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New Chinese Ambassador Arrives in South Africa
China's new ambassador to South Africa Lin Songtian promised that he will work together with the South African Government and people to promote relations between the two countries in all areas
By Lu Anqi 
 
Officials from Chinese Embassy and Consulate General, and representatives from Chinese companies and local Chinese communities give Ambassador Lin a warm welcome at OR Tambo International Airport on the morning of August 9, 2017 (Photos: Li Jianguo)

China's new ambassador to South Africa Lin Songtian and his wife arrived at OR Tambo International Airport on the morning of August 9.

Anil Sooklal, Deputy Director General of Asia and Middle East of Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, officials from Chinese Embassy and Consulate General, and representatives from Chinese companies and local Chinese communities met him at the airport.

The ambassador addressed the media at the airport saying that he will serve as a bridge and work together with South African friends from all walks of life to take the relations to a new high.

He promised that he will work together with the South African Government and people to promote relations between the two countries in all areas, making relations more productive and beneficial to the two countries.

 

Ambassador Lin addresses the media at the airport

He said that South Africa is the African country to which he paid the most trips. Although he could not remember exactly how many times, every trip to South Africa left him with a fresh impression and fond memories, making him fall in deep love with this beautiful country and friendly people.

He said that 2018 will mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and South Africa.

"It is my great honor to be able to serve as the Chinese ambassador to South Africa at this important moment, as both of our countries move to further economic transformation. I feel the tremendous responsibility entrusted upon me from the Chinese Government and the Chinese people. I will spare no efforts in fulfilling my mission," he said.

He expressed that he will earnestly follow principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith and uphold values of friendship, justice and shared interests, as advocated by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He added that he will work to promote the comprehensive implementation of the important agreements reached between the two presidents, as well as the 10 Major China-Africa Cooperative Plans.

Anil Sooklal (left), Deputy Director General of Asia and Middle East of Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa meets Lin Songtian (right) at the OR Tambo International Airport

"I will focus my efforts on supporting South Africa's economic development, job creation, poverty reduction, and its pursuit of inclusive and transformation development," he added.

Sooklal told ChinAfrica that he was very pleased that Lin has been assigned as the ambassador to South Africa.

He said that Lin is not only well-known to the South African leadership, but also to many South Africans, and is very passionate about strengthening the relationship between South Africa and China.

He believes that with Lin's leadership at the Chinese Embassy, a faster and closer collaboration and greater synergy on the major cooperation programs between the two countries can be achieved.

He said that China's sending its most senior diplomat on African affairs to South Africa is "a very important development in China-South Africa relations."

"That is a clear statement of commitment from China that South Africa is their most important partner on the continent, and by sending someone with the background and experience of Mr. Lin, both countries can only benefit from strengthening this partnership and taking it to great heights during his tenure," he said.

He expressed that South African colleagues will give full support and cooperation and work closely with the new Chinese ambassador.

 

Resume of Ambassador Lin Songtian

Lin Songtian, male, born in May 1960. University graduate. Married with a son.

2017 – Present Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of South Africa

2014 - 2017 Director General, Department of African Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

2010 - 2014 Director General, Department of Foreign Affairs Management, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

2008 - 2010 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of Malawi

2007 - 2008 Deputy Director General, Department of Personnel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

2003 - 2007 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of Liberia

2002 - 2003 Senior Counselor at Deputy Director General Level, Department of African Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

1999 - 2002 Counselor, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of Zambia

1993 - 1999 Third Secretary, Deputy Director and Director, Department of Personnel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

1990 - 1993 Attaché and Third Secretary, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

1989 - 1990 Attaché, Commercial Representation of the People's Republic of China in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

1988 - 1989 Staff member, Taiwan Affairs Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

1986 - 1988 Staff member, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

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