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From Follower to Pacemaker
Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to Ghana H.E. Mdm. Sun Baohong at the Final of Enactus Ghana 2017

(8th June, 2017)

Respected Mr. Baba Sayuti, Country Leader of Enactus Ghana,

Respected Members of Board of Directors,

Teachers and Students,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon! Let me begin by extending my sincere gratitude to Mr. Sayuti for inviting me to attend the final of the national competition of Enactus Ghana, and my congratulations to the teams reaching the final.

It is my fourth time to stand before you since my assumption of office as Chinese Ambassador to Ghana. I have followed the performance of successive champion teams of Ghana in the international arena. Last year in Canada, your projects, which focused on the livelihood and employment of people with psychological issues, fully demonstrated the care and social responsibility of the youth in Ghana. Through this platform, brilliant student also know more about the world, including China. You went to Beijing, and you know China’s economic development, innovation-driven development and entrepreneurship. .

This time I would like to expound on China’s science and technology. Recently, China has achieved a number of major breakthroughs in the field of science and technology, like an oil well blowing out incessantly. On April 26, China launched it first homemade aircraft carrier into the sea. On April 27, China sent its first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 into the space to complete refueling to China’s second space lab Tiangong-2. On May 3, China gave birth to the first quantum computer in the world. On May 5, the first Chinese-built long-distance passenger jet C919 made its maiden flight. On May 18, China successfully conducted a trial exploration of marine natural gas hydrates. The rapid progress of Chinese technology dazzled the international community. People can not help but ask, why China is able to achieve such rapid development? I think there may be three reasons as follows.

----First, make full play the advantages of the state institution. The Chinese political institution is based on drawing in the wisdom of five-thousand-year Chinese civilization, absorbing nutrients from different civilizations, summarizing profoundly the development of the Chinese nation in years after the founding of New China and the great practice in the era of reform and opening up. It conforms to the basic national conditions. Chinese President Xi Jinping once said, "Our biggest advantage is that our socialist system can mobilize resources on major tasks, which is an important magic weapon for our achievements." The Constitution of China stipulates that the state organs of the People's Republic of China apply the principle of democratic centralism. This not only ensures the high efficiency of decision-making and implementation, but also avoids arbitrary power. We can focus on the allocation of more social resources to meet the needs of certain fields, which makes China accomplish a number of great deeds in the manned space flight, aviation, computer, defense industry and other fields. On the other hand, our system centers on the interests of the people, seeking driving force among the people, promoting development by the people, creating benefits to the people, and stimulating the innovation of the people. In recent years, China has been promoting mass entrepreneurship and innovation to encourage the people who have dreams, have the will and have the ability, may it be scientific personnel, university graduates or migrant workers, to start new businesses and contribute to the overall sci-tech innovation.of the country..

----Second, resolutely implement the strategy of developing science and technology. When the People’s Republic of China was founded, it was weak in economy. Chinese leaders looked far ahead and defined the first long-term plan of science and technology development, calling on people nationwide to "march towards science". During that difficult time, China's first atomic bomb and hydrogen bomb were successfully detonated, and the first man-made Earth satellite Dongfanghong-1 was successfully launched. All these have established China as a leading country in technology. Over the past 30 plus years of reform and opening up, China has been promoting the deep integration of technology and economy. We have mapped out the "863 Plan", "Spark Program" and "Torch Plan", and drawn up national strategies of revitalization of science and education as well as talents and innovation-driven development. Science and technology become the primary productive forces, and provide steady driving force to the national economic development. And a national economy with growing strength in return catalyzes the rapid development of science and technology. It has not take long before China leads the world in the detection of dark matter particle, supercomputers, radio telescopes, quantum communications, space experiments, ultra-high-power, ultra-short pulse laser and other key areas of technology. Recently, China's central leadership brought up the five development ideas of innovation, coordination, green, open and share, of which innovation is placed at core position.. At the opening ceremony of the just-concluded Belt and Road Forum For International Cooperation, President Xi indicated that We should pursue innovation-driven development and intensify cooperation in frontier areas such as digital economy, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and quantum computing, and advance the development of big data, cloud computing and smart cities so as to turn them into a digital silk road of the 21st century.

--Third, stick to the national spirit of maintaining independence, patriotic dedication and striving for excellence. Chinese ancient sages have always had a strong feeling for our motherland and a strong sense of social responsibility. “To ordain conscience for Heaven and Earth. To secure life and fortune for the people. To continue lost teachings for past sages. To establish peace for all future generations”. These ideas are respected and inherited by the Chinese people. Western countries used to conduct technology blockade against new China when it was founded.. It was extremely hard for China to develop science and technology. Despite the obstruction of certain authorities in Western countries, a number of Chinese scientists who established themselves successfully in western world went back to China without hesitation and joined the construction of science and technology with patriotic heart and selfless dedication. These scientists, together with those brought up in China, explored truth from sky to earth, and led China to an independent road of science and technology through years of unremitting efforts. Hard work paid back. Up to now, China has launched a total of 11 Shenzhou series of spacecrafts, built space station Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2, and carried out lunar exploration program known as Chang'e. We built the Beidou navigation test system and became the third to own the independent satellite navigation system after the United States and Russia. Behind every scientific and technological achievement are numerous moving stories. Chinese scientist, engineers and technicians spare no effort in performing duties and devote all their lives to their country and people. China cannot get the long-term development and breakthrough of science and technology only by the cold digital theory. It is the national spirit of "love the motherland, selfless dedication, self-reliance, hard work, strong coordination and the courage to conquer" that makes China one of the most powerful pillars of the world in science and technology.

Teachers and Students, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Scientific and technological innovation has profoundly changed the world pattern. China has become the world’s second largest economy, and science and innovation are playing an increasingly important role in driving economic development. China is willing to strengthen the experience exchanges and pragmatic cooperation in science, technology and innovation with developing countries, particularly helping the African countries in the construction of science and technology to bring benefits to the people of Africa.

Ghana shares in common with China on attaching great importance to the scientific and technological development. The founding father of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, established the Museum for Science and Technology in 1965. The museum’s exhibits embody the scientific progress made by the diligent and intelligent Ghanaian people, and inspire the young generation to explore the science and technology. The current President Nana Akufo Addo also stressed to carry out independent science research. China, based on its own development experiences, is willing to deepen science and technology cooperation with Ghana in an all-round way, so as to help Ghana elevate the self innovation capacity and realize industrialization and upgrading of economy.

The Chinese side will carry out technology transfer and cooperation with Ghana. China’s engineering technology has made great progress with efforts of several generations, such as construction of high-speed railway, bridge, tunnel, high voltage power transmission and transformation. These technologies and projects prevail the world. In recent years, China has transferred technologies to Ghana through the cooperation in nuclear industry, utilization of oil and gas, automobile manufacturing, grid upgrading, regional aviation, harbor expansion, etc. The cooperation has spawned a troupe of Ghana’s local star enterprises, and has significant demonstration effect on China-Africa technology cooperation. Our cooperation on low enrichment of miniature neutron source reactor creates the unique “Ghana Mode” for other countries to cooperate with China in micro reactor. China’s cardiologists have performed 19 surgeries for heart diseases in Kumasi Teaching Hospital for last 2 years and taught the local doctors and nurses to operate during surgeries. Recently, the Ghanaian government released the flagship policy of “Planting for Food and Jobs” for prospering Ghana’s agricultural economy. China has significant advantages on breeding, seed production and planting high-yield crops which are needed by Ghana to increase grain yield and ensure food security. In the future, we can move further on technology cooperation, and achieve more fruitful results in the areas of energy, marine science and technology, antimalarial treatment, and Internet+.

China will step up the efforts of helping the development of human resources in Ghana. Currently, nearly 5,000 Ghanaian students are studying in China, making Ghana the largest source of African students in China. Last year, more than 1,300 Ghanaian professionals went to China for vocational training, which ranks the first across the world. China is committed to bringing up more high-end talents in science for Ghana and 516 Ghanaian students went to China for study with various kinds of scholarship. Many Ghanaian students are studying hard on the post-graduate programs of engineering technology, computer, and medical science. Wherever in the economic governance team of H.E. Vice President or in the Kumasi Teaching Hospital, I can always find Ghanaian friends who once studied in China and can speak Chinese language fluently. They are devoted to Ghana’s economic construction and China-Ghana friendship by using the knowledge they have learned in China. The Ghanaian government has included China’s loan project of upgrading of polytechnic and technical institutes in Ghana as a priority project in the 2017 budget. This is a very important project and China will make fresh and lasting contribution to training more technique personnel for the industrialization of Ghana

Teachers and Students, Ladies and Gentlemen,

China used to be very poor, and most of the Chinese people lived below the poverty line. They could not enjoy the major benefits of previous Industrial Revolutions to the world. Nowadays, Chinese people travel around the country without cash and enjoy the life by only one smart phone which can make electronic payment easily. Science and technology have deeply changed the life. The world is on the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. China failed to grasp some good opportunities in the past, but now is very determined to change its identity from a follower to a pacemaker by taking the initiative in leading the global trend of science and innovation as the driving force of development. China will always commit itself to working together with developing countries to realize common development. China will strengthen scientific and technological cooperation with Ghana, and make China-Ghana cooperation a model case leading China-Africa cooperation.

Thank you!

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