Tour of Duty

Tour of Duty

Rapelang Mosae

MASERU

THE newly appointed People’s Republic of China ambassador to Lesotho, Sun Xianghua, says he will work hard to strengthen relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Xianghua was speaking at a reception to assume office in Lesotho held at Avani Lesotho on Monday.

He said China last year pledged US$60 billion towards cooperation projects with Africa at last year’s Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

It is with these funds in mind that he said his main task is to see how “he can seize this opportunity to further China-Lesotho friendly cooperation”.

He added that he also wants to “contribute more to Lesotho’s efforts in realising self-sufficient and self-reliant development”.

“The mission is glorious, the challenge is daunting. However, with the understanding, support and synergy from our Basotho friends, I have not a hint of doubt that we will prevail,” he said.

The ambassador said China and Lesotho enjoy “time-tested friendship and solidarity” with the relations being anchored on mutual respect and trust built over decades of cooperation.

“My confidence comes from the strong belief that the wise and diligent and courageous Basotho people, under the leadership of the government of Lesotho, will overcome whatever challenges and difficulties that lie ahead,” he said.

He also commended the Lesotho government’s unrelenting efforts to safeguard its hard earned independence, sovereignty and stability.

He commended Lesotho over its National Strategic Development Plan and Sustainable Development Goals which he said clearly pointed out the country’s development target.

与外长碰杯

Speaking at the reception, Foreign Affairs Minister Tlohang Sekhamane said the government will support the new ambassador to fulfil his mandate.

Sekhamane was however quick to remind the guests that China-Lesotho relations began long before China and Lesotho formalised the relationship.

He said the relations between the two countries began in the 1950s when China helped Lesotho in its fight for liberation.

He said the formal relationship has been characterised by a number of tangible benefits including medical teams China sent to Lesotho to help in hospitals as well as to provide training to Basotho health professionals.

Sekhamane also mentioned a number of buildings in Lesotho funded by China, such as the parliament building atop the Mpilo Plateau, ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre, the State Library and the new State House as well as the Lesotho-China Friendship School that is under construction on top of Thuathe Plateau.

The minister stated that China and Lesotho owed the success of their relations to non-interference in one another’s internal affairs among others.

He invited China to fulfil its peace keeping mandate by fighting terrorist groups like Boko Haram and the Isis.

Sekhamane said the government of Lesotho supported the “one China policy” which seeks the reunification of all Chinese territories.

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