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To become Ambassador of China-Ghana Friendship in the New Era

Your Excellency Rebecca Akufo-Addo, First Lady of the Republic of Ghana,

Your Honorable Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister for Education of the Republic of Ghana,

Your Honorable Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior of the Republic of Ghana,

Your Honorable Catherine Afeku, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts of the Republic of Ghana,

Your Honorable Charles Owiredu, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of the Republic of Ghana,

Respected Mr. Kingsley Agyemang, Registrar of Scholarships Secretariat of the Republic of Ghana,

Dear Students,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

Welcome to my residence. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Ghana, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to Your Excellency Rebecca Akufo-Addo, First Lady of the Republic of Ghana. I would also like to express my sincere congratulations to all the students who have obtained Chinese Government Scholarship this year. My special thanks go to the staff at the Scholarships Secretariat for your hard work and professional dedication.

Today 40 representatives of the students under 2017/2018 Chinese Government Scholarship Program attend this occasion. You will be going to study in China next month and begin a new journey of life. I am so proud of you. For the majority of you, China is a remote and mysterious country. And what is China like? Let me tell you.

China is a country with a long history and it is open and inclusive. It is an important birthplace of human civilization. Chinese civilization has traversed over five thousand years with broad background and profound connotation. Out of the four ancient civilizations in the world, Chinese civilization is the only one that has not been interrupted and maintained its continuity. Chinese civilization is brilliant and also inclusive, promoting mutual learning and deep integration among civilizations. It gives birth to the diverse symbiosis of Chinese modern civilization, and helps to achieve common development and progress among different countries. China develops and enriches the human civilization with unique cultural thinking and performance. The Oracle bones and bronzes in the Shang Dynasty, the hundred schools of thoughts during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Period, the Terracotta Warriors and the ancient Great Wall in the Qin Dynasty, and etc, people across the world draw inspiration out of these from generation to generation. The ancient Silk Road connected China and Europe and the Maritime Silk Road once extended to Africa, which brought countries on the Road porcelain, silk and tea, and took back Buddhism, sugar, spices and so on. Nowadays, Chinese President Xi Jinping gives new meaning to the ancient Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road, mapping out the One Belt One Road Initiative. China will make efforts to integrate the development strategies of all countries on the Belt and Road and achieve common development and prosperity.

China is a country that is fast-growing and dynamic. Since the founding of new China, and especially since the reform and opening up, China has taken great stride in development. From a poverty stricken country, China has become the world’s second largest economy, largest trading nation in goods, largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, second largest outbound investor and largest outbound tourist market, more than 700 million people being lifted out of poverty. In recent years, the world economic recovery is weak, but the Chinese economy has maintained a stable and positive trend. In the first half of this year, China’s GDP grew by 6.9% and the economic structure has been optimized. China’s contribution to the world economic development reached 30% in 2016, and will bring more opportunities to the world in the future. However, we are soberly aware that China is still a developing country, and the problem of unbalanced development is outstanding. China’s GDP per capita in 2016 was US$8866, ranking 69th in the world, and more than 40 million people still live under poverty line in rural areas. At present, the Chinese people are striving hard to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Despite many difficulties and challenges, we are confident that our life will get better and better.

China is a country that is ambitious, pioneering and innovative. You must have heard of the four great inventions of ancient China, that is compass, gunpowder, paper-making and printing. But do you know the new four great inventions of China today? They are high-speed train, Alipay, sharing bicycles and online shopping. In 2016, the traffic mileage of China’s high-speed rail surpassed 20,000 kilometers. This figure is expected to surpass 45,000 kilometers by 2030, even longer than the earth’s equator. Up to July 2017, China’s Internet users exceed 700 million and generate the world’s largest online retail market, bringing Internet business opportunities and attracting shopaholics all over the world. The number of mobile payment account is more than 600 million, and you don’t have to worry about paying without purse when you have a cellphone in hand. Sharing bicycle has made Chinese people fulfill the spur-of-the-moment trip and it is the freshest example that China’s innovation is leading the world. The new four great inventions greatly improve Chinese people’s livelihood, and render China’s wisdom and China’s plan to the international community.

China is a country that is peaceful, harmonious and hospitable. In Chinese history, nearly all schools of thoughts gave top priority to peace. Some of you may have heard about the Art of War by Sunzi in ancient China. The first sentence of the book goes like this: The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected. The essence of it means be cautious about war or better no war. For thousands of years, peace has been integrated into the blood of the Chinese nation and carved into the genes of Chinese people. The thought of Peace and Harmony embodies the basic spirit of Chinese civilization, represents the ideal realm of relentless pursuit of the Chinese nation, and is integrated into all aspects of the domestic and foreign policy of the contemporary China. In people’s mentality, peace being of paramount importance and harmony without uniformity are well established; in governing the country, people-oriented approach and running the country with morality are implemented; in treating foreign countries, winning the people by virtue and befriending good neighbors are practiced. The Chinese civilization with the essence of Peace and Harmony has created a kind and generous personality of the Chinese people, and has given birth to a hospitable cultural tradition. Confucius once said, It is a delight to have friends coming from afar. China welcomes friends from all over the world who are peace-loving.

Ladies and gentlemen, Dear Friends,

China-Ghana friendship has a long history. Ghana is the second country in sub-Saharan Africa to establish diplomatic relations with China. Her founding president Dr. Nkrumah and Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai of China had nurtured deep friendship. Former President Kufuor, who served as Deputy Foreign Minister 46 years ago, voted to support the restoration of China’s legitimate seat at the United Nations and made outstanding contribution to the development of China-Ghana relations. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 57 years ago, the traditional friendship between China and Ghana has been continuously consolidated, and cooperation in various fields has flourished with abundant fruits.

Since the NPP government took office this January, H.E. President Akufo-Addo has firmly adhered to the friendly policy towards China and is committed to building a stronger Ghana-China relation. The office of H.E. Vice President Dr. Bawumia coordinates China-Ghana economic cooperation, which provides political guarantee at a very high level. Our mutual political trust has been consistently enhanced. In June, Vice President Dr. Bawumia led a large delegation to visit China and held fruitful talks and meetings with Chinese national leaders. The two sides reached a number of consensus on cooperation in the area of investment, financing, infrastructure and energy. This visit deepened the mutual political trust and pointed the direction for the future cooperation between the two countries.

In the first half of this year, bilateral trade volume between China and Ghana amounts to US$3.32 billion, ranking 6th among African countries and registering a 17.5% increase. Ghana’s exports to China reaches US$990 million, registering a 91.3% increase. Newly signed engineering contracts amount to US$1.371 billion, also ranking 6th in Africa. The completed turnover is US$523 million. The project on the construction of the new container terminal at Tema Port by Chinese enterprise is proceeding smoothly. The two electrification projects in the Northern, Eastern, Volta and other regions in Ghana are to be implemented in the coming days. Our cooperation in the area of building materials, aviation, automobile manufacturing, sanitation, oil and gas development have all scored remarkable achievements. This shows our two economies are highly complementary and our economic relations are mutually beneficial.

China has been receiving Ghanaian students since 1960. Up to now, a total of 1,006 Ghanaian students have received Chinese government scholarships. Currently, 5,516 Ghanaian students are studying in China, and this number has ranked top of all African students in China for three consecutive years. The Chinese government has been continuously providing human resources training programs to the Ghanaian government. Last year, 1,200 Ghanaian people received training in China, and this number ranked top of all foreigners who received training programs in China. This year, 467 people have already completed their training programs in China. In September, China will invite 10 young Ghanaian people from different walks of life to participate in the Second Asian-African Youth Festival. In October, the Chinese Hanban will assign a martial arts delegation to visit Ghana to stage wonderful Chinese martial arts performance for Ghanaian people. Besides, China also helps Ghana to improve its education infrastructure. China has aided construction of primary schools in rural areas, the New Century Vocational Training School Expansion Project in Accra, the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho, and used the Chinese loan to implement Distance Education Project in the University of Ghana. Two Confucius Institutes have been established in Ghana. Since 2014, the Chinese Embassy has donated eight China-Ghana Friendship ICT Classrooms in seven regions in Ghana to enable the students in rural and remote areas to use the Internet and realize their dreams of hope.

Under the new situation, China is willing to work hand in hand with the new Ghanaian government to seize the opportunity for implementing the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative, and promote China-Ghana friendly relations to a new high level.

Dear Students,

All of you shoulder the great expectation of the nation and the future of Ghana. I sincerely wish you would have a happy life in China. I believe that you will cherish the good times, study hard and learn useful knowledge. I also believe that you will inject new impetus into China-Ghana friendly relations and become Ambassador of China-Ghana friendship in the new era. The future belongs to you and Ghana’s tomorrow relies on you!

Thank you.

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