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A Most Joyful Chinese New Year of the Rabbit
2023-01-18 22:10

——Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Chen Xiaodong At the Chinese Embassy’s Happy Chinese New Year Reception 2023

Wednesday, January 18

Your Excellency Former President Kgalema Motlanthe and Madam Gugu,

Your Honorable Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education and Mr. Mathole Motshekga, Chairperson of the Kara Heritage Institute,

Your Honorable Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities,

Your Honorable Lindiwe Zulu, Chairperson of the ANC NEC Subcommittee on International Relations and Minister of Social Development,

Your Honorable Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies,

Your Excellency Alvin Botes, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation,

Your Honorable General Fannie Masemola, National Commissioner of the South African Police Service,

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

My Fellow Chinese,


大家新年好!Happy Chinese new year to everyone!

金虎辞旧岁,玉兔迎新春!As we bid a joyful farewell to an amazing year of the Tiger, let us together celebrate the upcoming year of the Rabbit!

In a few days, we will observe the Chinese New Year together. This is the most important traditional festival for the Chinese people. 

President Ramaphosa also found time to write a letter of Chinese new year wishes for all of us. His inspiring remarks gave us much strength and warmth.

On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa and the Chinese community here, I want to express our sincere appreciation to President Ramaphosa and extend a warm welcome to all our South African distinguished guests and friends who are with us today.

I extend sincere Chinese new year wishes to friends from all walks of life in South Africa, the Chinese community, institutions, teachers and learners of Confucius Institutes and Chinese students studying here.

In 2022, the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people embarked on a new journey of securing new victories. 

The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, has united and led the whole Party and country to work hard and strive for new great achievements. 

The 20th CPC National Congress was held successfully. The Congress drew a grand blueprint for fully building a modern socialist country and achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through a Chinese path to modernization.

It sounded a clarion call for the new march ahead.

China remains the world’s second-largest economy. Our economy has been growing steadily, with the annual GDP expected to reach around 18 trillion US dollars this year. 

The Chinese economy is resilient and has great potential and vitality. Our economic fundamentals for long-term growth remain unchanged. 

China is improving our COVID response strategies according to the actual situations. We do our level best to protect people’s lives and health.

We have moved onto a new stage in COVID response and there is much hope lying ahead. 

We achieved great success in holding the Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, launching the Shenzhou 13, 14 and 15 spaceflights, and finishing building our space station, which is now China’s home in space. 

These feats are not easy to achieve and must be cherished.

In 2022, China’s diplomacy has weathered major difficulties and made major advances.

Within last year, President Xi Jinping hosted and attended more than 10 important international and multilateral meetings at home and abroad.

President Xi Jinping met with over 60 foreign leaders and heads of international organizations, and had telephone or video meetings with nearly 30 foreign leaders.

Through these exchanges, President Xi Jinping worked to promote the community with a shared future for mankind and high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

President Xi Jinping had extensive and in-depth exchanges and reached wide consensus with foreign leaders on delivering the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative, and on building an open world economy.

President Xi Jinping demonstrated how China attaches great importance to world harmony, to friendship and justice, to the ideas of seeking common ground and honoring words with concrete action.

All these philosophies have provided good inspiration for the world as we move forward into a brighter future.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

My fellow Chinese, Friends,

The year of 2022 was a year of solidarity and cooperation between China and South Africa. The fruitful results of our exploration and cooperation are very inspiring.

First, stronger mutual respect and trust.

In 2022, our two Heads of State spoke and exchanged letters and messages 10 times.

They together attended BRICS events and had a great meeting during the G20 Bali Summit. 

President Ramaphosa sent letters to General Secretary Xi Jinping to congratulate him on the successful 20th CPC National Congress and his re-election. 

The CPC also sent congratulations to the ANC on its 55th National Conference. General Secretary Xi Jinping warmly congratulated President Ramaphosa on his re-election as ANC President.

The frequent interactions between our Heads of State and the two Parties are like no other among all countries.

This highlights our Comrades plus Brothers special bond and is crucial for elevating the strategic political trust between our two countries to a new height.

Second, more robust win-win cooperation.

The trade volume between our two countries in 2022 reached 56.7 billion US dollars, up by 5 percent against headwinds and reaching a record high in recent years.

China has been South Africa's largest trading partner for 14 years in a row and South Africa has been China’s largest trading partner in Africa for 13 years in a row. 

At the 5th China International Import Expo, South African companies delivered a great performance. They achieved an intended turnover of nearly 100 million US dollars, which is 1.5 times over last year. 

The investment cooperation between our two sides has also shown great momentum. Chinese companies have investedover 25 billion US dollars in South Africa and hundreds of Chinese firms took part in South Africa’s 4th Investment Conference.

Third, deepened mutual assistance and strategic collaboration. 

Our two countries are both emerging economies and major developing countries. We have been effectively cooperating with each other on multilateral occasions.

During China’s BRICS Chairship in 2022, President Ramaphosa attended the opening ceremony of the BRICS Business Forum, Summit and High-level Dialogue on Global Development.

Also, many South African ministers took active parts in BRICS events. Both sides worked hard to add shine to BRICS cooperation. 

Our two countries have jointly promoted changes in the international governance system, safeguarded the fundamental interests of Africa and developing countries, and set a good example of solidarity and cooperation among developing countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

My fellow Chinese, Friends,

The growth of China-South Africa friendship and cooperation cannot be achieved without your great contribution. 

For a long time, the Chinese community here has been united in striving for China-South Africa friendship. You have also been active participants in South Africa’s social and economic development.

Our fellow Chinese have always been patriotic, you have all been working hard together with the motherland in a community with a shared future. You are all important contributors to the glorious task of national rejuvenation. 

When our motherland is in peril, all our fellow compatriots always do a good job together in fighting back and supporting reunification.

When any of our fellow compatriots are in need, others always together extend a hand to help them tide over current difficulties.

In April 2022, we successfully held a job fair for Chinese enterprises here. That was another wonderful chapter of win-win cooperation and common development between our two countries. 

Chinese schools, Confucius Institutes and students in South Africa have worked tirelessly to build bridges of communication for the friendship and cultural exchanges between our two peoples.

On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, I wish to say: 同胞们辛苦了,感谢你们!让我们继续同心同德,团结奋斗,同心共圆中国梦!

I thank all of our compatriots for your hard work! Let us continue to work in unison to achieve the Chinese dream!

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

My fellow Chinese, Friends,

Everything starts afresh at the beginning of the new year. This year also marks the beginning of China's new journey to build a modern socialist country as well as the 25th anniversary of China-South Africa relations.

On January 1st, our two foreign ministers exchanged congratulatory messages to celebrate this historic milestone moment. 

Also, South Africa has taken over as BRICS Chair and will host a series of important meetings including the BRICS Summit.

China is ready to work with South Africa to implement the important consensus between our two Heads of State, further enhance mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation, increase mutual support, promote people-to-people links, and jointly safeguard multilateralism and international justice. 

Long as the journey is, we will reach our destination if we stay the course; difficult as the task is, we will get it done if we keep working. 

Let us all join hands and move forward together to write a new and glorious chapter of the China-South Africa Community with a shared future!

The Chinese New Year is a time of celebration, joy, blessing and hope. In the Chinese culture, the rabbit symbolizes kindness, beauty and peace. 

As the Year of the Rabbit is approaching, let us raise our glasses:

To the prosperity, harmony and happiness of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa!

May China-South Africa and China-Africa cooperation flourish and achieve new glories!


I wish all our friends the best of health and good luck in all endeavors. I wish all your families happiness and good fortune in the Year of the Rabbit!

给大家拜年了!Happy Chinese New Year! 

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