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The Chinese Embassy in Tonga Holds 2019 Spring Festival Reception

On 31st January, H.E. Ambassador Wang Baodong hosted 2019 Spring Festival Reception in the Chinese Embassy in the Kingdom of Tonga. Hon. Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva, Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika, Ministers of Finance, Agriculture, Fisheries, Commerce, Education, some Members of the Parliament, Members of the Chinese Community, Representatives of the China-aid Projects and Chinese companies got together joyously to welcome the Chinese New Year of the pig.

Ambassador Wang Baodong extended festival greetings to the guests, and delivered a speech to share with them new achievements in China's domestic development and new progress in its external relations in the year of 2018.  As Ambassador Wang stated, in the past year, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with General Secretary Xi Jinping at the core, the Chinese people set out an unusual an extraordinary journey.  The Chinese economy continued to enjoy high-quality development, with  China's GDP reaching 90 trillion RMB yuan for the first time and with a growth rate of 6.6% over the previous year, and China has been keeping its role as a main engine of the world economic growth. China intensified its efforts to improve people's well-being and steadily raised the standards of their livelihood. China celebrated the 40th anniversary of its reform and opening-up with over 100 new and major reform measures launched. China hosted a series of big diplomatic events, put its proposals on the table and made its voice heard around the world.

Ambassador Wang emphasized that the year of 2019 had arrived with new opportunities and new challenges, and we will usher in the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in October.  Over the past 70 years, through hard work and wisdom, the Chinese people were relieved from poverty and backwardness , and have created miracles in the history of human development, making significant contributions to promoting world peace and development while developing China itself. Looking into the future, we're full of confidence in China's development prospects.  Guided by the Thought of Xi Jinping on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, China will, internally, continue to deepen reforms, maintain sustained and healthy economic development and strive to meet people's ever-growing needs for a better life. Externally, China will spare no effort to open wider to the world and propel the collaboration with other countries under the framework of "the Belt and Road Initiative" for the purpose of building A Community with Shared Future for Mankind and a more prosperous and more beautiful world.

Ambassador Wang spoke positively of the great progress of the China-Tonga relations made in 2018, and pointed out that the two countries maintained close exchanges at all levels, in particular, President Xi Jinping hosted a state visit to China for His Majesty Tupou VI and held a bilateral meeting in PNG with Hon. Prime Minister Pohiva, when the leaders agreed on upgrading our bilateral relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Featuring Mutual Respect and Common Development, charting a new course for the future development of China-Tonga relations. The mutually beneficial collaboration between the two countries in various fields were fruitful and brought new tangible benefits to the two countries and peoples.  In the year of 2019, China is ready to join hands with Tonga to continuously carry out the important consensus reached by our state leaders, make good use of "the Belt & Road" platform, deepen exchange and cooperation in various fields, further improve the welfare of the two peoples and contribute more to the maintenance of peace, stability and development in the Pacific Island region at large.

Ambassador Wang fully acknowledged the active role of the Chinese community in Tonga in promoting mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation between China and the Kingdom and its important contribution to China's reform and opening up and the great cause of the motherland's peaceful reunification between Mainland China and Taiwan Region. He encouraged them to continuously contribute to the economic and social development in both China and Tonga, and actively play the role of friendship envoys between the two peoples, and pledged that the Chinese Embassy will adhere to the concept of "diplomacy for the people" and work hard to provide a more favorable environment for them to live and develop in the Kingdom.

Hon. Prime Minister Pohiva shared in a speech his insight in the cultural and good-will meaning of the Chinese Spring Festival and the Year of the Pig, stating that both the Tongan and Chinese people value their families and hold on to the same tradition of family reunion during the new year. He praised the Chinese community for its contribution to the Kingdom's social and economic development, and gave his best wishes for bigger progress of the Tonga-China relations in the new year.

At the reception, the Embassy exhibited pictures of China's reform and opening up in 40 years, broadcast a video on China's  " Belt and Road" Initiative and organized a variety show of both Chinese and Tongan singing and dancing performance.  The guests exchanged seasonal greetings and best wishes for the new year and all wished China-Tonga relations make greater achievements in the future.

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