Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Zhang Lizhong participated in a webinar on September 15 to commemorate 60 years of friendship between the two countries.
Below, we bring you his full speech.
60 years of Sino-Ugandan diplomatic relations: a blossoming of brotherhood on the Sino-African community of destiny
The year 2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Uganda, which established diplomatic relations on October 18, 1962, just nine days after Uganda’s independence. .
Over the past 60 years, China and Uganda have forged an unshakeable brotherhood through their struggle against imperialism and colonialism, and embarked on a distinct path of cooperation in their journey towards development and revitalization.
Together, we have written a wonderful chapter of mutual assistance amid complex changes and set a good example for building an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
Over the past 60 years, we have nurtured our brotherhood by safeguarding international fairness and justice, by strengthening our mutual political trust. History attests that our solidarity and friendship have withstood the fluctuations and challenges of the times, with both countries upholding each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, supporting each other on issues concerning our respective fundamental interests and our major concerns, in the face of various forms of hegemonic practices and intimidation.
Since the early years of Uganda’s struggle against colonialism and imperialism for national independence, freedom and development, China has provided political, moral and material support to the Ugandan people to the best of its ability. On the other hand, Uganda cast its sacred vote along with dozens of other African countries in favor of UNGA Resolution 2758 which declared the restoration of the legal seat of the People’s Republic of China at the United Nations in 1971. .
China appreciates Uganda’s firm commitment to the one-China principle, which forges the core of diplomatic relations between Uganda and China, as recalled in an interview with Okello Oryem, Minister of State of Uganda in Foreign Affairs to the Xinhua News Agency following the recent reckless visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
Over the past 60 years, we have deepened the friendship between our two peoples through exchanges at all levels. In recent years, President Xi Jinping and President Museveni have maintained close interaction with each other through visits, meetings, and correspondence, among others, and our bilateral relationship was upgraded to the level of comprehensive cooperative partnership in June 2019. our people-to-people exchanges and cooperation have continued to grow richer and deeper.
Exchanges between the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreigners (CPAFFC) and CAFAU are an important part of our friendship. HE Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, then Vice President of Uganda and founder of CAFAU, visited China and attended as a guest of honor at the Chinese International Conference of Friendship Cities and had in-depth exchanges with Chinese heads of state. As a result of the conferences, China and Uganda have now formed sister cities between Wuhan and Entebbe, Shenyang and Jinja, Tangshan and Mbale, to name a few.
Initiated by HE Ssekandi and the joint efforts of both parties, CPAFFC and CAFAU have organized dragon boat races in three years, with the race in 2018 honored by HE Wangyang, the Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). during his visit to Uganda, making the Dragon Boat Race a flagship celebration of friendship between the Sino-Ugandan peoples.
The Confucius Institute, co-founded by Xiangtan University and Makerere University in 2014, is another exchange of people worth highlighting. Through the joint efforts of both parties, including Ms. Xia Zhuoqiong from Xiangtan University and Mr. Gilbert Gumoshabe from Makrere University, the Confucius Institute has been a bridge for Chinese language teaching and friendly communication. , having admitted 20,000 students and introduced 160 learners to China for language training or study abroad.
The institute has also sown the seeds to multiply Uganda’s capacity to teach the Chinese language by training 100 local teachers to teach Chinese, with an additional 500 local teachers being trained in the coming years. . We hope that with the construction and expansion of the China Bridge, more Chinese and Ugandan young people can devote themselves as ambassadors of friendship between the two countries.
Over the 60 years, we have brought tangible benefits to countries and peoples through practical cooperation. Encouraged by the momentum of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), practical cooperation brings tangible benefits to our peoples, contributing to the socio-economic transformation of the Uganda.
The Kampala-Entebbe highway, Isimba hydroelectric power station and other major infrastructure projects have been put into operation, several industrial parks with Chinese investment, including the Liaoshen Kapeeka industrial park managed by Zhang’s Group and the park Industrial Tiantang Mbale managed by Tiantang Group, among others are operating vigorously, contributing to the dynamics of industrialization and employment in Uganda. The Startimes satellite TV project has opened a window for various rural Ugandan families to access information from the outside world.
Meanwhile, the Karuma hydropower plant and Entebbe airport reconstruction and expansion are progressing well into their final stages, and a $4.7 billion investment by CNOOC in the oil exploration in Uganda is being implemented, as an overview of our practical cooperation begins to unfold in 2022.
In the fight against COVID-19, the two countries have always supported each other, and the Chinese government has provided three batches of preventive and medical materials as well as 1.6 million doses of vaccines to Uganda, as the two countries are working in close collaboration. for the implementation of more Chinese vaccine donations to Uganda.
Last November, President Xi Jinping announced the nine China-Africa cooperation programs at the opening ceremony of the Eighth FOCAC Ministerial Conference, and China and Uganda are working closely together to implement the nine programs, especially practical cooperation projects in small but beautiful, fast-acting and people-beneficial projects, sailing our cooperation to new heights. These efforts are yielding significant results.
As a Chinese proverb says, friendship between peoples is the key to state-to-state relations. 60 years of friendship testify that China and Uganda are good comrades, good friends, good partners and good brothers. Why have we come so far on the path to friendship? The answer is based on the eternal spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation forged in history, characterized by sincere friendship and equality, win-win for mutual benefit and common development, fairness and justice. , progress over time, openness and inclusiveness. It truly reflects the relations between China and Uganda working together in good times and bad over the past six decades, and provides a source of strength for the continued growth of China-Uganda friendly relations.
Whenever I reflect on the history of China-Uganda diplomatic relations, I have always been inspired by the brotherhood nurtured by our statesmen and people generation after generation. I am happy to say that today our bilateral relations are at their best in history. I call on all areas of Uganda and China to step forward to realize the consensus of our two national leaders and work hand in hand to open a new chapter of friendship, cooperation and brotherhood. over the next six decades and beyond.