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Speech by H.E. Gu Xiaojie, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria at the Movie Reception Observing the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of China-Nigeria Strategic Partnership

Speech by H.E. Gu Xiaojie, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria at the Movie Reception Observing the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of China-Nigeria Strategic Partnership

(Abuja, 27 August 2015)

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we gather here to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of China-Nigeria Strategic Partnership, a festive occasion for both countries. I wish to take this opportunity to extend to you, and through you, to the brotherly Nigerian people cordial greetings and best wishes of the Chinese Government and people. I would also like to thank the representatives from the media and think-tanks of Nigeria, as well as Chinese media agencies in Nigeria present here. All of you have been making valuable contributions to further understanding and broader cooperation between our two countries and peoples. I also hope to express my most sincere congratulations to the successful general election in Nigeria, which open a new era and bring new opportunities to Nigerian people and also China-Nigeria relations.

Nigeria takes great pride in its movies, which is well-known as Nollywood, its name card in the world. Movies have become a window for us not only to understand Nigeria better, but also enable us to find so many common values shared by both Nigerian and Chinese peoples, namely, patriotism, industriousness, wisdom, perseverance, innovation and etc. Tonight, we will introduce to you a Chinese documentary named The Chinese Dream, in which you will see a dynamic and motivated China that is dedicated to realizing its aspiration of economic prosperity, social wellbeing, people’s happiness and national rejuvenation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In April 2005, following the trend of times, China and Nigeria, the most populous developing countries in Asia and Africa respectively, declared the establishment of Strategic Partnership, which lifted the bilateral ties to a new high and sounded the clarion to form an all-directional, multi-layered and wide-ranging cooperation. Since then, the political mutual trust between our two countries has been enhanced, economic ties forged closer, and mutual understanding between our two peoples deepened further.

During the past 10 years, our two countries have witnessed frequent exchanges of high-level visits, which yielded a lot of fruits. Last year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Nigeria and reached extensive consensus with Nigerian leaders. This year, H.E. Mr. Han Changfu, Special Envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Minister of Agriculture attended the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari and exchanged views on bilateral cooperation when meeting with President Buhari.

During the past 10 years, the cooperations between our two sides in the areas such as infrastructure, energy, finance, aerospace and telecommunication have scored impressive achievements. The bilateral trade volume in 2014 reached 18.1 billion US dollars, a record-breaking figure almost amounts to 6 times of that in 2005. Now Nigeria has become the largest engineering contracting market, the second largest export market, the third largest trading partner and major investment destination of China in Africa. The Chinese enterprises have established and developed industries in Nigeria, creating great wealth as well as tens of thousands of jobs for the local people. A series of major projects by Chinese enterprises such as Abuja Light Rail, Lagos Rail Mass Transit System and Abuja-Kaduna railway have largely improved the infrastructure of Nigeria and changed the life of Nigerian people.

During the past 10 years, people-to-people engagement and cultural exchanges between our two countries have become increasingly vibrant in wide areas of education, culture, science and technology, health and etc. As the ancient Chinese saying goes, “Amity between people holds the key to sound relations between countries”. China has established one Chinese Culture Center, two Confucius Institutes and four Chinese Language Teaching Centers in Nigeria. When Ebola virus tortured Nigeria and other west African countries, threatening people’s life last year, Chinese government and people stood firmly with them and took a series of actions at the first moment to support Ebola-hit counties, including providing emergency assistance in cash, epidemic prevention and medical appliance, building biology lab and treatment centers, deploying doctors and public health experts. So far, China has provided assistance in varied forms worth more than 120 million US dollars to Ebola-hit countries including Nigeria.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the past decades, China-Africa relations have kept good momentum of over-all development, with growing political mutual trust and frequent high-level exchanges, roaring fruitful economic cooperation and deepening mutual understanding between Chinese and African peoples. In 2014, the trade volume between China and Africa reached $ 221.8 billion, registering an increase of more than 2000 times over the 1960 figure. For six years in a row, China has been Africa’s largest trade partner. China’s FDI in Africa has grown from zero to $28.5 billion, creating tangible benefits to both Chinese and African peoples. In 2014, there are 41,677 African students studying in China.

The Chinese side attaches high importance to developing a new type of partnership with Africa featuring win-win cooperation. The essence of the policy of the Chinese leadership is that China is willing to integrate its own development with independent and sustainable development of African countries, so as to realize common development. In this context, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) serves as an important catalyst to further China-Africa relationship. In the past 15 years, five Ministerial Conferences of the FOCAC have been held and provided an important platform and effective mechanism for conducting collective dialogue and enhancing practical cooperation between China and Africa. For the last 15 years, with the joint efforts of China and Africa, the FOCAC has not only played an important role in development, but also driven other major countries to put more investment in and play more attention to Africa. We shall endeavor to continue improving this mechanism, making it more beneficial and efficient to yield more fruitful results.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the FOCAC. The sixth ministerial meeting of the FOCAC will be held at the end of this year. China will, together with Africa and in accordance with its needs, explore cooperation in such new fields as helping it speed up industrialization, establish and improve public health system, and promote peace and stability, as well as deepen such traditional cooperation as trade, investment, education, science and technology. This meeting will surely be a historic event featuring solidarity, cooperation, mutual benefit and win-win results between China and Africa. China is looking forward to working closely with Nigeria and other African countries to make the sixth Ministerial Conference a complete success.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 70th anniversary of victory of the world anti-fascism war and Chinese People’s War Against Japanese Aggression. More than seven decades ago, German fascists and Japanese militarists launched the barbaric war of aggression which caused unprecedented catastrophe in human history. Chinese People’s War Against Japanese Aggression started the earliest, lasted the longest and was fought under the most difficult conditions. In this great struggle for national survival, numerous sons and daughters of Chinese nation made huge sacrifice. Chinese People’s War Against Japanese Aggression opened up the main theater on the east front of the world anti-fascism war. At the cost of 35 million casualties, China tied down most of the Japanese militarist forces and supported the Allies’ operation in the European and Pacific theaters, making an extraordinary contribution to the final victory of the World War Two and global peace.

This year, China will solemnly hold a series of commemorative activities for the 70th anniversary of the victory of Chinese People’s War Against Japanese Aggression and the world anti-fascism war. I especially want to draw your attention to the coming September 3 Military Parade, in which 30 Heads of State and Government, 19 Senior Representatives of Government and 10 Heads of international organizations will participate. The purpose of these events is to remind people across the world of the profound lessons from WWII, to firmly uphold the right view on the history of WWII, to safeguard the post-war international order, and to resolutely oppose any attempt to whitewash militarist aggression or falsify history. This is not only about respecting history, honoring the memory of heroes and reaffirming commitment to peace, but also about creating a more peaceful and brighter future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nearly 37 years ago, Mr. Deng Xiaoping, Chief Architect of China’s reform, pointed out that development is the absolute principle. Since then, China has become the world’s second largest economy, the biggest goods trading country, the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves, the third largest foreign investing country, and the largest trading partner for nearly 130 countries. While China remains the largest developing country in the world. Its per capita GDP is about 7500 US dollars, ranking behind 80th in the world. Development in China is uneven between urban and rural areas and between different regions, and China has more than 200 million people living under the poverty line according to the World Bank standard. China is now striving hard to get rid of backwardness and realize the Chinese dream.

Recently, there is an internationally growing concern about the devaluation of RMB. The reform of middle-rate of RMB is an adjustment in the means of improving the market-oriented RMB exchange rate regime. This devaluation of RMB doesn’t result from government intervention, but market self-regulation. This round of fluctuation of RMB exchange rate only reflects the change of RMB exchange rate against USD, and the two-way fluctuation of RMB should be normal. Currently, China’s economy remains stable and enjoys a rapid growth with a sufficient foreign exchange reserve and many regulating means; there is no foundation for RMB to depreciate on a sustained basis, and RMB exchange rate will maintain stable at a reasonable and balanced level. The main driving force of China’s economy lies in domestic demand, which is being unleashed effectively. Hence, there is no need for China to ensure economic performance through stimulating export by devaluing its currency, and China never adopts a quantitative easing to guide RMB to devalue. Meanwhile, China has taken the concerns of all relevant parties into consideration when adjusting its monetary policy and reform measures. The sustained growth of China’s economy is the largest contribution and primary responsibility to neighboring and global economy. Only through market-oriented reform can China adapt to the economic “New Normal”, safeguard financial stability, and expand import and investment abroad, making more contributions to world economy. In addition, given that China is a major manufacturing not financial country and RMB is not an international reserve currency, the spillover effect resulting from fluctuation of RMB cannot amount to that of USD.

As the largest developing countries and biggest economies in Asia and Africa respectively, both China and Nigeria are facing the similar arduous task of achieving modernization. Nigeria is planning to develop infrastructure, power industry, manufacturing sector, agriculture, textile and to tap the potentials of mineral resources, and these are some of the areas that China is well equipped and ready to cooperate, because we have such expertise, financing, technology and management, which are all needed by the Nigerian side. China and Nigeria are highly complementary, and the linkage and cooperation in industries between the two countries would be full of great potential. We hope to work closely with Nigerian government to enrich the content of China-Nigeria Strategic partnership to foster the win-win cooperation for the wellbeing and prosperity of our two countries. There is a Chinese saying which goes, “A single flower does not make a spring”. China wishes to cooperate with Nigeria to make the flowers of bilateral cooperation and friendship bloom more beautifully.

Thank you!

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