Today, we are gathered here to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival, the most important Chinese traditional festival, to welcome the arrival of the Lunar Year of the Pig.
This is a party for all of us, Chinese compatriots in Zimbabwe and our Zimbabwean friends. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe, I would like to express my most sincere greetings to all of you here. Wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Pig!
Special thanks shall go to Honourable Minister of Information Mrs. Monica Mutsvangwa and government officials from Zimbabwean Government.
Your gracious presence illustrates the Government's recognition of the contribution and role of the Chinese community here.
As we enjoy the performance, let us not forget those who have worked hard and made contributions to make it possible.
I would like to express my appreciation to the Chamber of Chinese enterprises, Zimbabwe Chinese Business Association, Chinese Federation of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification of China, Golden Peacock Villa Hotel, China-Africa Economic and Cultural Exchange and Research Centre, Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation and all the volunteers. Let's put our hands together and give them a big round of applause!
The New Year is a time that we bid farewell to the past and usher in the future.
2018 was a year of action for the bilateral relations between China and Zimbabwe and great achievements have been made. H.E. President Emmerson Mnangagwa successfully visited China twice and the bilateral relations have been elevated to the level of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation.
Kariba South Expansion Project has been completed, adding 300MW power generation capacity to national grid. We have launched ground-breaking ceremony for the Hwange Thermal Power Station Expansion Project.
We have launched ground-breaking ceremony for Harare International Airport rehabilitation project.
We have launched ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of New Parliament Building project.
In one word, some 2.5 billion US dollars of loans, investments and grants have been provided by the Chinese government, financial institutions and enterprises to Zimbabwe, much larger share than most other African countries..
All of us are benefiting from the fruitful cooperation. Zimbabwe will have the capacity to export electricity to earn the much needed hard currency very soon.
We work, cook with the electricity from Kariba South Expansion project financed by China Exim bank.
Everyone is closely connected with China-Zimbabwe cooperation.
So I want say that we have to pay more attention to China's development and try to find the opportunities for cooperation, the secrets and resources for Zimbabwe's development can be found in China.
In 2018, China continued to serve as the important upholder of the international order. At international summits such as the G20, APEC and BRICS, President Xi Jinping(China) took a clear stand against protectionism and unilateralism, calling for joint efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind, opposing any move by big powers to impose or threaten to impose sanctions against other countries.
We strongly support Zimbabwe's demand to remove the sanctions. China sought to promote a more equitable and fair system of global governance. In a turbulent world, China emerged as a pillar of stability.
In 2018 , China continued to serve as the powerful engine of world economic growth. China celebrated the 40th anniversary of Reform and Opening-up. In the past decades, China's economic growth averaged 9.5percente.
Thanks to 40 years of reform and opening-up, China has become the world's second largest economy and is poised to be the world's biggest consumer market.
In the coming years, China will import 24 trillion dollars worth of goods and invest 750 billion dollars in foreign countries.
These figures speak volumes for the enormous business opportunities in China and the great potential for the China-Zimbabwe bilateral cooperation.
In 2018, China continued to serve as the important driver of international cooperation. Last year was the fifth year since President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative.
With growing interest from the world, another 60-plus countries and international organisations signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements with China, bringing the total number of such documents to nearly 170. A number of major Belt and Road projects saw solid progress.
At the same time, Great achievements have been made in China's cooperation with other developing countries. At the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which attracted unprecedented participation, over 100 new cooperation measures under eight major initiatives were unveiled, with US$60 billion financing in place for African countries including Zimbabwe.
In 2018, here Zimbabwe went through ups and downs and withstood the hardships. Every country has its own problems and headaches. No country has a smooth journey of national development and Rome was not built in a day. Let's be patient and give the development a Chance.
China has strong confidence in the government and people of Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
It can be reflected in the Sunny Yi Feng Project built along the road to Norton with hundreds of local workers are employed and thousands of job opportunities will be created later.
Here you have rich resources and talented young people. Zimbabwe will achieve development after unremitting efforts. Tomorrow will get better and better and better.
This year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
We have very high expectations for the coming new year. Beautiful life and bright future can only be created by our two hands. Let's roll up our sleeves and work harder together.
We expect that Zimbabwe will continue to maintain peace and stability. We expect that Zimbabwe will deepen reform and come up with more policies to attract more foreign investment. We expect the bilateral relations will strengthen by each passing day.
We will provide more grants and assistance, we will provide more loans and we will bring in more investments. Next week, a high-powered, 35 member Chinese business delegation will visit Zimbabwe and promote cooperation in agricultural production, manufacturing sector and special economic zone construction.
We will also encourage the Chinese community and Chinese enterprises in Zimbabwe to actively participate in the economic development of Zimbabwe and make new contributions to Zimbabwe's recovery and rejuvenation and realization of vision 2030. The Chinese Embassy has been determined, as always, to try its best to provide the best service to all sides.
A new year brings new hopes. China looks forward to working more closely with Zimbabwe, to embrace a brighter future for all of us. No one can hold back the wheels of the history and the wheels of the bilateral relations. The successes will always belong to us ultimately.
At last, let's put our hands together and give a big round of applause to the directors of ceremony and all the actors and actresses for their wonderful performance they will give us.
Wish all of you enjoy the show!
Mr Zhao Baogang, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy made these remarks at the 2019 Spring Festival Gala on Sunday in the presence of various dignitaries and diplomatic corps.