Ambassador Qin Jian: Jointly Championing a New Chapter of China-Somalia Friendship
The new year 2020 has come,on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to extend the my cordial greetings and good wishes to the brotherly Somali people. I wish the Somali political progress, social development, people's happiness and greater achievements in the New Year!
Over the past year, the Somali government and people have made positive progress on the path of peace, reconstruction and development. In the beautiful country, I deeply feel the Somali people's pursuit and yearning for peace and happiness. In my contacts with Somali political leaders, government officials, experts and scholars, business friends, women and youth, I deeply feel the profound and pure friendship of the Somali people to the Chinese people.
Somalia is a beautiful and rich country with a coastline of more than 3300 kilometers. In the long history, the people are full of diligence and wisdom, creating brilliant culture, national music and dance, and forming their own language and characters in long-term production and life practice. Its unique geographical location is admired by the world, people yearn for the beautiful beach in Somalia, and are eager to roam in the seaside coconut forest, take a breath of the seaside air, and blow the delightful sea breeze.
I am deeply honored to be Ambassador to Somalia and make a bond with Somalia. In the past years, I have often felt the charm of this country and the pure and friendly feelings of the two peoples. "Good friends feel close to each other even when they are separated by vast distance". Although China and Somalia are far away by mounts and rivers, people to people exchanges between the two countries can be traced back to 600 years ago, when Zheng He, a famous Chinese navigator and treasure Voyages, visited Mogadishu twice along the Maritime Silk Road, which greatly boosted the economic and cultural exchanges between China and Somalia. At that time, China called Mogadishu city with full of merchants as "木骨都刺". Since then, the two peoples has been closely linked by the Maritime Silk Road .
In 1960, China and Somalia established diplomatic relations, and Somalia is the first country in East Africa to establish diplomatic relations with China. From 1960 to 1991, the Chinese government helped Somalia build a large number of infrastructure, such as National Stadium, Benadir Hospital and National Grand Theatre, etc., which are still celebrated by the Somali people, China sent 13 groups of medical teams to Somalia, with a total of nearly 400 doctors, and cured thousands of Somali people. The flower of China and Somalia friendship is deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples. Since Somalia unfortunately fell into civil war in 1991, China has made unremitting efforts for the peaceful development of Somalia through bilateral and multilateral channels, including politics, economy, education, human resources development and development assistance.
Somalia is known as the "camel kingdom" in the world. Mogadishu is known as "the white pearl in the Indian Ocean". This hot land has radiated with brilliant light from ancient times to now. It is firm and tenacious to peace, persistent to development and yearning for happiness, just like the sea faced by Somalia to be convinced by people. Today, it is facing "Phoenix Nirvana" after years of pain. As a sincere and friendly partner of Somalia, China with Somalis has always been helping each other, since many years, the Chinese government and people have provided humanitarian assistance to the people of Somalia, many Somali students go studying in the first-class universities of China under the Chinese government scholarships, inheriting the friendship and developing the future. They will surely become the talents of Somalia's national development and construction and friendly bridges and ties of generations between the two countries. Both Chinese and Somali people love peace deeply, without peace, there will be no development, without peace, there will be no people's happy life. The Chinese people sincerely hope that Somalia will be revitalized and developed, and the Somali people will be happy and peaceful!
"When the sun rises, the flowers of the river are more red than fire. When spring comes, the water of the river is as green as blue". The new year marks an important election year in the history of Somalia, and also the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Somalia. China and Somalia friendship will continue to march forward. We have extended sympathy to and helped each other throughout all the years. In the new year, we with the Somali side will work in unity and forged ahead, promote the cooperation and common development in the triumph of the Forum of China and Africa Cooperation, Forum of China and Arab Cooperation and the building of the Belt and Road Initiative, we should strive to develop friendly cooperation between the two countries in various fields such as economy and trade, infrastructure construction, agriculture, health care, education, culture, capacity-building, people to people exchanges, etc., we sincerely hope that Somalia will achieve new achievements in its development. The Chinese side will follow the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests put forward by President Xi Jinping, and work together with the Somali people to jointly champion a new chapter in the friendly cooperation between the two countries.