|Speech by Chinese Consul-General, Lagos, Mr. LIU Xianfa at the 64th National Day Reception|
The Hon. Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr.Adeyemi Ikuforiji,
Dear Colleagues of the Diplomatic Corps,
Leaders of the Chinese community,
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen:
First of all, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all of you for joining us to celebrate the 64th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and please allow me, using this opportunity, to express my heartfelt thanks to all of our friends, present here or not, for your continuous support and contribution to China's development and to the ever-lasting China-Nigeria friendship! Thank you all!
In this 64 years especially the past 35 years of reforming and opening-up, the hardworking and creative Chinese people has changed our ancient yet young motherland dramatically. Today, China's economy ranks second, trade volume the first, patent applications the first, and international sci-tech papers second in the world. At the same time, the wellbeing of the Chinese people in the fields of culture, education, sports, health and medical care has been greatly improved, with constant improvements of social equity, justice, democracy and rule of law. For thousands of millions of ordinary Chinese people, a happy life that couldn't even imagine in the past has now become reality.
Late last year, President Xi Jinping and the new leadership set the Two Centennial Goals, that is, completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and building China into a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious modern socialist country by the 100th anniversary of the founding of PRC. At the same time our leaders also put forward the goal of realizing "Chinese dream" of national prosperity, national rejuvenation, and the well-being of people, and outlined a clear roadmap to achieve these great goals.
This year, the Chinese government has implemented a series of policies to ensure steady growth, structural adjustments, and further reform. With new and still vast development demands for industrialization, informationization, urbanization and agricultural modernization, and with new and still vast development dividends released by deepening reforms in all areas, China achieved a 7.6% of economic growth in the first half of this year, laid a new solid foundation for the Two Centennial Goals and the Chinese dream.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Through adhering to opening-up policy for more than 30 years, China has not only achieved the development miracle of herself, but also made great contributions to the development and stability of the world economy. According to IMF, China has contributed one fourth of the world economic growth since the financial crisis began.
In the next five years, China's imports will reach ten trillion USD, China's overseas investment will be five hundred billion USD, and more than 400 million Chinese tourists will visit cities and beautiful places all over the world, creating more opportunities of trade, investment and development for other countries and their people.
During the great journey to realize "the Chinese dream", China will continue to promote common development and prosperity of all countries, expand mutually beneficial cooperations, engage in the world fairs and cope with global challenges more actively, to make bigger contributions to a greater dream, that is, the dream of peace and development for all the people in this world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
History has taught us that China and Africa have always been a community of common destiny. China cannot develop in isolation of Africa while Africa's development also needs China.
In March, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid his first visit after taking office, to Africa. During the friendly and fruitful trip, he used a now very famous saying, there is no perfect tense but only progressive tense, to describe the China-Africa relations, embodying the very strong determination of the Chinese government and people on the further promotion and development of the new type of strategic partnership between Africa and China.
As for China-Nigeria relations, this year has been definitely a year of climax.
As we all know, HE President Goodluck Jonathan paid a fruitful visit to China in July, and just a last week ago, HE.Mr.Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the National People's Congress, in his first trip abroad after taking office, paid a successful visit to Nigeria. Through these mutual visits, our highest leaders reached consensus on many important issues, injecting new impetus of bilateral relations.
In first half of this year, our bilateral trade volume reached 6.03 billion USD, 18.8% higher than last year, and now Nigeria is China's third largest trading partner in Africa.More and more enterprises and people invest, trade and prosper through our mutually beneficial cooperation.
In the field of cultural exchange, the Chinese Cultural Center in Nigeria, the second of its kind in sub-Sahara Africa,opened last week during HE Mr. Zhang's visit. Chinese artists will again bring the fascinating Chinese wind to Abuja and Lagos in the fourth quarter, and the heat that we experienced during My Nigeria Story and My China Story essay competition in May showcased, once again, the charms of the Chinese and Nigerian civilizations, and the genuine friendship between our two great peoples.
I firmly believe that with all of these endeavors by our national leaders, government agencies, social institutions of all kinds, and our people, the China-Nigeria strategic partnership will have a ever brighter future.
In conclusion, I wish to propose a toast:
To the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China;
To a bright future of China-Nigeria relations;
And to the health of all guests present,