The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China on Thursday held a farewell reception for the 12 Gambian students who successfully obtained the 2016 Chinese Government Scholarships to study in top universities across China. This is the first batch of Chinese Government scholarships awarded to Gambian students since the resumption of diplomatic ties between the two countries in March this year.
Speaking at the event, His Excellency Zhang Jiming, the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia, highlighted the dynamic and robust momentum of the bilateral relations between the two countries. He emphasised the importance of education as a key area of the bilateral cooperation.
“This showcases how fast and how much our newly established ties could deliver and benefit the people. It comes a long way within a short period of around four months to make the Chinese Government Scholarships available and the Gambian students’ application successful and their trip to China ready. In a large sense, this is an occasion for celebration,” he said.
”I would therefore take the opportunity to congratulate the Gambian government and people on the wonderful July 22nd anniversary celebrations and the laudable progress achieved in the past decades on so many fronts with education as one of the many outstanding.”
Ambassador Jiming noted that China and Africa though far away from each other, are connected heart and soul and are bound together not only by profound traditional friendship and shared interests, but also by their common pursuit of development dreams. He said China and The Gambia are old friends with renewed friendship, noting that the decision to normalise relations by the leaders of the two countries serves the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries and their people.
‘’Both China and The Gambia attaches great importance to the relationship. In the past few months since China and The Gambia resumed diplomatic ties, our bilateral relations enjoy a dynamic momentum of development. Our mutual understanding is deepening, our economic and commercial cooperation is launched, our people-to-people exchanges are lively, and our coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues is smooth. And there are plans and projects in the pipeline which I believe will soon start implementation for the benefit of our two countries and peoples,’’ he affirmed.
‘’So in the course of our respective strides toward national development and prosperity, ours is a relationship of friends, brothers and partners, one that is based on equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit, win-win cooperation and common development.’’
The Ambassador further assured that China will stand by The Gambia and be supportive of its efforts to achieve national development and prosperity in terms of sharing know-how, expertise, knowledge and experience.
“Never forget to align your own dreams with that of your motherland, to which you are so deeply indebted and will have so much to contribute,” the Ambassador said in direct address to the students.
‘’I would encourage you by quoting one of the most well known sayings of the Prophet Muhammad who reportedly drew attention to China’s uniqueness as a source of knowledge–Seek knowledge even if in China, for the seeking of knowledge is incumbent upon every Muslim. Seeking knowledge in China becomes more relevant today. China is huge in size and population, rich in history and culture, diverse in ethnicity and religion, unique in language and tradition. It boasts an unbroken history of more than 5,000 years of civilization, and a strong bond among its over 1.3 billion Chinese people of 56 ethnic groups. Since the advent of modern times, China experienced untold sufferings from colonialism, imperialism and domestic turmoil and faced its greatest perils.’’
He noted that with great sacrifices and against all odds, the Chinese nation has emerged resilient from trials and tribulations; from poverty to prosperity, and from weakness to strength.
by Baboucarr Camara