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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Zhang Jinxiong at the Farewell Reception
2018/07/12

(July 9, 2018, Paramaribo, Chinese Embassy in Suriname)

Your Excellency Yldiz Pollack-Beighle, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Your Honorable Ministers and Respected Members of the Parliament,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps and International Organizations,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening!

It is my privilege and great pleasure to welcome you all at my farewell reception. I arrived with my wife Ning Rongming on May 12, 2016 at Paramaribo and started my second term in Suriname. I have served in Suriname for more than 6 years for two terms, during which I travelled to various cities from Albina to Nickerie, from Paramaribo to Brokopondo. Almost every street and corner of the capital has my footrpint. The deeper I know about Suriname, the deeper I love the country and the people here. When I am about to leave, my mind is full of nostalgia to the beauty of Suriname, which I consider as my second hometown, and I feel very hard to put my feelings across with words.

Please allow me to express my sincere gratitude to all the friends in different circles. A few days ago, His Excellency President Bouterse held a grand ceremony at the Presidential Palace, awarding me the Grand Ribbon in the Honorary Order of the Palm, and highly commended my work. This honor shows the great importance that President Bouterse attaches to China-Suriname relations and the deep friendship between our two countries and two peoples.

I would like to especially thank Foreign Minister Beighle, who has made great efforts to promote good and fruitful bilateral relations between China and Suriname. My appreciation also goes to the Government and all of you present here tonight for your support to the Chinese Embassy and to me personally. Since I was the ambassador to Suriname, I have tried my best to promote the cooperation between our two great countries. With your assistance and support, I cultivated the flower of friendship with full enthusiasm and all endeavors. Now it is in splendid blossoms.

China-Suriname relations witnessed great achievements in recent two years. China and Suriname treat each other as partner with mutual understanding, respect, support and benefits. Political trust is strengthened through frequent high-level exchanges. A number of ministers, members of parliament, party leaders and district governors have visited China. Exchanges and cooperation in various fields are further intensified. Practical cooperation has expanded in the field of infrastructure, finance, agriculture, capacity building, tourism and culture. Projects of Dalian IV, Wanica hospital, national broadband and e-governance are pressing ahead smoothly. Projects of 350 houses and international airport expansion will be launched very soon. Feasibility study of an agriculture technological cooperation center has been concluded. Road safety and surveillance project is under intensive study. Private investors such as Zhonghengtai Company, Broad Homes and CDIG are investing Suriname and expanding their business. People-to-people exchanges become more dynamic. Last year there were about 400 officials from Suriname who went to China for short term training courses and this year we can keep the same amount. The Temple Fair, Chinese Film Festival and Designer’s Night enable Surinamese to know and enjoy Chinese culture. The Confucius Institute has opened Chinese language classes. Learning Chinese and studying in China have aroused the interest of the people, especially the young people in Suriname.

China-Suriname relations has turned to a new page. A few weeks ago, Minister Beighle and I signed MOU on the Belt and Road Initiative. This new platform will help us to achieve higher level of policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bond. Our two countries also have very good exchanges and cooperation in regional and international affairs, not only making positive contribution to the international peace and stability, but also giving new dynamics to the development of China-CELAC and China-Caricom relations.

Looking ahead, I have full confidence about the future of our bilateral relations. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China's development has entered into a new era. Our economy is more open and our cooperation with foreign countries is increasing. This will create important opportunities for Suriname. I believe, by working closely together, the China-Suriname relations will embrace a brighter and more prosperous future.

I am leaving Suriname on July 24. Upon leaving, I found it hard to tear myself away from Suriname. This is a place where I spent 6 joyful years of my life, where I made so many friends, where I had so many unforgettable moments. This is a great country that makes my diplomatic career a complete success and my life a splendid victory.

Now, I wish to propose a toast:

To the mutual beneficial cooperation between our two countries,

To the brighter future of our bilateral relations,

To the everlasting friendship between our two peoples,

To the health of the Presidents of our two countries,

To the health of all the distinguished guests present,

Cheers!

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