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Ambassador Yang Youming's Foreword on the Chinese National Day Special Edition by Zambia Daily Mail

(From Chinese Embassy in Zambia)

2017/10/04

by H.E. Mr. Yang Youming, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia

October 1st, 2017 marks the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. In the past 68 years, under the leadership of the Chinese government, relying on the wisdom and efforts of the Chinese people, China has made outstanding achievements in its national development, with considerable rise in the improvement of its comprehensive national strength and international influence, continual advancement in democracy and the rule of law, steady progress in every social undertaking and especially great economic development achievements. In 2016, China's GDP reached 10 trillion US dollars, accounting for 15% of the world economy. China is now the world's second largest economy, the largest commodity trading nation, the second largest foreign direct investment country. China has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty, and substantially improved the quality of life of more than 1.3 billion people. China has made these achievements in only several decades, which other countries have spent hundreds of years to attain.

In the past year, against the complex and volatile international and domestic economic environment, China has maintained its stable economic growth. China registered an economic growth of 6.7% in 2016 and in both the first and second quarter of 2017, the year-on-year growth rate rose to 6.9% respectively. By deepening supply-side structural reform, China has continued to optimize its economic structure, further strengthen the momentum of development and improve the quality, coordination and sustainability of the economy. In 2016, domestic consumption contributed 64.6% to China's economic growth, the proportion of service sector reached 51.6%, and the growth rate of strategic new industries reached 10.5%.

In the past year, with its scientific research and innovation capacity continuously enhanced, China has made a number of important breakthroughs in science and technology with over 1 million domestic invention patents and over 1 trillion RMB technical contracts transaction volume. China garnered a number of major scientific and technologic achievements, such as the ShenzhouⅨ manned spaceship, which successfully conducted rendezvous and docking tests with TiangongⅠSpace station, the Jiaolong manned deep-sea research submersible vehicle which dived into the deepest place of the ocean and Shenwei Super computer which remains the Top 1 in the world. In some scientific and technological fields, China has successfully turned from lagging behind into keeping pace or even becoming a forerunner. More and more "Made in China" products have stood out in the fierce competition based on scientific and technological innovation.

This year, the Chinese ideas have shed light on the world. From the Davos World Economic Forum annual meeting, to Beijing Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and to the recently concluded Xiamen BRICS Summit, President Xi Jinping, focusing on tackling the problems facing the world economy and global governance, put forward China's ideas and proposals reflecting an innovative and responsible China. Recognized by the international community, China has become the new engine of the world economy, leader in global governance, defender of international security and promoter in cultural exchanges. China, with its development, has provided an extended development path for the modernization drive of the developing countries, and contributed to the world development with Chinese wisdom and solutions. Meanwhile, China is also committed to playing a significant role in safeguarding regional and international peace and stability and will unswervingly adhere to the road of peaceful development. China has so far deployed the most peacekeepers among the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council with over 2,200 Chinese peace keeping forces operating worldwide, with majority of them in Africa.

This year marks the 61st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Africa. Over the past 61 years, China and Africa have trusted and supported each other. Since the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit in particular, China and Africa have unveiled a new era of cooperation for mutual benefit and common development. The exchange of high-level visits between China and Africa has become more frequent, and the political mutual trust has been significantly enhanced. The two sides support each other's core interests and major concerns. China firmly supports African countries to independently explore its own development paths in line with their own national conditions and speaks out loudly for African countries at international arena. The Chinese side appreciates and thanks the valuable political support rendered by the African countries on the issues concerning China's core interests. The China-Africa mutual beneficial cooperation continues to expand. Since the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit, China and Africa have signed 243 cooperation agreements, involving about US $50.7 billion, of which the non-direct investment from Chinese enterprises and commercial loan arrangement exceeds US $46 billion. Currently China is the largest trading partner and the most important development partner and emerging investment source to African countries. Meanwhile Africa has become China's important source of imports, the second largest overseas contract market and the emerging investment destinations.

This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and Zambia. In more than half of a century, the China-Zambia all-weather friendship has been well established and vigorously expanded with fruitful achievements. The exchange of high level visits between the two countries are increasingly frequent and the bilateral political mutual trust is ever deepening. The traditional friendship between the two countries is consolidating, and the friendly cooperation in all sectors is expanding. H.E. Mr. Wang Yong, State Councilor and H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of China paid official visits to Zambia. Hon. Inonge Wina,Vice President of the Republic of Zambia and Rt. Hon. Justice Dr. Patrick Matibini made official trips to China. The bilateral economic and trade cooperation continues to deepen, with a total trade volume between China and Zambia last year reaching US $2.6 billion, a year-on-year increase of 13.4%. The Zambian side enjoyed huge surplus. There are more than 600 Chinese enterprises investing in Zambia and the total Chinese investment is close to US $ 4 billion. Zambia has become one of the top ten destinations among all African countries for China.

The bilateral cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries are increasingly closer. China has now become a prime destination for Zambian youth with a total number of over 3,500 Zambian students. This year, another 150 Zambian students have embarked on their study tour in China under different Chinese Government Scholarship programs. China also enjoys a close cooperation with Zambia in the area of human capacity building. Since 2013, China has provided over 2,000 training opportunities to Zambia in areas including agriculture, mining, health care, media and others.

Zambia has been China's good friend, good partner and good brother in southern Africa. The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Zambian side to enhance our partnership in development strategy and cooperation projects, so as to turn our bilateral political mutual trust, economic complementarity and people-to-people friendship into a driving force for the further cooperation between our two countries, as well as for the promotion of the bilateral and traditional friendly cooperative relations.

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