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Work Together for Win-Win Cooperation

--By Consul General Lin Jing, published on Cape Times, September 30

(From Chinese Consulate General in Cape Town)

2021-10-04 16:11

October 1st, 2021 marks the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. 72 years ago, a new China was born. Since then, constant and unceasing transformation of China gives the ancient country a completely new look. Over the past 72 years, China has made remarkable achievements. It has become the world's second largest economy, largest industrial country, largest trader in goods and largest recipient of foreign direct investment. It also has the largest foreign exchange reserves. It has contributed an average of 30% annually to world economic growth for many years in a row, and has become an important engine for world economic growth.

This year is of extraordinary significance in the history of China's development. The Communist Party of China (CPC) has ushered in its centenary. Over the past 100 years, the CPC has always breathed the same breath with the people, shared the same future, and stayed truly connected to them. To the Chinese people, the CPC is the backbone and strong core of leadership. Upholding the firm leadership of the CPC is the fundamental reason for all the historic achievements and changes in China.

Under the strong leadership of the CPC, China has lifted 770 million rural residents out of poverty. This is indeed a miracle in human history. China's gross domestic product has exceeded the 100-trillion-yuan threshold. In terms of social security, China is running the world's largest scheme, with basic health insurance covering over 1.3 billion people and basic pension insurance covering over 1 billion people. Average life expectancy has risen from 35 in 1949 to 77.3 now. With all these efforts, China has realized its first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and is making big strides towards the second centenary goal, which is building an all-round modern socialist country.

This year, the world landscape has been undergoing profound and complex changes. Dramatic changes unseen in a century have been interwoven and overlapped with the complex impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. People of the world show keener expectations for peace and development, firmer determination for win-win cooperation and voice louder call for equity and justice.

China takes its responsibilities as a major country. With great political courage, China decisively locked Wuhan city down last year, raced against time and fought the COVID-19 epidemic at "China Speed" and with "China Power". China coordinated epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development. The CPC Central Committee with President Xi Jinping at its core stuck to the principle of putting people and life first, resolutely fought the Covid-19, won the battle of epidemic prevention and control, and did whatever it took to protect people's lives and health.

China plays its role as a major country. To protect the lives and health of people from around the world, China has provided more than 1.2 billion doses of finished and bulk vaccines to over 100 countries and international organizations. China will strive to provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines to the world by the end of this year. In addition to donating 100 million U.S. dollars to COVAX, China will donate 100 million doses of vaccines to other developing countries in the course of this year and make its due contribution to humanity's ultimate victory over the virus.

China fulfills its responsibilities as a major country. Facing the upsurge of unilateralism and protectionism, China holds high the banner of multilateralism, openness and cooperation, actively promotes the construction of a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation and a community with a shared future for mankind. China calls on all countries to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and practice true multilateralism. China opposes moves under the name of so-called rules to undermine the international order and stoke confrontation and division, and adheres to boosting mutually beneficial cooperation, dismantling the high barriers that divide trade, investment, and technology, and promoting inclusive development that benefits all.

At present, the COVID-19 epidemic is still raging, with constant mutations of the virus. Epidemic prevention and control still remains a severe challenge, while global economic recovery is still fragile. For the international community including China and South Africa, defeating COVID-19 and resuming economic development are the top priority for the time being. In the process of deepening practical cooperation and joint efforts in epidemic prevention, the special friendship of "comrades and brothers" between China and South Africa grows stronger.

Firstly, China and South Africa have strengthened political mutual trust and enhanced practical cooperation. Under the direct personal care and strong leadership of President Xi Jinping and President Ramaphosa, our two countries have been continuously enhancing political mutual trust, supporting each other on issues of each other's core interests and major concerns, and promoting practical cooperation. China has been South Africa's largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years, and South Africa has been China's largest trading partner in Africa for 11 consecutive years. From January to August this year, despite the impact of COVID-19 epidemic, with the joint efforts by China and South Africa, the bilateral trade volume has reached 34.7 billion U.S. dollars with a year-on-year increase of 65.7%, which demonstrates the resilience and growth potential in bilateral trade. According to incomplete statistics, China's cumulative investment in South Africa has exceeded 25 billion U.S. dollars, creating more than 400,000 direct and indirect jobs and making important contributions to South Africa's economic and social development.

Secondly, China and South Africa have united, cooperated and helped each other, and carried out exemplary counter-epidemic cooperation, which has injected new momentum into our comprehensive strategic partnership. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, President Xi Jinping and President Ramaphosa have exchanged letters and phone calls on many occasions, jointly convened an Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19.

The governments and all sectors of society of our two countries have carried out various forms of counter-epidemic cooperation and actively shared experience in counter-epidemic measures. What was done had pooled strong positive energy for China-Africa and even the global counter-epidemic cooperation. So far, South African relevant regulatory authority has evaluated and registered the China Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine. We look forward to the early use of Chinese vaccines in South Africa and benefiting the people of South Africa as soon as possible.

Thirdly, China and South Africa have enhanced sub-national and people-to-people exchanges via close public-private cooperation as well as government-enterprise linkages. The Chinese Consulate General in Cape Town always adheres to the spirit of working together to overcome any difficulty and has assisted the three Cape Provinces in its consular district in fighting against the epidemic with donations of PPEs to the poor communities and vulnerable groups. Local governments in both countries donated funds and supplies to their sister provinces and cities, held online counter-epidemic experience sharing sessions to support each other, and overcame difficulties together. Chinese enterprises and local Chinese Community in Cape Provinces spontaneously made charitable donations to local governments, police stations, and communities, and vividly showcased the deep friendship between the people of our two countries in sharing weal and woe.

As Former South African President Nelson Mandela once said, "the greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall". President Xi Jinping also pointed out, "Winter cannot stop the arrival of spring and darkness can never shroud the light of dawn. There is no doubt that humanity will prevail over the virus and emerge even stronger from this disaster". We have full confidence in humanity's victory over the pandemic through cooperation. We have full confidence in the prospects of world economic recovery. We have full confidence in a shared and bright future of humanity.

This year, China started to implement the 14th Five-Year Plan for economic and social development and began a new journey of building a great modern socialist country in all respects. Entering a new stage of development, China will speed up the construction of a new development pattern with domestic cycle as the mainstay and mutual promotion of domestic and international cycles. China's mega market of 1.4 billion people and more than 400 million middle-income groups and the potential of domestic demand will be fully released, and create more demand and opportunities for the world. China will further open up, focus on promoting institutional opening-up in rules, regulations, management and standards, and continue to create a market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment. China will take a more active part in bilateral, multilateral and regional cooperation to achieve a higher level of mutual benefit and win-win situation with other countries. China's continued development and openness will inject strong momentum into the world's economic recovery and growth, and will open up a wider space for cooperation between China and South Africa.

Finally, on the occasion of the National Day, I wish all overseas Chinese in our consular district peace and health! Wish our great motherland prosperity and the people happiness!

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