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Farewell Remarks of H.E. Xin Shunkang, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China
(10 March 2016, Embassy Multi-functional Hall)
2016/03/18

Your Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba, Former President of Namibia, and

Your Excellency Penehupifo Pohamba, Former First Lady,

Honorable Prof. Peter Katjavivi, Speaker of the National Assembly,

Honorable Nangolo Mbumba, Secretary General of SWAPO Party,

Honorable Maureen Hinda, Representative of the Namibian Government and Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation,

Honorable Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and the NDF Representatives,

Excellencies from the Diplomatic Corp,

My dear compatriots,

Friends from the media,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

Thank you very much for coming to my farewell reception. I'd like to take this opportunity to say good bye to all my friends before completing my tenure on the 15th of March.

It was 27th July 2012 when I set foot on the Land of the Brave with my wife, full of passion. I formally started to fulfill my mission after presenting credentials to H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba on 17th October 2012. This is a sacred mission. I felt deeply honored to represent my country in the beautiful and peaceful Namibia and finish my diplomatic career of nearly 40 years.

Three years and eight months flied by. I visited almost all 14 regions, meeting the local people, inspecting the China Aid projects and attending functions at invitation. Meanwhile, I enjoyed the magnificence of the Sossusvlei, the tranquility of Swakopmund as well as the vitality of Walvis Bay. Everyone I met everyday is nice, friendly and willing to offer a hand to me. I have fallen deeply in love with this beautiful land and the lovely people and even felt integrated into it and became a Namibian. I must come back someday in the future.

As we all know, the deep and longstanding friendship between China and Namibia was forged in the early days when Namibia fought for national independence and liberation. During my tenure, the friendship inspired me every minute to do my utmost to enhance it and deepen it, by strengthening the bilateral relations and boosting the economic cooperation. Now when we look back, the results make me satisfied and proud.

The political relations between our two countries become much closer. In the past 3 years, 16 mutual high-level visits were conducted. The 3 Namibian presidents all visited China. The Founding President even went 3 times. The Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping, State Councilor and Defense Minister General Chang Wanquan and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi visited Namibia. The mutual visits of ministerial level and below were even beyond count.

The economic cooperation thrives. In 2015, the bilateral trade reached 705 million US dollars. China's total investment in Namibia grew to 4.7 billion US dollars, ranking high in Africa. 18 China Aid projects were implemented, covering nearly 10 sectors such as agriculture, health care, education, military, infrastructure, climate, human resources, fishery and housing. The Chinese companies registered in Namibia increased to 49, doing business in many fields like construction, telecommunications and mining. They attend to abide by the Namibian laws and regulations and employ the local people, creating over 6 thousand jobs. The Husab Mine only, with the total investment of 5 billion US dollars, provides 2000 long-term local jobs and will make Namibia the second largest uranium producer and exporter in the world. The prophase of exporting Namibian beef to China has come to the final stage. Namibia will soon become the first African country to export beef to China, leading once again in Africa.

The people-to-people and cultural exchanges hit a record high. In the past 3 years, China continued to expand her training aid to Namibia, involving all levels of staff and as many fields as media, business, agriculture and military. More and more Namibian students went to China for further study and many of them were funded by the Chinese Government scholarship. On 23rd August 2013, the UNAM Confucius Institute was formally established. Since then, many Chinese classes have been opened in local schools. Speaking Chinese becomes a fashion among young people. Several Chinese and Namibian art troupes exchanged visits, bringing different culture and great joy to the local audience.

I'm very glad to see that the Namibian people, under the leadership of President Geingob and the new government, are striving hard with unremitting efforts for national prosperity and are continuously making new achievements. As a true friend of Africa and the "all-weather" partner of Namibia, China is ready to continue her efforts and help Namibia to realize independent development. The Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has made a new blueprint for China-Africa cooperation. Not long ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid a successful visit to Namibia and reached agreement, with President Geingob as well as DPM and Foreign Minister Nandi-Ndaitwah, on how to implement the outcome of the summit, in which 5 prior cooperative areas have been targeted.

At present, under the leadership of the new government in both countries, China-Namibia relations is turning to a new page of history. 2016 is the first year of China's "13th Five-Year Plan" and the last year of Namibia's NDP4. We share common development will, similar development goal and complementary development advantages, which can provide, with the impetus of FOCAC Johannesburg Summit, more spaces and broader prospects for our cooperation. I firmly believe that with the joint efforts of both sides, the friendly relations and cooperation between China and Namibia will become more vitalized like the Welwitschia in the Namib Desert.

At the moment of bidding farewell, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to you and through you to all the Namibian friends for your dedication to China-Namibia relations, your amity to the local Chinese people, your support to the Chinese Embassy and more importantly your kindness and assistance to myself. There are only 4 days left before I depart for home. My heart is full of beautiful memories. I hope you would remember me as an old friend and a Chinese Ambassador who is good at singing the national anthem of Namibia. See you in Beijing!

To conclude, please allow me propose a toast,

to the forever-lasting China-Namibia friendship, and

to the well-being of our two people.

Cheers!

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