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Remarks by H.E. Sun Baohong, Chinese Ambassador to Ghana at the Opening Ceremony of the 14th Chinese Bridge Preliminary Competition in Ghana

(11th April, 2015) 

Judges and contestants,

Distinguished guests,

Faculty members, students,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning! It is such a wonderful pleasure for me to be with you again at the Chinese Bridge Competition. I am delighted to see both new faces and old friends like Yi Xiu. Yi Xiu has served as a model for all the contestants and set the bar pretty high. Yet I am very ready to witness the moments of miracles.

I have been in Accra for one year. How time flies! During the past year I have met with almost all the high-ranking government officials and a large number of celebrities of all walks of life in Ghana. But upon retrospection, it is always my encounters with ordinary people that touch my heart in a deep sense.

The first time I met this young man -- who is he, I will disclose later, was in the Chinese Embassy. He accompanied his head of the collage to call on me and he told me he used to study in China for 5 years. The second time I met this young man was in his school. He greeted me with very fluent Chinese and showed me proudly around the classrooms and facilities to study Chinese. I did not realize but until I went to his school that he was the only Chinese language teacher there. And I could imagine how difficult it must be for him to teach Chinese without materials, without audio and video equipment and without the help of a Chinese national. The third time I met him by chance was in a Chinese restaurant. He led several students to learn Chinese menu and the use of chopsticks. Today I meet him for the fourth time because he is one of our judges. Mr. Opata Christian Narh (Chinese name Zhang Rui), I appreciate your dedication, determination and self-discipline to promote Chinese language teaching. I have fulfilled my promise to ask Hanban to send a Chinese native teacher to work in your school Kumasi Polytechnic and I am also working hard to fulfill my other obligations – that is to establish more Confucius Institutes in Ghana.

For many Ghanaian people it is true that interaction with China changes their lives. China is continuing changing itself dramatically as it embarks on the road of carrying out comprehensive reform and pushing forward the establishment of rule of law. It is also influencing more and more the entire world by its economic strength, its language and its culture. I firmly believe for people like Zhang Rui and Yi Xiu, it is because they appreciate and love the humanitarian spirit of Chinese culture featured partly by always aiming for self-improvement, making contributions to the society out of high sense of responsibility, that they act as the bridge of two different nations in an earnest way.

I refrain from speaking long as I understand this is the stage for contestants. Many of us have read the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a well-known Colombian writer. The book began with the hero recalling an incident taking place on a remote afternoon many years ago that bore implications on his fate. And I know for sure that in not remote future many of the students present today will also recall the impact of this competition on their lives.

I wish all the contestants a great success and I declare open the 14th Chinese Bridge Preliminary Competition in Ghana!

Thank you!

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