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Ambassador Sun Xianghua's Remarks at the 1st Symposium on China-Lesotho Capacity Building Practical Cooperation
     On 7 September 2017, Chinese Embassy in Lesotho held the 1st Symposium on China-Lesotho Capacity Building Practical Cooperation. The remarks delivered by H.E. Dr. Sun Xianghua, Ambassador of P. R. China to Lesotho were as follows:

1.      Welcome to the 1st Symposium on China-Lesotho Capacity Building Practical Cooperation. The purpose of holding such a symposium is two-fold: one is to reflect upon the achievements that we have made in the past years in this cooperation field, and the other is to discuss how we can do better and achieve more in the future.


2.      There's a famous English saying that says, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". The Chinese has two similar sayings of two-thousand old. One of them says, "one should be taught to fish in stead of being given a fish". Another one says, "one should stop standing by the river and admiring the fish, in stead he should go back to make a fishing net". It is common sense that a person with self-reliant skills and capacity is going to survive and prosper, and the same applies to a nation and a country.


3.      Every since the People's Republic of China started its diplomatic relations with Africa more than 60 years ago. Capacity cooperation has always been an important area of mutual assistance and exchanges between the two sides. By now, the Chinese government has offered training opportunities in China to 160,000 Africans. The number of Africans trained in Africa by the Chinese government institutions, enterprises and companies, medical teams, teachers and scholars, etc. are many folds more and can't be calculated exactly. The reason why we attach great importance to the capacity building cooperation comes from our own experience. Since the founding of the PRC, to work hard to achieve self-reliant development has been an aspiration of the whole nation. Today, China has become the world's second largest economy, and it's doubling its GDP roughly every ten years. We wouldn't have achieved this without great attention to capacity building efforts. Many Basotho friends have asked me how it could be possible that China can feed a population of 1.3 billion. I tell them it's true that China is feeding 20% world's population with only 7% of the world's arable land. The reasons behind it can be many, but the fact that for decades the Chinese government has strongly supported the development of agricultural technologies and skills is certainly one of the important factors .


4.      In December 2015 at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, H.E.Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China has pointed out categorically that there are three bottleneck issues that are holding back Africa's development, namely, inadequate infrastructure, lack of professional and skilled personnel, and funding shortage. In this regard, in the next 3 years from 2016, China would provide a further 40,000 training opportunities to African personnel in China. This decision was warmly welcomed by African leaders and is being smoothly implemented.


5.      On the part of Africa, capacity building is also an area that it expects its international development partners to provide assistance. African Union's "Agenda 2063" stipulates, by 2063, Africa should have "well educated citizens and skills revolution underpinned by science, technology and innovation for a knowledge society"; "An Africa where development is people-driven, unleashing the potential of its women and youth". To achieve this goal, capacity building is an important prerequisite and driving force. In July this year, H.E. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulation letter to the 29th Summit of the African Union. In this letter, President Xi emphasized that China will continue to adhere to its cooperation policy towards Africa, featuring sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith. By upholding the values of friendship, justice and shared interest, China will actively implement the Ten Cooperation Plans announced at Johannesburg Summit of FOCAC and integrate the Belt and Road Initiative with African Union's Agenda 2063. I am confident with the increasing cooperation between China and Africa, the capacity building practical cooperation will achieve new and bigger results.


6.      Capacity building cooperation between China and Lesotho, though may not as tangible as the other cooperation projects such as the State Library, the National Convention Centre, the Parliament building, the China-Lesotho Friendship Middle School, or the new State House, but this cooperation is just as important as any of our cooperation in other fields, because it's target is to help Basotho to realize self-reliant development, it is the main channel to share our development experience and skills with Basotho. More over, more vibrant and efficient cooperation in capacity building will further enhance our cooperation in infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture, people-to-people exchanges, and many more. It's exactly for this reason that we singled out the topic of capacity building cooperation as the theme of today's symposium.


7.      distinguished guests, all of us present here today have participated in some way in China-Lesotho's capacity building cooperation. I sincerely wish we can exchange views on how to see this cooperation, and how to improve this cooperation to a new high. Your contribution will be immensely appreciated by this Embassy.

With this, I conclude my few remarks and wish this symposium a great success.

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