By Ambassador Qiu Xuejun | Chinese Ambassador to Eritrea,
Eritrean Friends from various social sectors,
Chinese faculty members and Eritrean students at the Confucius Institute,
Members of Chinese Medical Team to Eritrea,
Workers of Chinese companies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening! Welcome to the 2016 Reception for Eritrean friends from various social sectors.
When the Chinese Embassy in the State of Eritrea held a similar reception for the first time last year, and was well received. Eritrean friends from all walks of life who attended the reception had passed a wonderful evening of sharing their stories about China-Eritrea friendship.
This year, we keep the good practice but with more Eritrean friends attending. We intend to provide an opportunity for Chinese and Eritrean friends to get together and envisage the bright prospect for China-Eritrea friendship and cooperation. It is heartening to witness the deepening of the friendship between China and Eritrea, and to look forward to greater expectations of China-Eritrea cooperation.
During the past year, more delegations from both China and Eritrea exchanged visits and deepened mutual understanding. The beautiful sceneries, different landscapes and diverse fauna-flora species in Eritrea deeply impressed the Chinese delegations, and the smiles, greetings and hospitality from Eritrean friends have left fond memories in their minds.
In late April of this year, an exchange group from the International Department of the Central Committee of the CPC visited Eritrea and had party-to-party exchanges and cooperation with PFDJ. On April 26th, Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment and Development Corporation procured shares of Asmara Mining Company, which represents another achievement in mining cooperation between China and Eritrea.
This week China and Eritrea signed the agreement on the dispatch of the 10th Chinese Medical Team to Eritrea and Credentials of Delivery of medicines and apparatus. Late this month, an art troupe from China’s Hebei Province will participate in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Eritrean independence and put on cultural shows. All of these are the latest highlights in China-Eritrea exchanges and cooperation, and they are achieved thanks to the participation, support and assistance of all of you present here.
China-Eritrea people to people exchanges and cooperation cover economy, health, education, culture, agriculture, human resources and other fields. Currently, the largest ever aid project of Chinese government in Eritrea, the EIT College of Science project, is progressing well.
The expansion of the Hirgigo power plant in Massawa and the agriculture-related factories which are contracted and being built by Chinese companies, are also progressing well. Other finished aid projects from Chinese government to Eritrea include an agricultural drip irrigation project, three elementary schools in Asmara, Mendefera and Gindae, have served to the development of Eritrea. In the process of building these projects with guaranteed quality and quantity, the Chinese companies and workers also help training local employees in Eritrea, make friends with them and gain respect and friendship from the Eritrean people.
China and Eritrea have had exchanges and cooperation in area of health for a long time. Since September 1997, nine medical teams with more than 160 doctors from China have come to Eritrea. In August 2015, a Chinese medical team named “China-Africa Brightness Action” came to Eritrea. The Chinese ophthalmologists operated 303 cataract surgeries and brought brightness to local patients. The 9th Chinese medical team will finish their tenure this June. Like their predecessors, they have been hard working with Eritrean doctors and worked many extra hours to treat more patients, making due contributions to health development in Eritrea. Tonight they are among us at the reception, let’s extend our heartfelt thanks to them.
China and Eritrea have cooperated extensively in culture and education. The Chinese government provides more than 20 scholarships annually and a lot of training programs to Eritreans every year. This year, China’s Guizhou Province provides 10 extra scholarships to Eritreans. The Eritrean Confucius Institute at National Commission for Higher Education has offered opportunities for Eritrean students to study Chinese language and culture. Faculty members and students from the Confucius Institute prepared some performances tonight, which will showcase their learning outcome and talents.
Another news, the book named “Eritrea: the Pearl of the Red Sea” compiled and edited by the Chinese Embassy is being published in China, introducing a real , objective and comprehensive Eritrea to Chinese readers. We hope this book can help attract more Chinese tourists to Eritrea.
Friendship between the Chinese and Eritrean peoples is the cornerstone for our bilateral cooperation. Eritrean friends present or not present today, are all part of this solid cornerstone. It is our common efforts, participation and mutual support that make China-Eritrea cooperation more fruitful, bring the Chinese and Eritrean peoples more benefit, and make the foundation for China-Eritrea friendship more solid. The selfless help you have provided to the Chinese Embassy, Chinese medical team, the Confucius Institute and the Chinese enterprises, and all that has been done to promote China-Eritrea friendship will be remembered in our minds.
On behalf of the Chinese Embassy as well as the Chinese community in Eritrea, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the friends who have done so much to support China-Eritrea friendship and cooperation. I hope our two peoples will continue to care for and support China-Eritrea bilateral relations, and further push forward the mutually beneficial cooperation and people to people exchanges. I firmly believe that with the strong support by our two governments and peoples, China-Eritrea exchanges and cooperation will step to higher stages.
May I offer a toast,
To the further enhancement of friendship between our two peoples,
To the health of our friends! Cheers!