Put na­tional in­ter­est first, urges China

Lesotho Times - - News - Mot­samai Mokotjo

CHINA has called on Ba­sotho to unite and put the na­tional in­ter­est first to over­come the po­lit­i­cal chal­lenges the Moun­tain King­dom is fac­ing.

This was said by Chi­nese Am­bas­sador, HU Dingx­ian, dur­ing a re­cep­tion mark­ing the 66th an­niver­sary of the East Asian gi­ant held at Avani Le­sotho. The colour­ful event was at­tended by Act­ing For­eign Af­fairs and In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions Min­is­ter Tsuku­lane Au, se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and diplo­mats in­clud­ing United States Am­bas­sador Mathew Har­ring­ton and his Euro­pean Union coun­ter­part Michael Doyle.

The Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China was for­mally es­tab­lished on 1 Oc­to­ber 1949 by then Com­mu­nist Party Chair­man, Mao Ze­dong, and set off on a path cul­mi­nat­ing in the for­merly im­pov­er­ished na­tion be­com­ing the sec­ond largest econ­omy in the world.

He said China was al­ways ready to sup­port African coun­tries, in­clud­ing Le­sotho.

“For decades, it has be­come a tra­di­tion for China and Africa to sup­port and help each other, with sin­cere friend­ship and by treat­ing each other on an equal foot­ing,” said Am­bas­sador Dingx­ian.

“China has closely in­te­grated its de­vel­op­ment with that of the African coun­tries, fo­cus­ing on help­ing them in­crease ca­pa­bil­ity for in­de­pen­dent and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and mak­ing its due con­tri­bu­tion to so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of Africa.”

He said China-africa co­op­er­a­tion was be­ing up­graded from com­mod­ity im­port and ex­port to in­dus­trial con­nec­tion, co­op­er­a­tion on in­dus­trial ca­pac­ity and tech­ni­cal trans­fer.

“China will fo­cus on help­ing African Coun­tries build three ma­jor de­vel­op­ment sys­tems that the in­dus­trial sys­tem for in­de­pen­dent and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, the food se­cu­rity sys­tem and the public health preven­tion and con­trol sys­tem, and to help solve three ma­jor liveli­hood prob­lems of food, em­ploy­ment and health,” Am­bas­sador Dingx­ian said.

He lauded Ba­sotho for the peace­ful trans­fer of power fol­low­ing the 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 gen­eral elec­tions, which saw the seven-party coali­tion led by Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili com­ing into power.

“As (a) good brother, good friend and good part­ner, China was happy to see that Le­sotho suc­cess­fully held a peace­ful, free and fair elec­tion and had a smooth tran­si­tion of the Gov­ern­ment, with the as­sis­tance and sup­port of the re­gional and in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ties, for which I would like once again to ex­press our con­grat­u­la­tions,” the am­bas­sador said.

He, how­ever, called on Ba­sotho to put the na­tion’s in­ter­ests first to en­sure sta­bil­ity and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

“At present, though, Le­sotho is again fac­ing a lot of dif­fi­cul­ties and chal­lenges, I sin­cerely hope all Ba­sotho peo­ple will unite as one, put the over­all na­tional in­ter­ests in the first place, and over­come the dif­fi­cul­ties and chal­lenges as early as pos­si­ble so that they can put more time, energy and re­sources on so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment that are badly needy by the Ba­sotho na­tion,” noted Am­bas­sador Dingx­ian.

He paid trib­ute to the role played by the South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) in par­tic­u­lar, and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity in gen­eral, in ef­forts to re­store Le­sotho’s po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity.

“China ap­pre­ci­ates the as­sis­tance and role played by SADC and other re­gional and in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ties for help­ing Le­sotho to re­store peace and se­cu­rity and to solve the prob­lems by African ways and ap­proaches. China is ready to con­tinue and en­hance our mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion with Le­sotho and strive for a win-win re­sult and com­mon de­vel­op­ment,” Am­bas­sador Dingx­ian said.

In ad­di­tion to the con­struc­tion of the Na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, new State House, the diplo­mat said a China-le­sotho Friend­ship Mid­dle School would soon be built.

He said: “Both sides are con­sult­ing with each other to re­new the Ac­tion Plan for the Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the China-le­sotho Cul­tural Agree­ment. More im­por­tantly, both sides have signed the agree­ment for set­ting up a Con­fu­cius Class Room at Mach­abeng Col­lege, where Chi­nese lan­guage will be taught in not long a fu­ture.”

Am­bas­sador Dingx­ian also re­vealed that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment would soon send a tech­ni­cal team to Le­sotho to pro­vide as­sis­tance in agri­cul­ture and food se­cu­rity.

In his re­marks, Mr Au, who is also Public Ser­vice min­is­ter, noted that China re­mained “a true friend of the whole con­ti­nent of Africa”.

“She (China) plays an im­por­tant role in Africa’s de­vel­op­ment un­der the frame­work of the Fo­rum for China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion to ad­vance Africa’s de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

“Through this mech­a­nism, Le­sotho has ben­e­fited im­mensely from China’s de­vel­op­ment as­sis­tance. In par­tic­u­lar, the build­ing of the new Par­lia­ment, re­fur­bish­ment of ‘Man­thabiseng Con­ven­tion Cen­tre and build­ing of the State Li­brary just to men­tion a few.”

Chi­nese Am­bas­sador hu Dingx­ian toasts with Act­ing For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Tsukut­lane Au.

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