China, Namibia mark 20 years of diplomatic relations

10:03, March 28, 2010      

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by Chrispin Inambao

Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), addresses the reception marking the 20th anniversary of China-Namibia diplomatic relationship in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, March 26, 2010. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

Namibia commended China's assistance during its independence struggle at a banquet held on Saturday in Windhoek in honor of a visiting Chinese delegation led by Jia Qinglin, China's top political advisor.

The banquet, which was attended by Namibian Foreign Affairs Minister Utoni Nujoma, former President of the nation and Dr. Sam Nujoma, Namibian cabinet ministers and members of the diplomatic corps, marked the 20th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Namibia.

During the banquet Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top advisory body, who is on a 10-day African official tour, said that he was delighted to be in Namibia when the two countries celebrated 20 years of diplomatic relations.

He said China and Namibia have a long history of friendship predating Namibia's independence that later culminated in a good partnership.

Jia also praised Namibia for having made fine achievements since attaining nationhood and that it has maintained peace and stability.

He said in 2009 trade two-way between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Namibia increased significantly to 577 million U.S. dollars.

Speaking at the same event Dr. Nujoma said "Sino-Namibia relations are characterized by strong bonds of friendship and solidarity, which were forged during the difficult years of our struggle for freedom and independence."

"The spirit of solidarity and friendship of the Chinese people and other peace-loving nations of the world made it possible for Namibia to attain our genuine freedom and independence. I can thus state with conviction that the excellent bilateral relations enjoyed by our countries are indeed built on solid foundation," he added.

"Immediately, after Namibia's independence 20 years ago, Namibia and China established diplomatic relations, and since then, bilateral relations have been strengthened for the mutual benefit of our two nations," the former president told the gathering at the Safari Conference Center in Windhoek.

"From 1990, till today, China has been a steadfast partner in our national efforts towards social economic development. China has thus helped Namibia with the implementation of various projects, including the construction of the National Council and the Regional Council's offices, hospitals and clinics, as well as schools throughout the country," said Nujoma who was attired in a mandarin-collared, orange shirt.

He said such assistance has greatly contributed towards improving the lives of the people of Namibia and for this "generous assistance" he expressed profound and deep appreciation to the Chinese government.

"Namibia will continue to utilize the platform created by the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to promote cooperation between Africa and China on matters of mutual interest," Nujoma said. Jia, who arrived in Namibia on Thursday and departs on Sunday, paid a call on President Hifikepunye Pohamba at State House on Friday.

At State House, Pohamba had told Jia that Namibia is enjoying traditional friendship with China, adding that China has been a friend to Namibia during the dark days of her liberation struggle.

On his part, Jia had said Namibia, one of the youngest republics in Africa, is brimming with vigor and vitality.

"Since independence, Namibia has sustained national reconciliation,social stability and economic growth, thus enabling her people to live a peaceful and prosperous life, and securing remarkable achievements on all fronts," said Jia.

Namibia and China signed five bilateral agreements on Thursday. The deals were signed in Windhoek in the presence of National Council Chairman Asser Kapere and Jia.

China and Namibia are sharing longstanding relations, dating back to the period of the struggle for Namibia's independence.

China provided generous support to the country's struggle for liberation, and was thus amongst other friends, instrumental in the attainment of the national independence and the subsequent freedom and dignity of the Namibian people.

Source: Xinhua
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