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Remarks by H. E. Ambassador Hu Dingxian at the Handover Ceremony of the China-Aid Solar Street Lighting Demonstration Project
(August 1st, 2013 at Pitseng)

May I start by paying my respect to His Majesty King Letsie III and
the Rt. Hon. Dr. Motsoahae Thomas Thabane, and all other protocols observed.

Hon. Mothetjoa Metsing, Deputy Prime Minister,
Hon. Timothy Thahane, Minister of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs,
Hon. Khotso Matla, Minister of Forestry and Land Reclamation,
Principal Chief,
Dear Principal Secretary of MEMWA,
Hon. Member of the Parliament,
Other Senior Government Officials,
Mr. Fan Chenhong, Manager of ZTE in Lesotho and Members of the Chinese technical team,
Distinguished Guests,
Friends from the News Media,
Bo Mme le bo Ntate, Lumelang!
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning!

It gives me a great pleasure to be here at this beautiful village of Pitseng, to attend the Handover Ceremony of the Solar Street Lighting Demonstration Project aided by the Government of the People's Republic of China and have the honour, on behalf of the Chinese Government, to hand over this completed project to the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho. First of all, please allow me to express my sincere thanks to the Hon. DPM and the Hon. Ministers for their presence on behalf of the Lesotho Government.

This project is implemented according to the new 8 measures announced by Chinese former Premier Wen Jiabao at the 4th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Oct. 2009, of which the Chinese Government would provide Lesotho Government with several China-Aid Projects including the Solar Street Lighting Demonstration Project suggested by the Lesotho Government in line with its priorities for development, the national conditions and the Millennium Development Goals.

The Project was officially launched on January, 2013 by our two Governments. The implementation of the project was undertaken by ZTE Corporation of China, aimed at helping Lesotho enhance security of energy and the rural electrification by constructing and installing solar street lights at three locations namely Mount Moorosi, Ha Ntsi and Pitseng in Lesotho respectively.

During the process of installation, the Chinese technical team carried out the skill transfer to the Lesotho technical team for the operation of these lights and for the future maintenance.

This is the first new energy cooperation project China conducted with the kingdom of Lesotho.

So here, I wish to express my warm congratulations on the successful completion of the Project and thanks to both Chinese and Lesotho Technical Teams and all participants for their hard work and efficiency, and also my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to Hon. Minister Thahane and his staff in the Ministry of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs for their good cooperation and assistance, without which the success of the Project would not be possible.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nowadays, the development of renewable energy has become one of the major choices for most countries in tackling global energy crisis and climate change. Solar energy is the most promising of the renewable energy sources in view of its apparent limitless potential, and also the solar energy has major advantages in its technologies, including the simplicity, easy maintenance as well as its enhanced environmental friendliness over fossil fuel systems. Besides it can provide direct benefit at national and local levels by contributing to substantial savings in imports bills for fossil fuels and to improve productivity and indirect positive effects are also visible in the form of the creation of new employment opportunities.

In terms of Lesotho, I think Solar energy is one of the right way for energy needs of her citizens. Lesotho is a country with abundance of renewable energy, such as solar and wind, and making these resources available and controllable at a low price undoubtedly have important meaning to Basotho people.

I believe that this Solar Street Lighting Demonstration Project will not only help develop Lesotho national capability in the utilization of solar energy, develop the state for solar energy technologies and technical experts, but also will make useful contribution to protecting local eco-environment, to promoting local socio-economic growth and development, and to improving the life of the communities in the above-mentioned areas.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At present, the Chinese people, under the new leadership of the Central Government, are striving hard to realize the Chinese dream of the great renewal of the Chinese nation, of which to achieve ecological progress and build a beautiful China is an important part, and for which we have been changing the pattern of our economic development, restructuring our economies and upgrading the technologies. We will more conscientiously promote green, circular and low-carbon development.

In essence, the Chinese Dream is in consistence with the beautiful dreams cherished by people of other countries and, in particular, highly consistent with the African Dream.

The Chinese Dream and the African Dream are both for peace and development.

China will continue to carry out in-depth exchanges and cooperation with African countries, included Lesotho, in the ecological field, promote the sharing of best practices and make concerted efforts for a beautiful home planet with a sound eco-environment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In recent years, China-Lesotho relation has maintained a sound momentum for development. In particular, the first half of 2013 has witnessed fruitful results and a lot of good news in our friendly and pragmatic cooperation. We have maintained frequent exchanges of high-level visits. The Hon. DPM has just paid a successful visit to China. We have successfully completed the Project of Land Use and physical Planning, and the Expansion Project of Lesotho Radio & TV Network. Both our two peoples have shared profound friendship with each other. The Eighth Batch of Chinese Medical Team has been serving in the Leribe Hospital of this district, reducing pains and curing diseases for the local people. The Chinese and Lesotho economies are highly complementary. We should seize the opportunity to expand cooperation in various fields, especially in the development and utilization of renewable energy. China is ready to work together with Lesotho to enhance cooperation for common development, and continue to provide assistance and help within its capacity by focusing more on technical transfer and improvement of people's well-beings, so as to bring benefits to more Basotho people.

Kea leboha. Thank you all!


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