|Remarks at the Reception for Celebrating 63rd Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China by Chinese Ambassador H. E. Mr. Zhao Yali|
Hon. Sam Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for accepting the invitation to join us in celebrating the 63rd Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. On behalf of the Chinese government and people and in my own name, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all the distinguished guests.
In the past 63 years, particularly since the introduction of the reform and opening-up policies in 1978, China’s economy has maintained a faster growth speed for over 30 years. In the past decade, a shift from fast growth to sound growth was a fundamental change in the priorities of China’s development. From 2002 to 2011, China’s GDP grew at an average annual rate of 10.7%, and moved up from the sixth to the second place in the world, the per capita GDP rose from 1000-plus U.S. dollars to 5,432 U.S. dollars. China’s foreign trade volume also climbed to the second place in the world and foreign exchange reserves exceeded 3 trillion U.S. dollars. All-round progress was made in social programs and people’s livelihood improved significantly. Although China’s economy is affected, to a certain extent, by the international financial crisis, macroeconomic indicators show that the speed of growth is still within the target range set at the start of the year, and although the growth is slowing down, it is being more stable. As the recent measures are being implemented and take effect, the Chinese economy is expected to further stabilize.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China-Africa friendship is embedded in the long history. Enhancing solidarity and cooperation with African countries has always been an important component of China’s independent foreign policy of peace. No matter how the international situation changes, China will unswervingly carry forward the tradition of China-Africa friendship and, proceeding from the fundamental interests of both the Chinese and African peoples, established and develop a new type of strategic partnership with Africa, fearing political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchange. Facts show that the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership is the result of continuous growth of the traditional friendship between the two sides. It meets the fundamental interests of China and Africa and conforms to the global trend of peace, development and cooperation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Uganda. Over the past 50 years, China and Uganda have carried out sincere, friendly and productive cooperation in political, commercial, technological and many other fields, on the basis of mutual respect and equality.
In the area of mutual visits by our two countries’ leaders, this year, Mr. Li Yuanchao, Head of the Organizational Department of the CPC Central Committee, was invited by NRM to visit Uganda. In addition, Mr. Hui Liangyu, Vice Premier of the State Council of China, Mr. Sang Guowei, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress visited Uganda successively. H.E. Mr. Edward Ssekandi, Vice President of the Republic Uganda led a delegation to China not long ago. Decades of Ministers and Ministers of State also visited China. The aforementioned high-level visits strengthened the mutual understanding and further promoted the pragmatic cooperation between our two countries.
In the area of economic and trade cooperation, from 1993 to 2011, China’s investment in Uganda reached USD$596m and 265 Chinese firms opened business in Uganda, creating 28,000 jobs for the local people. The amount of bilateral trade reached USD$400m, increased by over 40%. In addition, I would like to emphasize that with the Chinese government financial assistance, we have built some important projects, including Mandela National Stadiums, Foreign Ministry Office Building, and more recently, new Government Office Building Blocks, the Uganda-China Friendship Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in Kajjansi. Besides, the planned expressway between Entebbe International Airport and Kampala, which will use USD$350m Buyer’s Credit from China Import and Export Bank, is expected to start work by the end of this year.
In the area of health, China has donated great quantity of anti-malaria drugs to Uganda, and helped build the Uganda-China Friendship Hospital, Naguru.
In the area of education, Chinese government provides annually 50 quotas of scholarship and 300 quotas of short-term training program to the Ugandan government.
Cultural exchanges have increased significantly. Just several days ago, the “Experience China” Cultural Performance Troupe visited Uganda and presented a wonderful performance, which was warmly welcomed by the Ugandan people.
Tonight, distinguished guests, you can see some historical photos in our embassy which witnessed the development history of the two countries since China and Uganda established the diplomatic relations on 18th October 1962.
I am fully convinced that, through concerted efforts from our two countries, the friendship and cooperation between China and Uganda will definitely embrace an even brighter future.
This year also marks the Golden Jubilee anniversary of Uganda’s independence. Chinese President H. E. Hu Jintao will send Mr. Han Qide, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress as the Special Envoy to attend the celebration events organized by the Ugandan government and share the joys with the Ugandan people. I would like to take this opportunity to extend our warmest congratulations to the Ugandan government and people. After 50 years of struggle and hard working, Ugandan people have obtained remarkable achievements in the economic development and social progress. China always supports Uganda for its national building and industrialization process and will provide assistance to the best of its ability without strings attached.
In conclusion, Ladies and Gentlemen, at this point, I would like to invite all of you to join me in a toast.
To the friendship of China and Uganda,
To the health of you all,
Long live the China-Uganda friendship!