Envoy of China Leaves Malta with Fond Memories
Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Zhang Keyuan at the Farewell Reception
（From Chinese Embassy in Malta）
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening, Thank you all for your kind presence tonight.
My wife and I will leave for Beijing in about a week. It is a bitter-sweet moment to say goodbye to Malta, after two and half years as China's chief representative to this small but beautiful country. However, I am satisfied to say, the gem of the Mediterranean and its very hospitable people have enriched us with many unforgettable memories.
There were touching moments during my tour of duty here, when I saw those 5,000 Chinese evacuees with many of them lost everything in Libya but in genuine joy berthing at the dock of Grand Harbour, with full support of the Maltese government in early 2011, also when I saw two presidents met at a Shanghai hospital, not as heads of state but two good, old friends in August, 2010, and when I talked to those Maltese workers and engineers in their 60s and 70s, as they recalled the days they had worked with Chinese engineers at the Red China Dock. These will be always in our fond memories of Malta.
I would also recall the visit by the Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr. Yang Jiechi a few weeks ago who had very fruitful meetings with Hon. Prime Minister Dr. Lawrence Gonzi and Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Dr. Tonio Borg.
Another highlight of my stay in Malta was commemorating the 40th anniversary of China-Malta diplomatic relations. As Ambassador John-Paul Grech said so rightly that I drew a full and nice circle for my career as the 12th Chinese Ambassador to Malta.
In trade and economic cooperation, I want to mention with proud that in the last two years, the bilateral trade increased by 54%, against the backdrop of economic crisis in most part of the world. I also witnessed and helped reach four bilateral agreements in areas such as insurance and security, banking, cooperation between China Development Bank and Central Bank of Malta, and most importantly, the Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation. So, I can say that during my stay here in Malta, we have more than one agreement signed each year.
And it was a brain child of Mr. Maurice F. Mizzi, together with myself, that Maltese-Chinese Chamber of Commerce became a reality in 2011 with the help of business community in Malta.
Last but not the least, I feel it is one of my achievements here in Malta that I inaugurated, in person, the Confucius Institute in the University of Malta. It serves as another bridge between our two peoples, together with China Cultural Centre and Chinese Medical Centre.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The list of our fond memories can be long. We've achieved so much, yet most importantly, I would say, without your efforts and dedication, our bilateral relations would not have been the same today. My wife and I appreciate your assistance and unfaltering contribution along all these years.
I am sure our roads will cross each other in the nearest future, either in Beijing or here in Malta.
At the end of my remarks, I want to quote a golfer who was asked to say a few words after he had won a big tournament. He said, "Well, I did it chip by chip and slice by slice", because this guy was well known by his short games and notorious by his sliced drives. I believe that China-Malta relationship is like a monument, it takes efforts of generations to build, to maintain and to cherish. So, let's do it chip by chip, and slice by slice.
Thank you all!