Light the Way Ahead with Unity and Hard Working——Address by H.E. Ambassador Zhou Jian at the Lantern Festival Celebration with the Chinese community in Fiji
2023-02-06 12:21

Light the Way Ahead with Unity and Hard Working

Address by H.E. Ambassador Zhou Jian at the Lantern Festival Celebration with the Chinese community in Fiji

At Yuelai Hotel, Feb. 5, 2023

His Excellency President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere and Madame First Lady,

Honorable Ministers and Assistant Ministers,

My dear fellow countrymen, friends,

Ni sa bula vinaka!Good evening!

It gives me great pleasure to celebrate the Chinese traditional Lantern Festival in the beautiful city of Suva with Mr. President and Madame First Ladyand overseas Chinese in Fiji.

In Chinese culture, the Lantern Festival symbolizes people’s aspiration for a brighter future and family reunion like the full moon. The presenceof Mr. President and Madame First Lady gives tonight a more festive meaning, which is the reunion and unity of all ethnic groups in Fiji.

So, first of all, please let me extend my warmestwelcome and best wishes to His Excellency and his wife, ministers, assistant ministers and all distinguished guests.

On festive occasions more than ever, we think of our relatives far away. I would also like to take this opportunity to convey the cordial festival greetings of the CPCParty, the Chinese Government as well as the 1.4 billion Chinese people to mydearest fellow countrymen in Fiji.

This is my first time attending an event of the Chinese community in Fiji after my arrival 5 days ago. I am very pleased to meet all of you present. Meeting people from hometownbrings tears to the eyes”. Wish you all have an auspicious Year of the Rabbit with happiness and prosperity.

This year’s Lantern Festival coincides with the Beginning of Spring, which is the first of the 24 Solar Terms of China, marking that winter comes to the end and everything starts to grow. In Fiji, a cooler and more comfortable season is approaching. Nature enlightens us that from now on, all undertakings will usher innew and greater development.

First, the developmentof Chinese community will embrace a promising future. In accepting my credentials, His Excellency the President spoke highly of the Chinese community. He told me that as early as over 160 years ago, Chinese people came to Fiji along the Maritime Silk Road and were the first to conduct trade activities here. They have made important contributions to Fiji’s economic and social development and become a special and important bond of friendship between Fiji and China. I’m so happy to see that the Chinese Communityhasbecome an inalienable part of the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic local society. They stood together with our Fijian brothers and sisters to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. They also quickly restored business after the epidemic eased, working hard not only for theirpersonal development but also forthe brighter future of Fiji.

My dear compatriots, the Chinese nation values unity and harmony. As an oldsaying goes, deeds done by all are invincible.Unity means strength and hope. No matter which part of China you are from and no matter when you came to Fiji, it is every one of you who makes the Chinese community. I truly hope allof you may carry forward the traditional Chinese spirit of unity and harmony. Help each other, support each other, safeguard the reputationof Chinese people, and protect the collective interest of the Chinese community,just like protecting your own eyes.

I also hope His Excellency the President and the Fijian government could continue taking care of the Chinese community, and providing more support for their development. The Chinese Embassy will continue to follow the principle of “putting people first and serving the people with diplomacy”, provide quality consular services, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of every Chinese compatriotin Fiji.

Secondly, China’s development will embrace a promising future. My dear compatriots, I know you always careabout the development of the motherland. Ever since China adopted the reform and opening-up policy, especially during the last decade, we have made historical achievements. Last year, the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was successfully convened and rolled out the timetable and roadmap for advancing the great rejuvenation of our nation through a Chinese path to modernization. China will stay committed to the path of peaceful development, deepen reform, open wider to the world, and actively promote building a community with a shared future for mankind. The modernization of a country with over 1.4 billion people, will create an unprecedented super-scale market in human historyand provide great opportunities for the world including Fiji.

My dear compatriots, Chinese culture embodies the philosophy of unity and stability, which is crucial for the civilization to thrive thousands of years without interruption. Looking back in history, national secession occurred when the nation was weak and in disorder. The Taiwan question arose as a result of weakness and chaos in the nation. It will be resolved as national rejuvenation becomes a reality. Today’s China is more determined and capable than ever before, to resolve the Taiwan question. I hope all overseas Chinese in Fiji could continue to firmly support and contribute to the great cause of national reunification across the Taiwan Straits.

Thirdly, China-Fiji relations will embrace a promising future. Fiji was the first Pacific Island country to establish diplomatic ties with China. China and Fiji are natural partners of cooperation with profound friendship, integrated culture, complementary economy and great potentials. China’s policy towards Fiji has always been orientated towards all Fijian people. At the moment, Fiji’s new government has taken office and China will elect a new government leadership this March. Our bilateral relations are standing at a new historical starting point. As the 14th Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Republic of Fiji, I will spare no efforts to fulfill my duty and work with my compatriots and the Fijian government, to accelerate the development of China-Fiji exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and deliver more benefits to ourtwo countries and peoples.

The development of China-Fijirelations cannot be achieved without mutual understanding and amity among the people. I hope all overseas Chinese in Fiji would leverage advantages of integration, give full play to the role of bridges, deepen the cooperation in all respects,and become builders and contributors of China-Fiji friendship in the new era.

Dearfriends, the Year of the Rabbit carries all beautiful meanings, cleverness, agility, purity, kindness and peace etc. I hope both of our countries can work together in good faith and unity to open up an even better future in this beautiful year ahead!

At last, but not the least, thank you again Mr. President and Madame First Lady for joining in today’s celebration. I wish all of you a Happy Lantern Festival, and a joyous evening!

Thank you! Vinaka vakalevu!