Chinese National Day: Welcome Remarks By Mr. Chao Xiaoliang, The Chinese Consul General, Lagos
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon! Today we are gathered here together to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. On behalf of the Consulate General of China in Lagos, I would like to extend my warm welcome to all the guests present, and heartfelt thanks to all the friends who pay close attention to China’s development and support China-Nigeria friendship.
The year 2018 marks the first year of fully implementing the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up and the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed. China has experienced a remarkable journey over the past 69 years. Under the strong leadership of Chinese Communist Party, Chinese people has made tremendous efforts to develop the country. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was successfully convened in 2017, it gave shape to the thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, opened a new journey of developing China into a great modern socialist country. With the guidance of innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing, and great efforts of the people and the government, China’s GDP grew by 6.9% in 2017 to more than 82 trillion yuan(12.25 trillion USD). In the first half of 2018, Chinese economy has maintained a momentum of steady and sound growth with a year-on-year growth rate of 6.8%.
2 weeks ago, the Summit of Forum on China Africa Cooperation was held in Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari and 49 heads of State and Government, the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission and more than 3200 participants from 53 African members of FOCAC attended the Summit, jointly drew the blueprint for future cooperation between China and African countries. The summit issued the Beijing Declaration-Toward an Even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future, and adopted Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Beijing Action Plan(2019-2021). Right after the Summit, President Xi Jinping and President Buhari held a bilateral meeting. The two heads of State discussed numerous issues, witnessed signing of bilateral cooperation agreements and have reached broad consensus. We are confident that the FOCAC Beijing Summit and the meeting between the two Presidents will bring new opportunities for the comprehensive development of China-Nigeria strategic partnership.
October 1st is the National day for the People’s Republic of China, also the Independence Day of Federal Republic of Nigeria, I would like to take this opportunity to give my most sincere birthday blessing to all Nigerian. Recent years witnessed tangible progress in China Nigeria relations. China Nigeria strategic partnership enjoyed comprehensive and rapid development, cooperation between the two countries is flourishing, especially in the fields of politics, trade, infrastructure development, IT, agriculture and culture. The bilateral trade reached 14 billion US dollars with 30% year on year growth. A large number of cooperative projects are vigorously promoted by both sides, such as Mambilla Power Project, Lekki Deep Seaport, Lagos-Calabar coastal railway line, etc. By end of 2017, total investment from China to Nigeria reached 27 billion US dollars. TECNO, HUAWEI has become house hold names in Nigeria. Abuja-Kaduna Railway, constructed by China Civil and Engineering Construction Company brought convenience to travellers. People to people exchanges and cultural exchange programs are growing rapidly, the number of Nigerian oversea students who chose China as their favored destination is increasing and Chinese culture is becoming more popular.
I’ve been in Nigeria as a Consul General for more than 2 years. During the past 2 years, I was so glad to witness the continuous development of China- Nigeria relations. More and more Chinese enterprises and citizens come to invest, work and live in Nigeria. They work hard to realize their dreams in this prosperous land, meanwhile whey also helped create jobs and trained personnel which might also help their Nigerian friends to realize their dreams. I was even more pleased to see that quite a number of Chinese companies and organizations live in harmony with local communities. They always bear in mind to repay the generosity Nigeria has given. This year, the Consulate- General of China in Lagos conducted 5 “China Africa People to People Friendship Action” programme together with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation(CCECC), Sinoma International Engineering Corporation, Nigeria China Industrial and Commercial Enterprises Association and Nigeria Chinese Women’s Association. The 5 projects are donation of a borehole system to Nnamdi Azikewe University, donation of medical equipment to Lagos University teaching hospital, donation to a welfare house, and rehabilitation projects of 2 schools in Lagos. “China Africa People to People Friendship Action” has been conducted in Nigeria for 6 consecutive years, so far 16 projects is completed and tens of thousands of Nigerian friends benefit directly from the projects.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It’s been 47 years since the establishment of China-Nigeria diplomatic relations. Under the trend of world multi-polarization and economic globalization, deepen and explore mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields between China and Nigeria serves the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries and their people. China and Nigeria are highly complimentary in economy structure and development strategy, we have enormous potential in cooperation. Therefore, the two countries should join hand together to pursue mutual benefit and common development.
Finally, I would like to thank you all for attending the ceremony. Let’s wish the People’s Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Nigeria a happy birthday and well-being of the peoples! May the friendship between the peoples of our countries last forever! Wish all guests a good health a prosperous future! Thank you!