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China-Malawi relationship boosts Malawi's national development agenda

By CHRIS NHLANE (People's Daily Online)    08:57, September 26, 2019

Chris (4th L) and other African journalists during a visit at the world's biggest Daxing International Airport opened recently in Beijing.

On October 1, The People’s Republic of China (PRC) will commemorate 70 years since its founding by the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1949.

China was among the world’s poorest countries for many decades until 1978 when Beijing adopted reforms that changed domestic and foreign policies as the country began its path of opening up to the world.

These reforms gradually catapulted China to what it is today - the fastest global developing country and the world’s second-largest economy after the United States.

In this context, I can construe the phrase 'hard work pays off' to China's makeover from ‘rags to riches’ in just 41 years of opening up. Certainly, Malawi has more lessons to learn from China to flicker a comparable pace of development in the near future.

After arriving in China mid-February, I witnessed efforts by the government to improve people’s livelihoods and infrastructure. It is such diligence that corresponds with Beijing’s recent economic, industrial and military gains.

Chris (right, in red robe) participates in the Qingming Festival (the Chinese Tomb-sweeping Day) held on April 5, 2019 to commemorate Chinese ancestors. During this day Chinese people clean the graveyards, offer food to the departed, hold picnics and and narrate stories to the youth members of their families.

The Chinese can display their confidence and pride to the entire world this coming National Day.

For Malawians, there are many reasons to rejoice in China’s milestones following vast support received from Beijing since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2007.

Today, Lilongwe flaunts her opulence veiled in the Chinese-built magnificent Presidential Villas, the new Parliament building, the state-of-the-art Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) and the Bingu National Stadium.

The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Thyolo and the Karonga-Chitipa tarmac road are also part of the key infrastructural highlights of the China-Malawi cooperation.

Beijing’s government also provides Malawi with short-term training for civil servants, while security support and various health support systems and equipment were delivered to Malawi’s public hospitals through Chinese medical teams (CMTs).

Many Malawian students have also either completed or are still studying undergraduate, masters and post-graduate degrees in fields such as agriculture, engineering, medicine and media at different Chinese universities fully-funded by Chinese government scholarship programmes.

Chris and a team of African and Asian journalists visited Kibuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia to appreciate China's greening efforts of its 7th largest desert and renewable solar energy power.

In a nutshell, the forthcoming 70th anniversary is not only important to China but for Malawi too given China’s role in accelerating our national development agenda since 2007.

Here is wishing China and its people the best on the occasion of their 70th National Day celebrations!

*Chris Nhlane works for The Nation newspaper of Malawi and is currently in China for the 2019 China Africa Press Centre fellowship Programme. All views expressed are his own. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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