Top legislator's visit to boost China-Namibia relations

16:39, May 20, 2011      

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Wei Ruixing, Chinese ambassador to the Republic of Namibia, was recently interviewed ahead of Wu Bangguo, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC's visit to Namibia. Wei said that this is the first time that the chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC has visited Namibia. The visit is of great significance for further strengthening legislature exchanges between China and Namibia and will certainly inject new vitality into the development of China-Namibia relations.

Wei said that although China and Namibia are far apart in distance, the friendship between the two countries has had a long history. China established diplomatic relations with Namibia on the day after Namibia gained independence in 1990.

Executive leaders of the two countries have launched frequent exchange visits, China-Namibia economic and trade cooperation has continued to expand, cultural exchanges between China and Namibia have also become closer and the two countries have always supported each other on international affairs since China and Namibia established diplomatic relations 21 years ago.

Wei said that the Namibian government has always adhered to the One-China Policy and firmly supports China on issues related to China's core and vital interests. Namibia also actively participated in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and supported China's bid to host the Olympic Games. Namibia was also the first country worldwide that expressed its support for China to host the 2010 World Expo. It can be said that China and Namibia are good friends, good partners and good brothers based on mutual trust.

In regards to China-Namibia economic and trade relations, Wei said that the China-Namibia economic and trade cooperation fully embodies the "pragmatic complementarity, mutual benefit and win-win" characteristics, and is a typical model for the healthy development of China-Africa economic and trade relations.

The trade and investment scale between the two countries has been expanding in recent years, which allowed China and Namibia to successfully withstand the international financial crisis. The trade volume between China and Namibia stood at 713 million U.S. dollars in 2010, an increase of more than 31 percent from 2009. China exported 229 million U.S. dollars to Namibia and imported 484 million U.S. dollars from Namibia in 2010. Chinese direct investments into Namibia are also increasing year by year. China had invested a total of more than 50 million U.S. dollars in Namibia by the end of 2010.

Wei also said that the number of Chinese enterprises and businesspeople in Namibia has continued to increase in recent years. They have made efforts to expand their operation scope, positively give back to the local society and have obtained consistently high praise from the Namibia government and the local people.

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba attended the opening ceremony of the Rundu section highway in northern Namibia that was constructed by Chinese companies and praised the highway as one of the best quality roads built since the independence of Namibia. Chinese enterprises and businesspeople have created nearly 10,000 jobs for the local citizens and have provided professional training for a large number of skilled local workers.

China's aid to Namibia has greatly promoted the country's economic and social development. Wei said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China has helped Namibia with many construction projects, such as low-cost housing, buildings for local assemblies, the president's residence, elementary schools, the National Defense College of Namibia and youth training centers.

Within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China helped build three elementary schools in the Namibian countryside, which greatly improved local education conditions and won the praise of local residents. In addition, more than 300 Namibians have been invited to China to receive a various kinds of advanced training, and dozens of Chinese technical experts have been sent to Namibia.

"Amity between people holds the key to the sound relations between states," Wei said. China and Namibia have been steadily expanding and deepening bilateral cooperation in culture and education over the past many years, and their traditional friendship has been deeply ingrained in the peoples of both sides.

The two countries signed a cultural exchange agreement in 1991, and China fulfilled its commitments by donating sporting goods, building youth education centers and by other means. In terms of technology, the two countries signed another agreement in October 2000, which allowed China to build a tracking, telemetry and command station in Namibia. The station contributed much to the successful launch of several Shenzhou spacecraft.

Since the two countries established diplomatic relations, 150 Namibian students have received higher education in China. In addition, China has sent a total of over 20 professors and instructors as well as eight batches of acupuncture specialists to Namibia since 1996. They earned the respect of the local people with their dedication to work.

Wei said that China-Namibia relations have a solid foundation and a bright future. Both sides are willing to further promote bilateral relations. He believes that Wu's visit to Namibia will provide a new opportunity for the two countries to consolidate their "all-around" friendship, to deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields, and to jointly improve people's lives.

By People's Daily Online

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