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Remarks by H.E. Hu Shan at the 2012 Spring Festival Reception

Your Excellencies Sir Arthur Foulkes, Governor-General and Lady Foulkes,
Hon. Minister of Education Mr. Banister,
Mr. Philip Simon, President of the Bahamas-China Friendship Association,
Mr. Brian Wong, President of the Chinese Community Association,
Mr. Robert Sands, Senior Vice President of Baha Mar Ltd,
Mr. Wu Taizhong (Tiger Wu), Executive Vice President of China Construction America Inc,
Representatives from the Chinese enterprises in The Bahamas,
Dear friends and compatriots,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening!

The year of the Rabbit is to soon be over and the year of the Dragon is approaching on. Dragon is the totem of the Chinese nation, so the Chinese people are proud to call themselves "the offspring of the dragon".

Tonight we gather here to celebrate the Chinese new year of the Dragon, which is of special significance to all those of Chinese origin.

we are honored to have Their Excellencies Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes here with us.

At this special moment of bidding farewell to the old year and ushering in the new, please allow me to extend, on behalf of my wife and colleagues at the Embassy, our warmest welcome and new-year greetings to everybody present and your families.

May all of you enjoy good health, happiness, good fortune and successful career in the coming year of the Dragon.

The year 2011 was the first year of the 12th Five-year Plan. Under the leadership of the Party and the Government, the Chinese people enhanced and improved macro economic control and correctly handled the relations among stable and relatively fast economic development, economic structure adjustment and stagnation management.

China's national economy kept on moving towards the expected direction of macro control, with a good momentum of relatively fast growth, stable price tendency, good returns and improvement of people's livelihood.

China made new progress in socialist development in the fields of economy, politics, culture, society, conservation and party affairs in 2011, setting a favorable beginning for the 12th Five-year Plan.

2011 also witnessed new development in the China-Bahamas relationship. Exchange of high-level visits strengthened the bilateral political ties and mutual trust. The economic and trade cooperation further expanded and The Bahamas has become an important trading partner of China in the Caribbean region.

The Gateway project of Lynden Pindling International Airport Highway and Baha Mar project will be new landmarks of The Bahamas. The Confucius Classroom of the College of The Bahamas has been approved to be upgraded to a Confucius Institute.

All these achievements resulted mainly from the foresight and sagacity of the leaders of the two countries and the continuous cultivation of the two peoples.

Compatriots and fellow Chinese,

Far away from homeland, yet you have established yourselves in The Bahamas on the strength of bravery, wisdom and by means of mutual-assistance among yourselves.

In the long process, you have not only made positive contributions to the economic and social development of The Bahamas, and gradually integrated yourselves into the Bahamian community, but also carried forward the fine tradition of the Chinese nation featuring industry, bravery, pacification, unity and solidarity and patriotism.

I am gratified to see all of that. Meanwhile I also highly appreciate your consistent support and assistance to the Chinese Embassy and your contributions to the economic development, peaceful reunification and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in your motherland: China.

You have played an unique role in this regard and has become an important driving force to the friendship between China and The Bahamas.

Rough statistics show that, over the past 30 years, overseas Chinese and compatriots have donated more than 80 billion RMB yuan to the motherland in public welfare and poverty alleviation.

The Chinese companies like China Construction America, Shandong Highway Qilu Construction and China Harbor cooperate sincerely with their Bahamian counterparts, actively expand the Bahamian market, resulting in rapid growth.

They are also received for the mass effective work they have done, and their efforts to give back to the local society by means of job creation, personnel training, and local purchasing of materials.

Compatriots and fellow Chinese,

The motherland China is proud of you for your achievements abroad and always cares about your living and development. 2012 will be an important year to connect the preceding year and the next four years of the 12th Five-year Plan.

With further implementation of the Plan, I am fully convinced, the Chinese market will offer new investment opportunities to foreign countries, and the overseas Chinese, in particular those doing businessmen will benefit directly from China's further development.

A strong China offers credible support to the overseas Chinese in their living and development while a growing China will make new progress to the harmony of the whole world.

The Chinese Embassy in The Bahamas will bear in mind the well-being of all Chinese in The Bahamas, trying hard to render our assistance and help overcome your difficulties in 2012, thus fully embodying the policy concept of "putting people first, and diplomacy for the people" of the Chinese government.

At the same time, I hope that all the Chinese in The Bahamas will be better integrated into the Bahamian society, abided by the Bahamian laws and regulations, respect their culture and customs and fulfill your social responsibilities by actively participating in public welfare activities, living and working amicably with the Bahamian people, and dedicating yourselves to the economic development and social progress of The Bahamas.

I believe that you will win greater respect and trust from the local Bahamians by hardworking and good faith in business.

I also hope that you will actively and efficiently serve as bridges and links in China's going global, and let the Bahamian people know more about China, a real China by further promoting the fine Chinese traditional culture, introducing China's concept of scientific development, harmonious development and peaceful development to the Bahamian people and briefing them on China's achievements in its reform and opening-up aw well as its modernization program.

In doing so, you are making contributions to the promotion of the friendship between China and The Bahamas, and to the further development of China-Bahamas exchnges and cooperation.

In conclusion, may I invite you all to join me in a toast:

To the development and prosperity of China;

To further development in China-Bahamas relations;

To the good health of Their Excellencies Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes

To the good health and prosperity of everyone present here;

Happy New Year of the Dragon, Cheers!

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