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Speech at reception for 60th anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China--by Consul Gernal Fang Li

Ladies and gentlemen, good evening!

First, please allow me, on behalf of all the staff member of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Johannesburg, welcome all of you to the reception.

Tonight, we gather here with great pleasure to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of our great motherland.

60 years ago, on October 1st 1949, Chinese leader Mao Zedong declared the founding of the People's Republic of China on the Tian'anmen Rostrum in Beijing. The announcement opened a new era in Chinese history.

60 years is only a short moment in civilization, but during this period New China has created numerous miracles. China, once an impoverished semi-colonial, semi-feudal country, has transformed from a fragmented nation to a united one, from being bullied to being widely respected, from being poor and backward to being thriving and prosperous.

China has progressed more in a short period of 60 years than other countries did over hundreds of years. In 1952, the GDP of China was only 67.9 billion Yuan, and in 1978 it was 364.5 billion Yuan, but in 2008 the GDP exceeded over 30 trillion Yuan. Statistics show that China's GDP has increased by more than 400 times compared with six decades ago, and the product China created one day in year of 2008 is more than that created in the whole year of 1952.

30 years following the reform and opening up drive, China's economy increased by the average of 9.8% every year. Nowadays, "Made in China" is everywhere in the world. China now ranks third in the world in terms of aggregate economic volume and the Chinese people generally lead prosperous lives. China's growing national strength has enabled the country to host an increasing number of prestigious international events. Following the success of the Beijing Olympic Games, China will hold the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, the same year as South Africa holding FIFA 2010.

Over the past 60 years, in particular during the past 30 years of reform and opening-up, the Chinese people, built up a road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. China's economic strength has increased substantially and people's living standards have improved significantly. Consistent progress has been made in improving democracy and the legal system, in cultural and all-round social development, in national defense and the armed forces. Historic achievements have been made in the great cause of China's peaceful unification. Major progress has proceeded in all-directional diplomacy.

Today's China is full of vigor and hope. Today's Chinese people are spirited and energetic. The People's Republic of China, my motherland, Happy 60 year's Birthday to you!

At this moment, we shall not forget, at the far end of African Continent, there are Chinese people living in South Africa. They work hard, contributing much to the economy of South Africa. They are also bridges of friendship between China and South Africa.

At the moment of today's rapture, we shall not forget South Africa people, our friends and brothers.

Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and South Africa on Jan. 1st 1998, the two countries have gone through a fruitful 12 years. The Chinese people has firmly supported the South African anti-Apartheid struggle, and showed deep admiration for their accomplishment as a new nation. Collaboration areas have been extended continuously, especially the bilateral trade and economic cooperation enjoyed rapid growth. China's trade volume with South Africa shot up to 17.8 billion US dollars in 2008 from 1.7 billion US dollars in 1999, increased by more than 10 times. At the first half of 2009, China has become the biggest trade partner of South Africa, the largest import-source country and the export-destination country.

People from China and South Africa are kin as brothers. The "Strategic Partnership of Equality, Mutual-Benefit and Common Development" between the two countries will be deeper and closer. Under the worldwide economic crisis, China will continue to invest and support South Africa in its economy development and social programs. Hand-in-hand, China and South Africa will seek roads from crisis and go through the difficulties together.

Friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Let's memories the 60 years of extraordinary progress of the People's Republic of China,

Let's memories the 60 years of great travel through wind and rain of our great country,

Let me propose a toast:

To the Long live of our motherland,

To the everlasting friendship between China and South Africa

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