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Remarks at the Chinese Cultural Performance Celebrating the 53rd Anniversary of China-Zambia Diplomatic Relations By Chinese Ambassador H.E. Mr. Yang Youming

(From Chinese Embassy in Zambia)

2017/11/03

Your Honourable Mr. Charles Banda, Minister of Tourism and Arts,
Honourable Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, other Senior government officials,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Representatives of International and Regional Organizations,
Head and members of the Yunnan Culture and Arts Troupe,
Fellow Chinese compatriots,
Friends from the media,
Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

I am happy to welcome all the distinguished guests at the Chinese cultural performance, celebrating the 53rd anniversary of China-Zambia diplomatic relations, hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Zambia in collaboration with the Zambian Chinese Association.

On October 29, 1964, China and Zambia established diplomatic relations, and Zambia became the first country to do so with China in Southern Africa. Tonight we are happy to be gathered here to enjoy the wonderful songs and dances, to applaud the China-Zambia friendship and celebrate the 53rd Anniversary of China-Zambia diplomatic relations. I wish to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to Your Honourable Mr. Charles Banda, Minister of Tourism and Arts and the Guest of Honour, and other Senior government officials for your kind presence, which demonstrates the great importance attached to the development of China-Zambia relations and the good will towards the Chinese people by the Zambian side. At the same time, I also wish to extend my gratitude to all friends from various circles for your support and assistance to this event. My special thanks go to the Yunnan Culture and Arts Troupe for coming to perform in Zambia.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Bosom friends make distance disappear. China and Zambia are separated by thousands of miles, but the ties of history and reality have united us together closely. The development of the China-Zambia traditional friendly relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties 53 years ago is a typical story of deepening mutual understanding, closer integration and expanding cooperation. It is not only bolstered by the frequent bilateral political exchanges and increasing economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, the cultural exchanges and cooperation also play an irreplaceable role.

In recent years, under the framework of FOCAC, the cultural exchanges between the two sides are on the increase. An increasing number of cultural groups have exchanged visits and a series of activities in cooperation and exchanges in areas of artistic performance, visual art and relic protection have taken place between the two countries. We have successfully held Chinese Spring Festival Temple Fair in Zambia for the last 5 years, which has become an important event of cultural exchanges between the two countries. Last year, Chinese painters held a Zambian and Chinese Partnership Arts Exhibition in Lusaka, and Zambian artists displayed their woodcraft works in China. The Zambian National Dance Troupe made a first ever road show in 5 Chinese cities. This year, the Zambia Week, which was officiated by Hon. Inonge Wina, Vice President of the Republic of Zambia, was successfully held in China and showcased rich Zambian culture to the Chinese people.

Both China and Zambia attach great importance to the cooperation on human resources training in the field of culture and arts. In the past two years, China has not only offered training opportunities like Chinese language learning, but also offered scholarships for Zambian art talents. Last August, 26 Zambian students, returned to Zambia after successfully completing their singing and dancing studies in China, presented wonderful performance including Chinese songs and Chinese folk dances at the reception marking the return and departure of Zambian students under Chinese scholarship held by the Chinese Embassy in Zambia. Their performance left an unforgettable impression on the audience.

Cultural cooperation between China and Zambia has become an urgent need to enhance the well-being of the two peoples. Through the 10,000 Village Satellite TV Project under the China-Africa cooperation plan, digital satellite TV will be installed in 500 villages throughout Zambia and tens of thousands of households will be able to watch and enjoy satellite TV programs. That project will significantly improve the rural cultural life in Zambia.

Today, we have with us the well known Yunnan Culture and Arts Troupe. Apart from tonight's performance, they will also interact with Zambian artists. I am sure that their visit will allow the Zambian people the opportunity to enjoy the charm of Chinese culture, especially of the culture of Yunnan, a province with many ethnic groups, deepen their understanding of China and Chinese culture, bring our two peoples closer together, and further enhance the China-Zambia friendship.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and Zambia enjoy traditional friendly relationship. No matter how the international situation changes, we always remain close friends, brothers and good partners, who weather hard times together. Not long ago, the 19th CPC National Congress was successfully held in Beijing and pointed out the direction of Chinese major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics for a new era, and also brought new impetus and vitality into the China-Zambia and China-Africa relationship. Let's make the 53rd anniversary of China-Zambia diplomatic relations as a new historical starting point, work together and write a new chapter in the relationship between China and Zambia. I am confident that, under the guidance of our two national leaders and through our joint efforts, China-Zambia traditional friendship will exhibit new vitality and vigor in the new development stage and bring more benefits to the peoples of our two countries.

Before I conclude, may I wish the friendship between China and Zambia last forever!

I wish China and Zambia enjoy prosperity and people live in happiness and harmony!

I also wish you all have a nice and memorable evening!

Thank you!

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