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|Father of Namibia talks about CPC's role in leading Chinese people to realize economic and social progress|
|In its century-long history, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has developed a wide circle of international friends that includes both ruling and non-ruling parties as well as state organizations and civil society|
|VOL. 13 JULY 2021 ·2021-06-25|
In its century-long history, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has developed a wide circle of international friends that includes both ruling and non-ruling parties as well as state organizations and civil society. Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna Nujoma is an old friend of the CPC and the Chinese people.
Samuel Nujoma, former President of Namibia who is known as the father of Namibia, is a Namibian revolutionary, anti-apartheid activist and politician. He was a founding member and the first president of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO).
During the 1960s, when Namibian people began their fight for independence, a close bond was established between Samuel Nujoma and then Chinese leaders like Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai, which laid a solid foundation for the long-standing brotherhood between the two countries. The establishment of the diplomatic ties on the second day of Namibia's independence on March 22, 1990, ushered in a new period of the bilateral relations. Since then, Nujoma has been to China 17 times and has been a true link between Africa and China.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and African countries. On this occasion, ChinAfrica did an exclusive interview with Nujoma, discussing the development of China-Africa ties and his views on CPC's role in leading Chinese people to realize economic and social progress. Edited excerpts of the interview follow:
ChinAfrica: 2021 marks the centenary of the CPC. How do you see CPC's role in leading the country to realize economic and social progress?
Samuel Daniel Shafiishuna Nujoma: Drastic changes have taken place in China and the world since the 18th National Congress of the CPC. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, much headway has been made in economic and social development in China.
Important victories have been achieved in building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, and the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new phase, laying a solid foundation for the fulfillment of the two centenary goals and the dream of rejuvenating the Chinese nation.
To sum up, a prominent feature of China's economic development over the past five years is the new normal.
On the one hand, the new normal refers to the slowing of economic growth from the high speed of the past to the current medium-to-high speed. It also refers to structural optimization. With regard to the proportion of investment and consumption, consumption has become a major driving force of economic growth and its contribution has reached over 50 percent in recent years.
Regarding the industrial structure, the agricultural foundations have been improved and the manufacturing sector has been upgraded; meanwhile, the service industry has grown into the largest sector. The upgrading of the manufacturing sector mainly occurred in the hi-tech industries, strategic emerging industries and equipment production. Some of these industries have seen rapid growth at a rate near or even above 10 percent. Regarding domestic and overseas demand, the former has assumed a major role in the Chinese economy.
The third characteristic of the new normal is the shift from the old economic driving forces to new ones. In recent years, investment in technological transformation in industrial and manufacturing sectors has grown faster than overall investment. This confirms that the technological transformation has been accelerating.
So, no matter whether you look at it from the perspectives of speed, structural optimization or the transformation of the drivers of growth, you will find that the new normal of China's economic development has more obvious characteristics that support economic development, create more jobs and income, and strengthen the nation's comprehensive power.
Over the past five years, the splendid achievements of the Chinese economy amid the complicated context both at home and abroad owe much to the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core and the direction of the Party regarding economic and social development work.
China and Namibia established diplomatic relations on March 22, 1990, just one day after the founding of the Republic of Namibia. How do you view the development of the China-Namibia relations in the past decades?
China-Namibia relations are a vibrant, two-way dynamic in which both sides adjust to policy initiatives and popular perceptions emanating from the other. China and Namibia have maintained close cultural and people-to-people exchanges. We have established the first high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism between China and Namibia.
Before the national independence of Namibia, China provided political, moral and material support to the Namibian people in their just struggle for national independence since early 1960s. I, in my capacity as the then President of Southwest African People's Organization (SWAPO), made visits to China on several occasions.
China-Namibia relationship was forged during the crucible of the struggle for independence. This relationship has been expanded over the years and has become mutually beneficial.
How do you see the importance of people-to-people exchanges in advancing Africa-China ties?
People-to-people amity holds the key to state-to-state relations. China and Namibia have maintained close cultural and people-to-people exchanges. We have established the first high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism between China and African countries.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese communities in Namibia have made cash and in-kind donations to support Namibia's pandemic response, which has been widely acclaimed by the Namibian Government and people from all walks of life. This speaks volumes about the profound friendship between our two peoples in trying times and has played an important role in enhancing the mutual understanding between our two peoples.
Going forward, we will continue to implement the Eight Major Initiatives proposed at the FOCAC Beijing Summit and strengthen our exchanges and cooperation in such fields as economy, society, culture, medicine, public health, youth and women, so as to translate the people-to-people exchanges into a strong driving force for the growth of our relations.
We will strengthen the exchanges between Chinese and the Namibian university and young students through providing scholarships and training opportunities, so as to enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the young generations of our two countries.
We shall expand tourism cooperation and encourage more people to travel to each other's countries, so as to promote the economic development of our two countries and bring our two people closer. We will also build more platforms for exchanges and cooperation between the media and think tanks of our two countries so as to enable our two peoples to know more about each other's countries.
(Print Edition Title: Friends Forever)
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