatic discourse with Chinese characteristics.
China strives to make its own achievements also benefit other countries, by actively fulfilling international responsibilities and contributing China’s wisdom and plans for world development and global governance, which has won international acclamation, he said.
Zhang stated that 2017 is a year of brilliant achievements of innovation for China. “It is well known that ancient China has four great inventions including paper-making, the compass, gunpowder and printing. And now, in the eyes of foreigners, ‘the new four inventions’, namely the high-speed train, Alipay, shared bikes and online shopping are changing people’s work and life in a profound way.”
“In 2017, China has done a lot in the field of scientific and technological innovation: the newest high-speed train has been put into use, running more than 350km per hour; China’s first passenger plane C919 has made its successful maiden flight; quantum communication technology continues to be world-leading; Tianzhou-1, Beidou-3 and Chang’e-5 spacecrafts are travelling in space, which are greatly supported by China’s TT&C Station in Namibia.”
“Today, from ‘Made in China 2025’ to Internet of Things, big data, cloud computing and other new technologies, from aerospace, marine industry, to chip-manufacturing and other frontier areas, China’s innovative power and China’s talents are coming to the fore. Innovation is truly becoming the most powerful driver of China’s development,” he said.
On the relationship between Namibia and China he reiterated Namibia is an all-weather friend of China. “Our traditional friendship has been greatly enhanced since the building of the diplomatic ties 27 years ago. President Xi Jinping and President Hage Geingob met during the Johannesburg Summit of FOCAC and reached important consensuses on deepening our pragmatic cooperation.”
Mushelenga said Namibia and China’s historic relations are further strengthened in post-independence Namibia by trade and investment as illustrated by among others the multi-billion Chinese investment in Husab mine, the largest single Chinese investment in Africa.