|The Speech by Consul-General Liu Kan at the Reception Marking His Assumption of office|
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon! Thanks for attending this reception.
I arrived in Lagos last Thursday, and assumed the office as the fifth consul-general of the Chinese Consulate-General in Lagos. Though being here not long, I feel quite at home in Lagos. I should attribute the feeling to two factors: Firstly, from the moment of setting foot on the land of this beautiful city, I can always feel your hospitality and friendship. Secondly, this is my third time in Lagos. There are countless cities from so many countries; how amazing it is that I can have beautiful encounters with a same city three times! I can only say that Lagos and I are meant to be together. Every time I come to Lagos, I can feel the development and change of the city, in which you can see new buildings under construction everywhere, more abundant commodities in shops, and more vehicles running on roads. Of course, as a pearl of Africa, Lagos still reserves its own city character, beautiful landscape, unique cultural relics, and especially, the warm and friendly attitude towards Chinese people.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Though China and Nigeria are far from each other, two peoples share a profound traditional friendship. China-Nigeria relations have seen steady and sound progress since establishment of diplomatic ties. Especially in recent years, the cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, trade, agriculture, infrastructure, satellites, communication, culture and education enjoys a fast development. Last year, H. E. President Goodluck Jonathan paid a fruitful visit to China, and H. E. Mr. Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the National People's Congress, paid a successful visit to Nigeria, which has promoted the strategic partnership between two countries to an era of comprehensive development. In 2013, our bilateral trade volume reached 13 billion USD, 20% higher than last year, and now Nigeria is China's second largest export market and third largest trading partner in Africa. Amity between people holds the key to the sound relations between states. With the continuous development of personnel exchanges, more and more Nigerian young people are interested in learning Chinese. Two Confucius institutes in the consular district have rooted in Nigeria and continue to grow. Nigeria is the second largest source country of oversea students in China among all African countries. Here I have to make a specific mention of Chinese and overseas Chinese enterprises. Their hardworking not only promotes the economic and social development of Nigeria, creates employment opportunities for local people, but also plays a unique role in enhancing understanding and friendship between two peoples. So, on behalf of the consulate-general, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the Chinese companies and overseas Chinese.
Ladies and gentlemen,
After 12 days, we will greet the arrival of Chinese New Year, namely Spring Festival, which marks the coming of spring. As an old Chinese saying goes, the whole year's work depends on a good start in spring. Spring is a season of renewal, and nowadays China is also in the period of renewal. At the end of last year, the CPC held the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, and the Decision on Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Deepening Reforms had been adopted, which set a timetable and road-map for next 10-15 years' development of China comprehensively. This reform has opened a journey to realize "Chinese Dream". And "State prosperity, national development and people happiness" is not only a dream for Chinese people, but also for Nigerian people. I know Nigeria also set a great development plan called Vision 20:2020, which has also opened a journey to realize "Nigerian Dream". For China, 2014 is an open year for implementing the reform; and for Nigeria, 2014 is a critical year for promoting the vision. Chinese people will walk through the journey together with Nigerian people, step by step, to realizing our dreams.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Chinese year of Horse is round the corner. In China, horse symbolizes loyalty and industry. All members of the consulate-general will go all out to consolidate and develop China-Nigeria relations and the friendship between two peoples.
Thanks for attending the reception again, and thank you all for your continued help and support to the consulate-general.
Finally, I wish China and Nigeria ever-growing prosperity and our peoples happiness;
Wish China-Nigeria relations a smooth development;
Wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous Chinese New Year.