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The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Dr Mamadou Tangara, on Sunday 3rd February 2019, said the Government of the Republic of The Gambia will continue to uphold and adhere to the one-China policy.

Honourable Tangara was speaking at the Reception Gala organised by the Chinese Embassy in The Gambia in observance of the 2019 Chinese New Year. Below is his full speech:

Your Excellency Ma Jianchun, Honourable Ministers here present,Honourable Members of The National Assembly,Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps,Representatives of the Chinese Community on the Gambia,Distinguished guests,Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

It gives me great pleasure to be with you to celebrate the joyous advent of the Chinese New Lunar Year, traditionally called the Spring Festival which marks the beginning of 2019 for the Chinese, this year being the year of the “PIG”. It is the most widely observed festival throughout the whole of China and the Gambia as a true friend and genuine partner, gladly joins you in celebrating its advent.

In just under two days, February 5th to be more precise, China will usher in 2019, the year of the Pig. In the Chinese culture, the Pig symbolises luck, good fortune, wealth, honesty and prosperity. Spring Festival in China is a solemn occasion and time for family reunions and prayers, visits with friends and good wishes for the coming year.

Since the resumption of diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China two years ago, the bilateral pragmatic cooperation between the two countries has yielded fruitful results/outcome in the past year at an incredible pace. 2018 was indeed a year of success and implementation of projects for Sino-Gambia relations under the wise leadership of presidents Xi Jinping and Adama Barrow. Our two countries made/achieved significant gains in pursuing and deepening relations in the past year with a flurry of engagements and commitments from both countries.

It should be noted that the first Ministerial Joint Commission between the People’s Republic of China and The Gambia was successfully held in Beijing in June 2018, followed by The Gambia’s participation as a member of FOCAC at the Seventh (7th ) Summit of The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in Beijing in September 2018, which was attended by His Excellency, President Adama Barrow. In addition, the two countries finalised and signed the agreement on mutual visa Exemption for holders of Diplomatic and Service passports as well as signed the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation.

The two governments signed the framework Agreement for the National Broadband network Project. One of the most important achievements in 2018 was the Aid Project of the Roads and bridges Construction Project in the Upper river Region where work is in earnest since December 2018 when His Excellency The President laid the foundation stone, not to mention the visit of the first high level official from the Government of the people’s Republic of China to the Gambia since the resumption of diplomatic ties between the two countries, in the person of His Excellency State Councillor WANG YI just a few weeks ago. State Councillor Wang’s visit which was a follow-up visit to reiterate the pledge made by His Excellency Xi Jinping at the Beijing Summit on the major initiatives known as the “Belt and Road initiative also served to assess the current status of the bilateral relations between the two countries and explore new areas of cooperation in the area of Trade as it is the backbone of the development cooperation between China and the African Continent. During this maiden visit, he outlined the assistance programme for The Gambia for the 2019 fiscal period, varying from financial non concessional grants to capacity building programmes and funding for already approved projects, thus charting the roadmap for bilateral relations between the two countries for the year 2019. I am happy to note that 2019 has kick started with the exchange of notes for the Aid Project on the landmark project of the energy sector i.e. Transmission and distribution Project.

To this end, I wish to state the Government of The Republic of The Gambia will continue to identify priority areas of future cooperation and will push forward mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas for constant progress in the Sino-Gambia relations.

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thus cannot conclude without emphasising that the government of the Republic of The Gambia will continue to unswervingly uphold and adhere to the one-China policy. The Government of the Republic of The Gambia stands ready to further enhance its strategic partnership and cooperation with the People’s Republic of China for the betterment of its two peoples.

On this note, I sincerely wish Sino-Gambia relations more dynamism and success in 2019 and wish all of you good health, wealth, greater success and happy New Year of the Pig.

Long live Gambia –China relations!

I thank you all for your kind attention.

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