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H.E. Lin Songtian, the new Chinese Ambassador to South Africa receives warm welcome upon his arrival in South Africa

On August 9th, H.E. Lin Songtian, the new Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, and his wife Counselor Ni Lingling arrived in South Africa. Upon arrival, they received warm welcome by Ambassador Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director General of Department of International Relations and Cooperation, as well as Chinese Embassy and Consulate-General in South Africa, and representatives from Chinese companies, news agencies and local Chinese community.

Ambassador Lin delivered a warm speech at the airport. He said that he was honored to serve as the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa. He served as the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia and Malawi respectively as well as visited 30 African countries before, and has also been privileged to be the Director-General for African Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Secretary-General of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the FOCAC since June of 2014. In 2015, he visited South Africa four times and worked closely with South African colleagues to make the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit a full success, and the summit opened up a new era of win-win cooperation for common development between China and Africa.

Ambassador Lin pointed out that both China and South Africa are major emerging powers of the international community. Currently, China-South Africa relationship has come into its best historical moment. The two countries enjoy unprecedented political and strategic mutual trust, fruitful mutually beneficial business cooperation, and profound friendship between the two peoples. South Africa has already become China's biggest trading partner, and the most important investment and tourist destination in Africa. The High-Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism established between the two countries is the first of its kind between China and Africa. Also for the first time in China-Africa relations, China and South Africa have organized the Year of China in South Africa and the Year of South Africa in China.

Ambassador Lin stressed that 2018 is the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between China and South Africa. He felt the tremendous responsibility entrusted upon himself from the Chinese government and the Chinese people, and would spare no efforts in fulfilling his mission. He would work to promote the comprehensive implementation of the important agreements reached between President Xi Jinping and President Zuma, as well as the Ten Major China-Africa Cooperative Plans. He would focus his efforts on supporting South Africa's economic development, job creation, poverty reduction, and its pursuit of inclusive and transformation development. He was full of confidence that by jointly working together, China and South Africa could constantly translate the two countries’ development strengths and potential into concrete and fruitful results that the two countries’ peoples, particularly the grassroots population in South Africa, could feel and actually enjoy.

Ambassador Anil Sooklal expressed warm congratulations and welcome to Ambassador Lin, and spoke highly of the high level development of the relationship and the fruitful cooperation between South Africa and China. He said that South Africa would provide convenience and support for Ambassador Lin, and wished to promote the comprehensive strategic partnership between South Africa and China to a higher level.

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