President Zuma: Welcoming remarks during Banquet in honour of Heads of State and Dignitaries attending the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation FOCAC Summit, 3 December 2015

Your Excellency, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China,
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government of the States of the African Continent
Your Excellency, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African
Union Commission,
Honourable Ministers,
Excellencies and members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mr President,

Allow me to warmly welcome you and other Heads of State to the official Banquet of the Johannesburg FOCAC Summit, here at the Sandton Convention Centre.

We are honoured by the attendance of such a great number of my African colleagues to the first FOCAC Summit to be held on African soil.

Tomorrow we begin our hard work toward further developing this crucial and unique strategic partnership with the People’s Republic of China, to ensure that we provide the strategic impetus to drive the relationship to a significantly higher level.

Over the next two days, we will explore the theme of the Summit “Africa-China Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development”.

As we ponder over a variety of issues, we should keep in mind the historical goal Africa has set for itself, namely to constantly work toward a prosperous and united Africa, that is at peace with itself and that will assume its rightful space in the global arena.

Tonight, we should not be making speeches but rather celebrate our coming together at this juncture in time, to ensure the success of future generations of African and Chinese societies, working together for a better Africa and the world!

I wish to conclude with a famous Chinese saying: 人心齐,泰山移 rén xīn qí, tài shān yí – “When people work with one mind, they can even remove Mount Taishan”.

Therefore, I call on everyone present here tonight to work together with one mind to ensure the success of this Summit, as we grow the foundations of our relationship going forward.

Please join me and President Xi in a toast to the success of this great partnership, to the advancement of the African and Chinese peoples, and to the longstanding friendship between Africa and China.

Please enjoy your meal!

Gan Bei!

I thank you





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