A webinar celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Uganda was held online on Thursday.
Under the theme for this year’s anniversary, “60 Years of Strategic Friendship and Cooperation between Uganda and China Towards a Shared Future in a New Era,” the webinar was jointly organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), the Embassy of Uganda in China, and the Embassy of China in Uganda.
Around 200 representatives from relevant ministries, local governments, enterprises, and academia from China and Uganda, along with ambassadors and diplomats from other countries, attended the webinar.
We are faced with the combined impacts of major changes and pandemic unseen in a century, and new global challenges have only continued to emerge. No matter how the international landscape changes, China and the African people's deep friendship will remain unchanged as before, Jiang Jiang, Vice President of CPAFFC, said in his speech during the webinar.
Oliver Wonekha, Ugandan Ambassador to China, delivered a speech, pointing out that the year 2022 marks an important milestone in the history of relations between China and Uganda.
She noted that China, over the past 60 years, has become one of Uganda’s largest sources of foreign direct investment in major sectors that include infrastructure, construction, mining, manufacturing and trade.
“The 60 years of friendship have seen the cordial relations between our two countries grow from strength to strength with tangible achievements to show for it,” Wonekha said.
The two countries established their formal diplomatic relationship on October 18, 1962, just after Uganda had gained independence from British colonial rule on October 9, 1962.
Photo shows captured screenshot of Zhang Lizhong, Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, delivering a speech during the webinar on September 15, 2022. (Screenshot/People's Daily Online)
China and Uganda have written a splendid chapter of mutual assistance amid complex changes, and have set a good example for building an even stronger China-Africa community of a shared future in the new era, stated Zhang Lizhong, Chinese Ambassador to Uganda.
Zhang noted that, encouraged by the momentum of the Belt and Road Initiative and Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), efforts in practical cooperation are delivering tangible benefits to the peoples of both countries.
At the Opening Ceremony of the 8th FOCAC Ministerial Conference last November, President Xi Jinping announced the Nine Programs for China-Africa cooperation. China and Uganda are working closely to implement the Nine Programs, especially practical cooperation projects in small but beautiful, quick-acting, and people-beneficially projects, steering the cooperation toward new heights, he added.
Zhang also lauded the everlasting spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation forged in history, which features sincere mutual friendship and equality, win-win mutual benefits and common development, fairness and justice, and progress in keeping with the times as well as openness and inclusiveness, and that also “provides a source of strength for the continuous growth of China-Uganda friendly relations.”
The two countries’ bilateral relations were elevated to the level of a Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership in June 2019. Over the years, cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between China and Uganda have been continuously enriched and deepened.
Allawi Ssemanda, a senior research fellow and the founder of Development Watch Center, a foreign policy think tank based in Uganda, described the two countries’ six decades of relations as “60 years of heart-to-heart cooperation.”
He said while China sees Africa as a place full of good people and a place for investment, some countries in the West, and particularly the US, see Africa as a battleground between the West and the East.
“We people of two countries have a role to play, and we should guard the good relations between our countries to build a community of shared future and prosperity for mankind in this new era,” he said.