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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador HU Dingxian at the Pre-Departure Reception in Honour of the Basotho Students Awarded with 2013/14 Chinese Government Scholarship
(15 August 2013, Maseru)

Let me pay my respect to His Majesty King Letsie III and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Motsoahae Thomas Thabane, and other protocols observed.
Hon. Makabelo Mosothoane, Minister of Education and Training,
Senior Government Officials,
Dear Recipient Students,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning and welcome!

First of all, I wish to express my sincere thanks to Hon. Minister Mosothoane for her presence.

Today, it gives me great pleasure to host this reception in honour of the 13 Basotho Students,who have won this year's Chinese Government Scholarship to study in China.  I would like to extend my warmest congratulation to the recipient students for having such good opportunities to further studies, enhance their capabilities and broaden their visions in some of the most renowned universities in China.

These young students are admitted to 13 different universities according to their academic merits, with full scholarship from the Chinese government, studying different subjects, such as journalism, economics, geochemistry, management, international trade, international politics, communication engineering, logistic engineering and so on, and pursuing their bachelor or master degrees.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Early this year, Chinese New President H. E. Xi Jinping paid his first foreign official visit to the African continent, attaching much importance to China-Africa relationship. China is committed to assist African countries to enhance their capacity for independent and sustainable development, by focusing on more technical transfer and improvement of human resources. The Chinese Government will continue to provide training to 30,000 personnel in various fields for Africa, to offer 18,000 government scholarships and build cultural and vocational skills training facilities in African countries in three years starting from this year. China-Africa cooperative relations of mutual benefits and win-win have become ever closer, people to people contacts and cultural and educational exchanges have become more frequent. According to reports, there are now 500,000 African in China, among them, 300,000 are businessmen, 30,000 are student, 20,000 tourists, 4000 professionals and so on.

In terms of Lesotho, recent years have witnessed a sound momentum for development in China-Lesotho relations. We have achieved fruitful results in deepening political mutual trust, strengthening economic and technical cooperation and promoting the exchanges and cooperation in the fields of education, culture and health, which have brought great benefits to the peoples of our two countries.

Also, the last 30 years and more have witnessed fast development and transformation in Chinese economy and society. China's education,science and technology have been fast growing. China has become the second economy in the world, contributing more than 20% to world economic development. China is now transforming and upgrading its economy through reform, for healthy growth and sustainable development. We need to open the country wider and engage in more exchanges and cooperation with other countries, especially with African countries. In the next five years, China will import 10 trillion dollars worth of goods. These will provide with a lot of opportunities for cooperation. So, it is high time that one should visit China, study in China and experience China. I am convinced that with the knowledge and skill you learned in China, you will surely in the better position in pursuing your goals and future careers. Your study in China will open doors for new opportunities in different fields.

Here I would like to tell you a story of an African girl, whose name called Maria, from the Republic of Sierra Leone, who came to China for the first time in 2004 at the age of 18,without any knowledge of China. A sudden illness helped her make acquaintance with a Chinese lady whom she later called her "Chinese mother". She taught the girl Chinese language, Chinese arts and how to make Chinese dishes, etc., which made her fall in love with Chinese culture and forge an indissoluble bond with China. In 2007, she participated in a popular TV art programme contest called "CCTV Avenue of Stars", something like "Hollywood Walk of Fame", and became a sparking super star in China. She is now well-known to almost every household in China as "Black Pearl" Maria. There are many other talented African youth, like Hao GE, Hao Di, and Jie Gai, who have achieved success and won fames through hard work and study in China,and become "bridge" of friendship between Chinese and African peoples. They have set a good example for you all.

Here, I would like to introduce a talented Basotho girl, Miss Motena Thibeli to you all, who is studying in China for her PhD degree. She will tell you her experience of life and study in China later on.

Dear Students, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Youth are back bone to the nation. Youth are the future of the country, and youth are whom we pin our hopes on. Like other countries, both China and Lesotho need more and more highly-qualified talents to build up their motherlands, to ensure the social economic development and the peace and security. I do hope you will live up to the expectation of your parents and teachers, cherish this golden opportunity to try your best in mastering knowledge and skills and come back to serve the Basotho Nation and people. Moreover, I believe, after several  years' living and learning in China, you can know better about China, understand more about the Chinese language and culture, make friends with more Chinese people, and also don't hesitate to tell them about Lesotho, the unique Mountain Kingdom in the world, promoting better understanding and friendship between our two peoples.  From now on, you are all friendship envoys. As the Chinese Ambassador, I am very glad to see so many partners working together with me to bring the two friendly countries and peoples ever closer.

Finally, I wish every one of you success, good journey and wonderful time in China.

Thank you for your attention.

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