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The Chinese Embassy in South Africa Held the 72nd National Day Virtual Reception

On September 28, 2021, the Chinese Embassy in South Africa held an online reception to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Guests from all walks of life gathered for celebration via video link.Mr. Chen Xiaodong, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, delivered a keynote speech, and Mr. Enoch Godongwana, South African Finance Minister attended and addressed the event.Dr. Blade Nzimande, General Secretary of SACP, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, senior officials from party, government and military, representatives of business community, think tanks and media, diplomatic envoys from different countries to South Africa, representatives of Chinese enterprises and Chinese nationals either sent congratulatory messages or joined online interaction in a warm and festive atmosphere.

The reception began with the grand national anthem of China and South Africa. In his remarks, Ambassador Chen Xiaodong said, over the past 72 years since the founding of New China, the Communist Party of China has united and led the Chinese people to move forward with an dauntless spirit of daring to make the sun and the moon shine in the new sky.With concrete and hard work, we marched forward against great odds, and made great achievements and contributions that attracted worldwide attention and left a shining mark in history.The Chinese nation is taking bold steps down the road toward rejuvenation.During this past year, as we fought against COVID-19 and major floods, we saw to it that we stabilized the economy, protected people's livelihood, promoted international cooperation and worked for global harmony.This year, the CPC celebrated its centenary and delivered a great performance for the people. This year, the 14th Five-Year Plan was successfully launched, and the new development philosophy is leading China toward greater achievements. This year, China worked hard for a community with a shared future with the world and we showed extraordinary commitment to addressing global challenges.President Xi Jinping put forward four proposals in his statement at the general debate of the 76th session of the UNGA, which point the way forward for the world and demonstrate the wisdom and global vision of a major country’s leader.

Ambassador Chen said that over the past 23 years of diplomatic ties, the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and South Africa has been developing steadily. Under the joint guidance of leaders of the two countries and especially President Xi Jinping and President Ramaphosa, the two countries have deepened mutual political trust.We continued to expand practical cooperation and there has been dynamic cooperation in people-to-people exchanges and closer collaboration in international affairs. We are delivering a higher level of cooperation on all fronts.

Ambassador Chen pointed out that, this year, President Xi Jinping and President Ramaphosa have exchanged letters and attended meetings to discuss China-South Africa and China-Africa cooperation. It is especially worth noting that when the CPC celebrated its centenary, President Ramaphosa as ANC President, sent a congratulatory letter to General Secretary Xi Jinping. He also attended the CPC and World Political Parties Summit and delivered a warm speech. His remarks deepened the exchange of experiences in party and state governance between the two sides, which is of great significance for both China and South Africa to face challenges and seek development together. In terms of economic cooperation and trade, from January to August this year, bilateral trade between China and South Africa reached 34.72 billion US dollars, up by 65.7% year on year. Of that trade volume, South African exports to China reached 21.81 billion US dollars, up by 80.5% year on year. These figures show a strong vitality and momentum for growth, marking the highlight of China-South Africa cooperation. Since the outbreak of the epidemic, our two peoples have been looking out for each other and fighting against COVID-19 together. China’s Sinovac vaccine is conducting pediatric clinical trials in South Africa. The ANC, the SACP, the ANC Women's League, SASCO and other organizations have issued statements, and many government officials, experts and scholars have spoken out to support science-based COVID-19 origin-tracing. They spoke out against political manipulation, which injects strong positive energy into China-Africa and global cooperation against the virus. Our two countries coordinate and cooperate with each other in the UN, G20 and other multilateral occasions. We actively practice multilateralism, and jointly safeguard the shared interests of the majority of developing countries. Since the beginning of this year, South Africa has many times made statements at the UN Human Rights Council sessions in support of China's position for justice, manifesting our special bond of "camaraderie + brotherhood".

Ambassador Chen said that looking ahead, the Chinese side is ready to work with the South African side to deliver the common understandings of our two leaders to build a China-South Africa community with a shared future, so that we can together promote cooperation across the board. We will jointly hold a successful event on China-Africa cooperation, make the pie of economic and trade cooperation bigger, build bridges of communication and exchanges between our two peoples, and support true multilateralism. China is ready to work with South Africa and Africa to plan for better post-COVID cooperation and fight against the virus together. We are ready to work with your side for stronger post-COVID economic recovery and together put in concrete actions to advance a closer China-Africa community with a shared future.

Minister Godongwana said that the government and people of South Africa have the honor to join the government and the people of China in celebrating the 72th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. During these unprecedented times, China has proved to be resilient, and even more determined to try a new path towards continued economic growth and development as well as inclusive prosperity for its people. This year, in particular has been an auspicious one for China, as the Chinese Communist Party celebrated its 100th anniversary in July 2021, and also as China marches towards its two centenary goals to achieve the Chinese dream and promote the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Minister Godongwana pointed out that there are signs that our warm and brotherhood relationship have achieved comprehensive development and continues to grow stronger and more mature in terms of our similarities and affinities. South Africa and China are strong proponents of multilateralism. As founder members of BRICS, we have worked closely with all the BRICS partners in championing a more inclusive and equitable global order where no one is left behind. This close collaboration also extends in our common membership of the G20, especially in advancing the agenda of the South. The depth and extent of our cooperation and collaboration further manifests in China's Belt and Road initiative and the Forum on China Africa Cooperation. These initiatives have provided the African continent with sustained investment towards infrastructure development and rapid industrialization. Now more than ever, the African continent requires continued support to fight the so-called economic disruption caused by the pandemic. Further to this, South African looks forward to cooperation with China, on the manufacturing of vaccines, and further appreciates the country's commitment towards ensuring that vaccines stemming from such cooperation remain accessible and affordable for all.

General Secretary Nzimande spoke on behalf of the Communist Party of South Africa. He extended warm congratulations on the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and commended the ever-deepening high-level cooperation between the two parties and the two governments. Guests from all walks of life spoke highly of China's achievements over the past 72 years, and applauded China's success in its epidemic response and contribution to global governance. They expressed great confidence in China’s development in the post-COVID era and the prospect of China leading the world towards economic recovery. They expressed wishes to see China-South Africa friendship continue to deepen, and bilateral ties continue to move forward. Representatives of Chinese institutions and Chinese nationals in South Africa wished their motherland a happy birthday and great prosperity.

The reception also featured video clip reviewing memorable moments of China-South Africa friendship, performances such as "My Motherland and I" sung by diplomats from the Chinese Embassy and "The Moon Represents My Heart" sung by students from the Chinese language class run by the Tourism Ministry of South Africa. These performances attest to the profound friendship between the people of South Africa and the charm of cultural integration between the two countries.

During the live-streaming of the reception, South African netizens left positive comments, expressing warm congratulations on the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and best wishes to the Chinese government and people as well as the Chinese Embassy in South Africa. "Wish China even greater development in the future", "A big thank-you to China for its support for South Africa's development and fight against COVID-19", "I’m really excited about the prospect of China-South Africa relations", "China is 72 years old but still full of youthful vigor", "Long live South Africa-China friendship".

The event was broadcast live on the Embassy’s youtube and facebook accounts, Ambassador’s twitter account as well as video channels of Tencent News and People’s Daily Online. Journalists from more than 20 media organizations followed and covered the event, including mainstream media from South Africa such as Newzroom Afrika, The Star, Pretoria News, The Mercury, The Citizen, as well as Chinese media such as CCTV, Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily Online, among others.

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