The Chinese ambassador to The Gambia Zhang Jiming has hailed the significant progress made in the bilateral relationship between The Gambia and China, saying the past year had witnessed the vitality of the relationship between the two countries.
He made these remarks at the 2018 Chinese New Year Gala Reception on Saturday in a colourful ceremony held at the Chinese Embassy in Bijilo.
Addressing the gathering, the ambassador expressed his delight as the head of the Chinese mission to The Gambia and to witness the event he described as "auspicious and joyous time of the year as the celebration of the Chinese New Year and the 53rd Independence Anniversary of The Gambia coincides". He said the Chinese New Year Gala reception this year is the first of its kind.
The ambassador said the celebration was a reflective of the deepening friendship between The Gambia and China and their peoples.
"The past year witnessed the significant progress of The Gambia and the relationship between China and The Gambia; preceded by the visits to China by Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe and Speaker Fatou Jack Denton of the National Assembly," he said.
"His Excellency President Barrow paid a successful visit to China last December, during which President Xi Jinpin and President Barrow reached broad consensus on strengthening cooperation in a wide range of areas including cultural exchanges and people to people links, mapping out a new blueprint for deepening bilateral relations"
"I am pleased to note that while scaling higher heights in our bilateral cooperation, we are making as much efforts to deepen our mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples"
According to Ambassador Jiming, The Gambia and China though have different cultures in many ways, are rich in their own cultures and are willing to learn about and appreciate other cultures. He said it is only when different cultures and civilizations respect each other and live in harmony and promote friendship through exchanges and mutual understanding and appreciation can different cultures become richer and live more colourful.
The occasion was graced by Chinese in the country, government officials, diplomats, the media and Gambian students in China.
Spectacular performance was done by the wives of Chinese diplomats coupled with a performance from a local dancing troupe.