Speech at the National Day Reception by Ambassador Fan Guijin

Your Excellency, Vice President Bukenya,

Hon. Ministers,

Hon. Members of Parliament,

Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners,

Distinguished guests, Fellow Chinese citizens,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me start with the warmest welcome to all of you.

Oct. 1st this year marks the 58th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. In the last 58 years, the people of China, through hard work and strenuous efforts, have largely succeeded in eradicating poverty. Compared with our past, we feel proud; but, compared with the developed countries, the wide gap keeps us sober-minded. Yet, we are confident of our future. Political stability in China has made it possible for fast economic development; and economic improvement has, in turn, further contributed to political stability. The people in China have their confidence in the government headed by President Hu Jintao; and the government has confidence in the people. With this mutual-confidence, I believe, we can overcome all difficulties in our future development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you are all aware, China's relationship with the African continent has always been close and cordial. The grand gathering of heads of state, the China-Africa Summit held in Beijing in November last year, is widely regarded as a vivid demonstration of the special brotherhood between China and Africa. At the summit, President Hu Jintao announced 8 concrete measures aimed at assisting African countries in their economic endeavors. The total amount of assistance within the next few years goes up to over 10 billion US dollars. This, to be sure, is a clear indication of China's serious commitment to Africa's economic development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Among all the African countries, Uganda is one of our best friends. Our cooperation covers every area of human endeavors, especially the economic sector. In the last 2 or 3 years, since I assumed my post, trade volume between China and Uganda has been growing up very fast. Major Ugandan products are now free to enter China's market, enjoying zero tariff treatment. While continuing to do our best in providing assistance, we have been encouraging investors to come over here to start business. Relevant documents for the second cancellation of debts of 20 million US dollars have been signed. The project for the urgently needed government office building is going to start; the Agricultural Demonstration Centre is in the pipeline; the preparation for a new hospital in Jinja is underway. The construction of two schools is now being planned. There will be more similar projects. Aid is necessary. However, trade is more important. As a result of government encouragement, more and more investors are interested in coming here. I am fully confident that in the years to come, our economic bonds will be even stronger and that our trade balance will improve step by step.

Hon. Minister,

I have now served here for nearly three years, a point close to the completion of my service here. I feel extremely proud of my close association with you, Hon. Minister, and your colleagues in the cabinet and many, many others. I am also highly appreciative of the kind assistance that you and other friends have extended to me during the last three years. I want to avail myself of this opportunity to tell you: I love Uganda. I love the people here.

Now, Hon. Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to invite all of you to join me in a toast:

To the good health of H.E. President Museveni!

To the ever-lasting friendship between China and Uganda!

To the well-being of the people of Uganda!

To the good health of you, Hon. Minister, and everybody here tonight!

Thank you!

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