Remarks at the Reception Celebrating the 69th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
2018/09/21

  Hon. Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda  

  Excellencies and members of the diplomatic corps,  

  Distinguished guests,  

  Ladies and gentlemen,  

  Good Evening! Welcome to the Chinese Embassy. Thank you for joining us in celebrating the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.  

  The establishment of the People's Republic of China 69 years ago inaugurated the most profound social transformation in Chinese history. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese government and people have found a development model that suits our national conditions and embarked on the path of becoming a united, strong, democratic and dynamic country.   

  Last year, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China established the XI Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, opened up new horizons for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and set out the direction and objectives of China's diplomacy in the new era. The Congress outlined the strategic plans for China’s work in 17 areas, including economy, politics, rule of law, science and technology, culture, education, etc. China will implement the new development concepts and aim at sustainable and healthy growth. This will be achieved by building a modern economy and improving the quality and efficiency of growth.  

  Dear Friends,  

  This year also marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. We have made great achievements over the last four decades. China's economy has been growing at an average annual rate of 9.5% and its foreign trade at 14.5%. In recent years, China's contribution to global growth has been around 30%. China today is the world's second largest economy, largest industrial producer, largest trader in goods, and largest holder of foreign exchange reserves.   

  However, there is still a long way ahead of us before we can really reach our goal. We believe, the only way that will lead us to the realization of what we call the Chinese dream is open our door even wider. China cannot develop and prosper all by itself.  Together with the rest of the world, we aim at building a community with a shared future for mankind, pursue inclusive and win-win cooperation and is ready to expand convergence of interests with other countries.   

  Ladies and Gentlemen,  

  As you all may know, from July 22 to 23 this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a historic visit to Rwanda, which is the first ever visit to Rwanda by Chinese President. At the joint press briefing in Urugwiro Village, President Xi Jinping and President Kagame reaffirmed the willingness to translate the high-level political trust between two sides and our traditional friendship into concrete benefits for our two peoples. They also witnessed the signing of 15 cooperative bilateral agreements and MoUs. All these opened a new era for China-Rwanda relations.   

  ·By adhering to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, and upholding the values of friendship, justice and shared interests, China will work with Rwanda and carry out more exchanges on governance and guidelines of development.  

  ·China and Rwanda will further match the development strategies and seek to harvest more fruits across multiple areas, including the Belt and Road Initiative, public health, human resources training, E-commerce, mining, law enforcement cooperation and etc.  

  ·China appreciates President Kagame’s contribution to the solidarity and development of Africa since he assumed the AU rotating chairman. China and Rwanda will further enhance collaboration in regional and international arena and uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.   

  Ladies and gentlemen,   

  Early this month, I was honored to accompany H. E. President Kagame to attend the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The summit was so successful and it would be of significant for future cooperation between China and Africa. Besides the programs of the Summit, President Kagame also held bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping; and together with First Lady Jeannette Kagame, were hosted by President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan. It’s another fruitful, meaningful and intimate interaction between our two heads of state during the past two months.   

  The FOCAC Beijing Summit brought China and 53 African countries together, discussing how China can complement Africa’s development through its own growth, how China and Africa can pursue win-win cooperation and common development etc. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China will, on the basis of the ten cooperation plans adopted since the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit, launch eight major initiatives in the next three years and beyond. These initiatives include industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health care, people-to-people exchanges, peace and security.    

  President Kagame described the Beijing Summit as timely since there is need for cooperation between China and Africa more than ever. In his words, “both the Summit Declaration and the Beijing Action Plan capture the key issues and provide a roadmap for next steps. Rwanda supports the adoption of these texts and strongly endorses the vision of a community with a shared future”.   

  We know that Rwanda aims at building a knowledge-based and service-oriented economy, attracting more investment in human capital, education, health, and seeking to build industries which can add value to raw resources and create more employment for youth. I’m confident that through joint efforts, Rwanda will achieve more across all areas of cooperation under the FOCAC.   

  Two weeks ago I was honored to attend the 14th gorilla-naming ceremony (Kwita Izina). I gave the name "Wangwang" to a 9-month-old female baby mountain gorilla. Wangwang means Uburumbuke in Kinyarwanda, Prosperous or thriving in English. By this name I hope that the mountain gorillas will continue to prosper in the efforts of all walks of life, and the Rwandan society will be more prosperous. Also I believe this popular name will make mountain gorillas better known to Chinese people, attract more Chinese tourists to Rwanda, and promote cultural exchanges between China and Rwanda.  

  Dear friends,   

  President Kagame calls China-Rwanda relationship a productive partnership of mutual benefit, noting that it has brought great benefits to our two peoples. Wherever I go in China or Rwanda, I can find people from different sectors, who have high expectation for China-Rwanda cooperation and strong desire to see its growth. I believe that is the fundamental vitality pushing China-Rwanda relations forward. We are more than happy to learn from each other and improve together so as to contribute more for a shared future of China and Rwanda.  

  In conclusion, I would like to propose a toast,  

  To H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda,  

  To the new era of China-Rwanda relations,   

  To the friendship between the Chinese and Rwandan peoples,  

  To our shared and brighter future,    

  Cheers!  

                                                                                                                               September 19th, 2018

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