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Ambassador Sun Xianghua's Remarks at the Handover Ceremony of the New State House (14 Feb 2018)

Please allow me to start by paying my respects to H.M.King Letsie III, and

The Right Honorable Prime Minister Dr. Motsoahae Thomas Thabane, and the First Lady Maisae Thabane,

The Honorable President of the Senate,

The Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly,

Their Lordships Judges of the High Court,

The Honorable Deputy Prime Minister,

Honorable Ministers of H.M.'s Cabinet,

Distinguished Guests,

Friends from the media

Dear Colleagues and Friends,


Today, we are joyously gathered here at the new State House and witness the hand-over of this very precious gift from the government and people of the People's Republic of China, to the government and people of the Kingdom of Lesotho. The fact that tomorrow night will be the eve of the traditional Chinese New Year even doubles our joy and happiness today. Because of this auspicious timing, I can also say that the new State House is a New Year gift from the government and people of China to the Government and people of Lesotho.


The State House Project reflects the high-level political mutual trust between our two countries. A State House is a symbol of the government of a sovereign state. It's where state functions are held, it's also where the utmost important government policies are made. Only countries with unreserved mutual trust can carry out cooperation in building a State House. During the construction of the State House, hundreds of Basotho worked shoulder by shoulder with the Chinese technicians at this site, creating a unique mutual-learning and skills-training platform for our Basotho friends. Meanwhile, in terms of building materials only, at least M 55 million worth of them was procured locally, creating valuable business opportunities for Basotho. In my opinion, it's fair to say that the new State House Project is an embodiment of China-Lesotho cooperation in every sense.


Architectures can't speak, but when we look at them or go inside them, we can almost hear the touching stories being told by the architectures. I believe this new State House will be such a telling monument of China-Lesotho friendship for many years and decades to come, encouraging us and generations after us to appreciate the history of the brotherly relations between China and Lesotho, and also encouraging us to further contribute to the development of the cordial friendship between our two countries and peoples.


Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, there's a saying in China that goes as follows: the distance will test the stamina and strength of a horse, while time will show a person's true heart. My understanding for this saying is, real friends are tested in time of need, they are also tested by the times as they pass. Since the resumption of diplomatic relations between our two countries 20 plus years ago, the world as well as China and Lesotho have experienced profound changes. However, our two countries' relations have never stopped from developing for a single day. Though China and Lesotho are separated by vast mountains and seas, with Lesotho being the most faraway country from China on the African continent, we have carried out extensive cooperation in the fields of infrastructure development, trade and commerce, agriculture, public health, education and culture, telecommunication and broadcasting, public safety, tourism and people-to-people exchanges. These comprehensive, in-depth and mutually-beneficial exchanges and cooperation have shown us time and again that, China-Lesotho friendship has become a fine example of the relations between countries, regardless whether they are big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, proudly showcasing its outstanding features of mutual respect, equality, sincerity, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, and win-win cooperation.


Bomme le Bontate, dear friends, the year 2018 is a very special one both for China and Lesotho. We both have very important political agendas within our countries. The year 2018 is also a very important year for China-Africa cooperation. In 7 month time, in early September of this year, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will hold a summit in Beijing. This Summit will reflect upon the achievements that we have accomplished in the past 3 years since the Johannesburg Summit was held in 2015, but also will draw a new blueprint and an action plan for years to come. Next month, a research group from the Foreign Ministry of China will come and visit Lesotho, the purpose of this visit is to specifically solicit Lesotho's comments, suggestions and advices to us on the coming Beijing Summit of FOCAC. We are ardently expecting His Right Honorable Prime Minister Dr. Thomas Thabane will join this historic occasion and make Lesotho's contribution to China-Africa cooperation. Meanwhile, in 9 months time from now, China will hold its first ever International Import Expo in Shanghai, we are expecting Lesotho's producers showcase their products on this international platform and explore the huge Chinese market with more than 1.3 billion potential customers. At this juncture, I am also very glad to inform you that last month, the government of China and the Government of Lesotho have reached agreements on 2 major projects, namely the Maseru District Hospital and Eye clinic, and the Ha Mphiti to Sekhalabathebe National Park Road. Also in last month, a team of Chinese engineers visited Lesotho and carried out a preliminary research on three new projects, including the Maseru Fire Fighting Station. All the above indicates that our 2018 will be very fruitful, memorable and busy year. I am beyond any doubt that when we look back at 2018 at the end of this year, we will definitely have a lot to celebrate!


Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, in October last year, the Communist Party of China, the ruling party of China since the founding of the People's Republic, held its 19th National Congress. At this important event that is held every five years, H.E. President Xi Jinping made a clarion call of constructing a community with shared future for mankind, which means to build a world of lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, inclusive development, and clean and beautiful environment. In this regard, President Xi specifically pointed out that "China will increase its assistance to other developing countries; especially the least developed countries, and do its part to reduce the North-South development gap." I am fully convinced that in the many decades to come, the China-Lesotho friendship and cooperation will further benefit from China's efforts in the new era, and also contribute its due share to the lofty cause of realizing lasting peace and common prosperity for the whole world.


Last but not least, I shall use this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all my colleagues and friends who have contributed to the construction of the new State House, particularly the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, and the Ministry of Development Planning, without your assistance and facilitation, this project wouldn't have been implemented in such a smooth way.


With these few words, I conclude my remarks.

Thank you all!

Khotso, Pula, Nala!

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