Ambassador Yang Youming & Dr. Kenneth David Buchizya Kaunda host 2017 Chinese Spring Festival Temple Fair in Zambia
By Chinese Ambassador H.E. Mr. Yang Youming
14th January 2017
Remarks at the 2017 Chinese Spring Festival Temple Fair in Zambia
Your Honourable Mr. Charles Banda, Minister of Tourism and Arts,
Honourable Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, other Senior government officials,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Representatives of International or Regional Organizations,
Head and members of the Nanjing Song and Dance Ensemble,
Fellow Chinese compatriots,
Friends from the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning! We are happy to gather here with all the distinguished guests at the 2017 Chinese Spring Festival Temple Fair in Zambia, organized by the Chinese Embassy in Zambia and undertaken by Zambia Chinese Association.
I wish to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to His Honourable Mr. Charles Banda, Minister of Tourism and Arts for his presence which shows the great importance on the development of China-Zambia relations and the good will toward the Chinese people from the Zambian Government and His Honourable. At the same time, I also wish to extend my gratitude to all friends from various circles for your support and assistance to this Fair. My special thanks go to the Nanjing Art Troupe for coming to perform in Zambia.
Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival in China, and it symbolizes the end of the winter and the coming of the spring, new year begins and everything will take on a new look. During the festival, people in China hold various activities and celebrations such as family parties, temple fairs, lantern displays and firework shows, creating an atmosphere of happiness, hope, peace and harmony.
Originated in China, Spring Festival attracts more and more foreign friends and overseas Chinese to gather together, celebrating the festival, sharing the happiness, experiencing the unique charm of Chinese culture. I am happy that we have successfully held temple fairs for the last 4 years in Lusaka, with each and every one warmly received by both Chinese and local communities. I am sure that, with your active support and participation, the Fifth Temple Fair will achieve great success again.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 52 years ago, China and Zambia have established all-weather friendly cooperative relationship on the basis of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit, and the mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas are increasingly expanding.
The high level visits between our two countries are frequent. Last year, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, H.E. Mr. Zhang Dejiang paid an official goodwill visit to Zambia and attended the 134th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union(IPU), H.E. Mr. Ma Biao, Special Envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference(CPPCC) attended President Lungu’s inauguration ceremony. And Zambia’s 10 Provincial Ministers took part in a exclusive development workshop in China, exchanging experiences on the socio-economic development with the Chinese side. As we are in the New Year only for two weeks, we’ve already had two ministerial visits from China, including the visit by Honourable Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Such frequent high level exchanges have greatly promoted the bilateral political mutual trust and the cooperation in various areas.
The bilateral economic and trade cooperation is expanding fast. Chinese investment in Zambia continues to increase, and amounts to over 3 billion US dollars, with the rate of increase ranking the first in Africa last year and with private investment in the lead. Currently, apart from implementing existing projects, such as the expansion of the Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital, the construction of new milling plants, the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, the Lower Kafue Gorge Hydro Power Plant and the new Ndola International Airport, new projects under the framework of FOCAC are being discussed between the two sides. I am sure that, these and future cooperation projects will bring benefit the Zambian people, and give a strong boost to the Zambian socio-economic development, as well as China-Zambia friendly relations.
Cultural and educational exchanges are on the increase. At present, more than 2,000 Zambian students including last year’s record number of 200 Zambian students, are studying in China. A series of activities in cooperation and exchanges in areas of artistic performance, visual art and relic protection took place last year. For example, Chinese painters held an Exhibition in Lusaka, and Zambian artists displayed their works in China. It is also worth mentioning that the Zambian side organized a first ever road show in 5 Chinese cities, successfully displaying rich Zambian cultural heritage in China.
Today, we have with us the Nanjing Song and Dance Ensemble, which is a well known cultural group in China. Apart from wonderful songs and dances, they will also bring us some Chinese music, played on traditional Chinese musical instruments, Pipa and Erhu. I hope you will enjoy their performance. I will not fail to mention that today’s event is part of the “Happy Chinese New Year”, a signature cultural program launched across the globe during the Spring Festival by the Ministry of Culture of China.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
2017 is the Year of the Rooster according to the Chinese Zodiac. Rooster symbolizes many good traits, including hard-working, high spirit, brightness and hope in the Chinese traditional culture. I wish that, with continued effort and contribution from our two peoples, our families will enjoy happiness, our countries will achieve peace and prosperity, and our bilateral relations between China and Zambia will continue to flourish in the new year.
Finally, I wish you all happiness, good health and success in all your endeavors in the Year of the Rooster! Thank you!