|Speech by Chinese Consul General Liu Kan in"Cultures of China, Festival of Spring" Spring Gala|
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends:
Chinese New Year, namely Spring Festival, is most important traditional festival for all Chinese with more than 4000 years history. It’s a time for family reunion. No matter where they are, when Spring Festival coming, all family members would come back home and spend happy days with their family. During these festive days, friends and relatives bid farewell to the passing year and welcome new year with singing and playing, dragon and lion dancing, lantern viewing and riddles guessing, and most importantly, food feasting. Nowadays, with the deepening of China’s Reform and opening up, Spring Festive has earned more popularity globally, and become an important component of the world colorful cultures. At the moment of joyfully celebrating Chinese New Year, Overseas Chinese in Nigeria is so glad to welcome the debut of “Cultures of China, Festival of Spring” Art troupe in Lagos, the troupe is organized by Overseas Chinese Affairs office of Chinese State Council and China Overseas Exchange Association and enjoys more and more popularity among overseas Chinese. From the smiling face of everyone here, I can feel your happiness and eagerness for the coming performance. Hereby, on behalf of Chinese Consulate General in Lagos, I would like to give my warmest welcome and festival greetings to the leaders and artists of the troupe, and also extend my heartfelt thanks for your giving up holidays with your family and coming all the way to the metropolis of West Africa Lagos and giving us cultural feast as well as goodwill message and blessings from our motherland. I am fully convinced that your visit not only gives us an opportunity to share happiness with and feel the affection from people at home, but also will further promote the harmony of Chinese Associations in Nigeria, and push the Festival Celebration of Chinese communities in Nigeria to a new high. Meanwhile, your visit also has made a new contribution to further promoting the cultural brand of “Cultures of China, Festival of Spring”, which demonstrates open, civilized, confident，self-improving image Of China, and strengthens Cultural and personnel exchanges and cooperation between China and other countries.
Also, I would like to extend my thanks to all members of prep committee from Chinese Associations such as Western Africa and Nigeria Overseas Chinese Joint Association, Chinese Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Lagos, China Industrial and Commercial Enterprises Association and Chinese Youth Association in Lagos. Because of their efforts, we can enjoy today’s grand Chinese Spring Festival Gala. Let’s put our hands together to give them our sincerest thanks.
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,
2015 is an extraordinary year. Chinese people made solid step forward on the way of comprehensively deepening reform and building a well-off society in an all-round way. Great achievements have been made in all fields. Though facing depressed world economy, China has overcome the pressure of economic downturn, properly handled new problems and challenges, and still maintained a relatively rapid growth in economy, with yearly growth rate reaching 6.9%, GDP surpassing 10trillion USD, which contributed 25% of the world growth. Now China remains an important driving force of the world economic growth.
In 2015, around the theme of peace and development, China actively promoted cooperative friendship of mutual benefits with countries all over the world. 2015 is the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China-Nigeria strategic partnership, our two countries have achieved fruitful results in the areas of politics, economy, culture, education, communication, agriculture, infrastructure and so on. Last year, the total trade volume between our two countries reached 14.9 billion USD. Nigeria is China’s third largest trade partner and third largest investment destination in Africa. China and Nigeria has set an example of win-win cooperation and mutual benefits between two great developing countries.
2015 is also a year of struggling and striving for Chinese citizens and companies in Nigeria. They worked hard, overcame all kinds of difficulties, provided lots of jobs, trained large number of local talents, developed many livelihood projects in local communities, and have made special contribution to the development of Nigerian society and economy as well as promotion of understanding and friendship between our two peoples. At the same time, overseas Chinese in Nigeria held together, assisted and supported each other, and created a very harmonious atmosphere among Chinese communities and associations. Especially in Last September, Chinese communities organized a series of events to commemorate “70th anniversary of the great victory of Chinese People’s Resistance War against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War” and self-financed the grand performance of Kunming Song and Dance Theatre during the commemoration in Lagos, which set a record in all events held by Chinese communities in Nigeria for its great dimensions and far-reaching impact. Under the concern and support of Overseas Chinese Affairs office of Chinese State Council, the second “Chinese Service Center” in Africa has been set in Lagos, which provide overseas Chinese in Nigeria a new public welfare platform to safeguard the lawful rights and interests of themselves.
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends:
2016 is the opening year of 13th Five Year Plan and final stage of building a comprehensive well-off society. Adhering to the development philosophy of innovation, coordination, environment-friendly and sharing, China has confidence and ability to maintain a sustainable and sound economic development. A prosperous China will benefit Africa as well as the whole world.
2016 is 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-Nigeria diplomatic ties. Last December, At the summit of China-Africa Cooperation Forum in Johannesburg, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed new thoughts, concepts and measures on developing China-Africa relations, and upgrade China-Africa strategic partnership in a comprehensive manner. Chinese Embassy in Nigeria and Consulate General in Lagos will take this opportunity, cooperating with Nigerian friends, to implement the results of the summit, maximize the synergy of our two countries’ strategies, and inject new momentum into the comprehensive development of China-Nigeria strategic partnership.
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends:
I may raise a question: have you watched the performance of “Cultures of China, Festival of Spring” Art Troupe? For the work reason, I had the honor to appreciate the troupe’s wonderful performance. It doesn’t matter if you have never watched it. This evening, in this grand golden hall of Oriental Hotel, we can enjoy this amazing cultural feast. “State-to-state relations thrive when there is friendship between the peoples. And such friendship grows out of close interactions between the peoples”. Culture is a bridge that connects people's hearts and minds and an importance carrier to promote mutual understanding and trust. The performance given by the Troupe today is also a part of cultural exchanges between China and Nigeria. We are delighted to see more popular cultural exchange events like this in the future. I think it’s time to end my speech, because the performance is more expected. I sincerely hope all of you will enjoy the performance, care and participate more into the Cultural exchanges between China and Nigeria.
This year is Chinese Year of Monkey. In Chinese Culture, monkey symbolizes intelligence, bravery, confidence and luck. I wish everyone best luck in Monkey Year!
Wish China and Nigeria a prosperous future, and two peoples’ friendship last forever!
Finally, Wish the performance a complete success!