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Consul General Tang Zhongdong Published Signed Article to Warmly Celebrate the 72nd Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
    In order to warmly celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, on September 29, the Chinese Consul General in Johannesburg Mr. Tang Zhongdong published signed article in Star and Business Day under the title of The People's Republic of China Celebrates 72 Years and Forges Ahead to Reach for New Success.

The full text is as follows:

    All the Chinese people both at home and abroad are celebrating the 72nd birthday of the People's Republic of China on 1 Oct 2021.

    For 72 years, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people of all ethnic groups have united and worked hard to achieve unprecedented achievements in history and successfully exploring a socialist road with Chinese characteristics that suits China's own national conditions. The Chinese people's sense of gain, happiness and security has also been constantly increasing.

    With a civilization of more than 5 000 years, China has been at the forefront of the world for a long time, but it has also been bullied by foreign powers and even faced the danger of national extinction. In the course of frequent comparisons in history and repeated battles between various political forces, the Chinese Communist Party was finally born in the process of combining Marxism from the West, with the Chinese workers' movement. The CPC established the People's Republic of China in 1949 by uniting and leading the Chinese people, crossing one ditch after another, and achieving one victory after another.  There are four great successes that have been achieved by the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC, mainly:

    • Achieving great success in the new-democratic revolution.

    After 28 years of bloody battles from 1921 to 1949, the war against Japanese imperialists was won. From that the New Democratic Revolution was completed, and the People's Republic of China was established. The Chinese people had stood up, signalling the time in which the Chinese nation could be bullied and abused by others was gone forever.

    Achieving great success in socialist revolution and construction.

    After 29 years of hard work from 1949 to 1978, the socialist revolution and transformation were fully completed. An independent and relatively complete industrial system and national economic system were initially developed, and socialism was established as China's basic system. This formed part of laying a solid foundation for the development and progress of contemporary China. Practice has proven that only socialism could have saved and developed China!

    Achieving great success in reform, opening up, and socialist modernisation.

    The reform and opening up policy, which started since 1978, has been a crucial move in making China what it is today, and putting China on the path towards being a strong nation. 40 years of reform and opening up have greatly stimulated the creativity of the people and substantially liberated and developed the social productive forces. Since then, China had caught up with the times in great strides

    Achieving great success of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

    In 2012, socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era. The CPC central collective leadership with President Xi Jinping at the core have surmounted difficulties and forged ahead. The Party and the country have made historic achievements and changes, and continued to write a new chapter of socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era. This laid a solid foundation for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Chinese nation has achieved tremendous transformation - it has stood up, grown rich, and become strong. The great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has entered an irreversible historical process!

    President Xi Jinping declared on behalf of the Party and the people at the Ceremony marking the Centenary of the CPC that through the continued efforts of the whole Party and the entire nation that, "We have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China."

    The CPC has secured extraordinary historical achievements on behalf of the people. Today, it is rallying and leading the Chinese people on a new journey toward realizing the second centenary goal.

    The blueprint for the new journey has been drawn. By 2035, China will likely realise socialist modernisation on the basis of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects; from 2035 to the middle of this century, it will build a strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious and beautiful modern socialist country and achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. This is the new goal of the Chinese people in the next few decades.

    Under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people have made remarkable achievements, and we have reason to be proud of them. However, we as Chinese people will never be complacent on the past achievements. We will be prepared for danger in times of peace, maintain strategic determination, make more arduous efforts, and calmly deal with various difficulties and problems on the way ahead.

    Recently, some Western media and so-called analysts callously commented on China's achievements in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, arguing that strict measures would cost China a high economic and social price. In actually, China practices the "people-centred" principle, upholds the concept of "people first, life first", and protects people's lives and health at all costs, which we believe is worthwhile. For this reason, China got the essence of pandemic control and in 2020, became the first among all the countries in the world to control the pandemic, resume work and production, and turn its economic growth from negative to positive. In 2020, China was the only major economy in the world to achieve positive growth. In 2021, China's economy has continued to grow. Many international institutions such as the World Bank, Fitch and S&P Global Ratings have expressed their confidence in China's economic growth.

    Against the backdrop of COVID-19 - that has not yet been effectively controlled and a weak world economic recovery - a batch of major reform and opening-up initiatives have been outlined to enhance the endogenous engines for growth and stimulate market vitality, such as stabilizing the "six fronts" in employment: finance, foreign trade, foreign inbound investment, domestic investment, and market expectations, and guaranteeing the security of "six priorities." These six priorities consist of jobs, daily living needs, the interests of market players, food and energy, industrial and supply chains and the smooth functioning of primacy-level governments. China also developed the policy of "dual circulation" which is the New Development Pattern in which domestic economic cycle plays a leading role while international economic cycle remains its extension and supplement. This year, China's semi-annual GDP exceeded 53 trillion RMB, up 12.7% year on year. China's foreign trade volume grew by a record high ratio of 27.1%. The actual usage of foreign investment grew at a rate unseen in the past decade. The number of large projects with new or additional contracted foreign investment of more than USD 100 million amounted to 602, up by 81.3% year-on-year. China's recovery in economy has injected positive energy into the world's economic development. China's continuous economic improvement benefits not only China itself but also the world, and will continue to make more contributions to the recovery of the world economy in the post-pandemic period.

    According to the World Bank's China Economic Update in June this year, China's economy will post strong growth in 2021. Assuming the continued suppression of COVID-19, growth is projected to reach 8.5% this year, which is 0.4% higher than the expectation of the World Bank in March. International rating agency S&P Global Ratings also recently stated that China's real GDP growth is forecast to reach 8.3% in 2021, given the country's effective control of the COVID-19 outbreak and rapid vaccination efforts.

    While battling against the COVID-19 pandemic, China is actively planning its long-term economic development in the future and taking the lead in deploying a new development pattern. This demonstrates China's ability to balance pandemic prevention and control with economic growth; create a more favorable environment for economic development; and continue to maintain China's positive economic development. All of this stems from the strength of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core.

    As a responsible major country, China has fought the pandemic for the common good, not just for China itself; China has pursued shared prosperity, not just its own development. China has not only taken responsibility for the safety and health of its own people, but has also taken practical action to help save the lives of thousands of people around the world, fully demonstrating the Chinese great spirit, strength and commitment.

    China was the first to commit to the COVID-19 vaccine as a global public good, and is steadily delivering on this commitment despite its own difficulties. President Xi Jinping indicated at the Global Health Summit in May this year that we have provided 2 billion US dollars in assistance for the COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in developing countries dramatically hit by the pandemic. We, as Chinese people, have sent medical supplies to more than 150 countries and 13 international organizations, providing more than 280 billion masks, 3,4 billion protective suits and 4 billion testing kits to the world. A cooperation mechanism has been established for Chinese hospitals to pair up with 41 African hospitals, and construction for the China-assisted project of the Africa CDC headquarters officially started at the end of last year. President Xi Jinping also announced that the 2 billion US dollars that already have been provided in assistance for the COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in developing countries dramatically hit by the pandemic, China will provide an additional 3 billion US dollars in international aid over the next three years to support COVID-19 response and economic and social recovery in other developing countries including African countries. President Xi Jinping says, "We call on the international community to further help Africa in terms of response supplies, medicine, technology and funding."

    Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, China has started vaccine research and development.  As of 4 August 2021, China has provided 770 million doses of vaccines to over 100 countries and international organizations, making a tangible contribution to the accessibility and affordability of vaccines globally, especially in developing countries. As of 16 September 2021, a total of 2.166 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been injected in China, reaching 37.6% of the total worldwide, more than the total doses injected in United States, Europe and India combined (1.77 billion doses).

    We are delighted to learn that recently, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has approved the emergency use of the Chinese Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, which will also be included in South Africa's COVID-19 inoculation arsenal. The vaccine also launched its phase III pediatric clinical trial in South Africa - one of the key contents of the Vaccine R&D Center of BRICS countries.

    We are so inspired by athletes from both South Africa and China who fought hard with confidence for their own countries and achieved great results. Beijing will host a "simple, safe, and splendid" Winter Olympics in February 2022 on the basis of a full COVID-19 response. This is a solemn commitment made by the Chinese government and people for the international Olympic family. The Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics - which combine the Olympic spirit with innovations in low-carbon operation and environmental protection - will be the first major event in the history of the Olympics to use green and clean electricity alone. Millimeter-wave 5G will be used for live broadcast of the events, making it the first Winter Olympics with a large-scale smart 5G technology application. We will get to see an extraordinary green and high-tech Winter Olympics in Beijing. We have faith that the Olympic flag fluttering in Beijing again will bring hope to people ravaged by the pandemic worldwide. We are looking forward to seeing athletes from South Africa and China pursue their dreams at the Winter Olympics in Beijing and achieve excellent results!

    China and South Africa are good friends, partners and comrades who have a shared future, and have long since forged deep and strong relationship. In recent years, under the personal attention of leaders of both countries, collaborations in various fields have become increasingly close, bringing tangible and great benefits to the people of both sides. We believe that with our joint efforts the exchanges and cooperation will reap even more fruitful results. This Consulate General will continue to work towards this end and be the bridge between China and South Africa.

    Happy 72nd birthday to the People's Republic of China!

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