Remarks Made by Ambassador RAO Hongwei at the Reception Celebrating the Chinese Spring Festival

Hon. Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Minister of Trade and Industry,

Distinguished guests,

Excellencies and members of the diplomatic corps,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good Evening! Tonight we are very pleased to have so many friends with us to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year---the Year of the Pig. In Chinese culture,pig symbolizes honest, modest and lucky.

First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda, new year greetings and best wishes to all our distinguished guests present here and, through you, to all friends of different walks of life in Rwanda, members of Chinese community and staff of the Chinese companies, wishing everyone great family happiness and all the success in the coming new year!

The Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival for Chinese people. It bears our aspirations for a better life and pursuit for harmony, reunion, happiness, peace and prosperity. These values that are embedded in the Chinese culture are well received throughout the world. The Spring Festival has become a much celebrated event in many countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Spring Festival is a festival of celebration. Actually, we do have much to celebrate at this time. The year 2018 boasts the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. Over the past four decades, China has achieved an averaging annual GDP growth rate of 9.5%.  Now, China is the second largest economy, contributing to 30% of the global economic growth. Besides, China is the largest manufacturer, largest exporter of goods, holder of the biggest foreign exchange reserve, and a major source of global foreign investment and tourism.

The year 2018 is also a historic year for China-Rwanda relations. H. E. Xi Jinping, paid the first ever state visit to Rwanda by the Chinese President. President Xi and President Kagame reaffirmed the willingness to translate our traditional friendship and high level political trust into concrete benefits for our two countries and two peoples. During the visit 15 cooperative bilateral agreements and MOUs were signed, which opened a new era for China-Rwanda relations.

The Spring Festival is a festival of blessings. The year 2019 is of great significance for China. It marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Despite the complexities and difficulties on the road to realize the Chinese Dream, Chinese government will always closely relies on the people and stick to self-reliance and hard work.

Also, China's sincerity and goodwill to strengthen common development with African countries remain unchanged. China's development will create more opportunities for Rwanda and Africa, while Rwanda and Africa's growth will add new driving forces to China. The consensus reached by our two Heads of State and outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit have given wings to the building-up of the China-Rwanda community of  a shared future. With joint efforts, we will promote the Belt and Road Initiative as an important platform for the win-win cooperation. We wish the friendship between our two peoples would last forever, China-Rwanda relations would make steady and faster progress and the bilateral collaboration would bear new fruits in the Year of the Pig.

The Spring Festival is a festival of reunion. In this traditional holiday, when reuniting with the family members and friends for kinship and friendship, we Chinese never forget the solemn mission to promote the peaceful reunification of mainland China with Taiwan, realizing the big family reunion of the Chinese nation at an early date. On 2 January 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at a gathering to commemorate the 40th anniversary of issuing Message to Compatriots in Taiwan. We insist cross-strait reunification is the trend of history and a must for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. On the basis of the common political foundation of upholding the 1992 Consensus and opposing "Taiwan independence", political parties and all sectors on both sides of the Strait should conduct consultation on cross-strait relations and the future of the nation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Spring Festival is a festival of joy. The Chinese people and Chinese community around the world have entered a busy season for family reunion, food enjoyment and cultural events. Just last Monday, an art and acrobatic troupe from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China presented an exciting gala at KCC, bringing strong atmosphere of Chinese New Year to Kigali.

Tonight, we want to share with our dear friends some typical festival foods of Chinese New Year, including dumpling, noodle, fish, rice cake (Niangao) etc. All these foods have symbolic meanings like good luck, surplus, fortune, longevity, promotion, which express people's good wishes for the new year. Tonight we are honored to invite chefs from 9 Chinese companies and 6 Chinese restaurants in Rwanda to our Embassy. They bring here various flavors and regional specialties of Chinese cuisine. You can taste dozens of appetizing starters, wholesome main courses and interesting desserts. It is really a feast of Chinese food.

Dear friends,

Let's join our hands to embrace the promising Year of the Pig. Again, Happy Chinese New Year to everyone.

Thank you! 

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