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Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Zhang Ming Hosted National Day Celebration Reception
2008-09-30

September 29th, Nairobi: H.E. Mr. Zhang Ming, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Kenya, hosted a reception to celebrate the 59th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in the Embassy compound. Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka, Vice President of Kenya, attended the reception. In his speech, Hon. Musyoka sang high praise of Kenya-China relations and expressed the commitment of the Kenyan government of further developing the bilateral relations. Hon. Ministers George Saitoti, Helen Jepkemoi Sambili, Ibrahim Elmi Mohamed, Hon. Assistant Ministers David Musila, Oburu Oginga, Dr. Anna Tibaijuka, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN-habitat, Mr. Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP, Dr. Kipchoge Keino, Chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya also presented at the reception.

The Following is the speech by Ambassador Mr. Zhang Ming at the reception.

SPEECH BY H. E. AMBASSADOR ZHANG MING IN THE CELEBRATION RECEPTION FOR THE 59TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

Thank you for joining us to celebrate the 59th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Looking back to these 59 years, this single year, 2008, is by no means an ordinary year. It is not an ordinary year because it witnesses the Chinese people going through such a complex feeling of sadness, happiness, lost, and honor in such a short time; it is not an ordinary year because it gives the people in China and outside China a precious chance to see themselves, their neighbors from a different perspective.

For peoples outside China, in a severe snowstorm and icy weather that hit the vast area of southern China in January, they have seen an unknown Chinese engineer dedicated his life to repairing a broken transmission tower just for a simple, humble dream that the lights in the city’s windows should be kept on. In a devastating earthquake that cost tens of thousands of lives and changed the future of millions of families in May, they have seen a Chinese premier arriving from the Capital which is over 2000 kilometers away in just 4 hours. They have seen him working together with his people round the clock despite of the dangerous aftershocks and when he was injured, he refused to be attended because there were many others still in need. In the Beijing Olympics and the equally splendid Paralympics games, they have seen 500,000 volunteers smiling and working ceaselessly during the whole games just to express a feeling as the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius put in one short, simple sentence: “Friends coming afar, how happy we are”. During the successful launch of the Shenzhou 7 Manned Spaceship, they had also seen a Chinese citizen, walking romantically with the stars in the sky. In short, they have seen 1.3 billion resilient human beings living in a more diverse, dynamic, open, determined China than the world had ever imagined.

People around the globe keep asking: where is this “strange but new” China from and where is it heading for? The answer lies in a new but long march in the past 30 years called “the reform and opening up” that has brought us here and will continue to bring us into the future.

In this year, for the Chinese people, we have also seen a lot. Facing the disasters, we have seen foreign volunteers traveling thousands of miles from abroad to look after our mothers as their own and ordinary Kenyans donating their savings of several years to the people in China who they had never met or even heard about. We have seen the synchronized swimming team of America carrying a signboard spelling “China, Thank you” in one of the most important marches in their lives. We have seen all of the governments and peoples who firmly supported the Beijing Olympic Games because they believed that the international community should not let the Chinese people down. Today, we have the honor to have Mr. Keino, Mr. Douglas and their team with us here, let us give them a big hand. In all, in this special year, the Chinese people have seen a world encouraging them to express their minds more openly, confidently and responsibly.

The sense that this year is not an ordinary year became even stronger in the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games when I saw Samuel Wanjiru, Men’s Marathon gold medal winner from an African country called Kenya, watching his national flag rising inside the Bird’s Nest in front of the world. Tears submerged my eyes, as well as yours, because we knew how many miles himself and his motherland had traveled to reach this moment of glory after the post-election crisis in this special year. I realize that this not-big-in-size but great-in-heart African nation deserves the respect and friendship of the Chinese people including myself who have been persistently standing by their Kenyan brothers and sisters for more than 600 years through out the darkest and the most uncertain times. Furthermore, this year is not an ordinary year because it also marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Kenya as we witnessed a very robust momentum in the bilateral exchanges and cooperation in recent years.

In deed, ladies and gentlemen, the most important reason why this is not an ordinary year is that it reminds us an obvious fact that people always ignore: that is, though we are different, we have the same dreams for love, freedom, and prosperity; we bear most of the common shining characters as human beings such as courage, dignity, mutual respect, friendship, and resilience; we all face the same problems of diseases, poverty, terrorism, etc; we all need to stand side by side, hand in hand to fight together because just as the theme song of the Beijing Olympic Games says: “You and me, from one world, we are family!”

Now, may I propose for toast, for the health of H.E. President Mwai Kibaki, for the friendship and cooperation between China and Kenya, for the prosperity of the Republic of Kenya and the well-being of its people!

Cheers!

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