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Ambassador Wang Ke's Remarks at the Reception for Barbadian Students Obtaining Chinese Government Scholarships
(August 20th, 2014)

Hon. Ronald Jones, Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation,

Senator Hon. Maxine McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade,

Mrs. Celia Humphrey, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation,

Dear students and families,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon. Welcome to this reception. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to congratulate the 11 Barbadian students who were awarded Chinese Government Scholarships in 2014, and express our sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Barbados for your contribution to this scholarship program. Present here are also some representatives who have finished studying in China. Although it is my very first meeting with you, I feel that we have been long time friends. Thank you for coming to share your experience in China.

Dear students, as you will leave for China in a few days, I have something to tell you and all the friends who are interested in China.

China is a country with time-honored civilization, and has an uninterrupted history of more than 5,000 years. Since ancient times, loyalty, piety, propriety, righteousness and benevolence have been our nation's value passed from generation to generation. The Chinese people are industrious, friendly and indomitable. They have been pursuing harmony between people and the nature, and desiring to live in peace with peoples around the world.

China is one of the countries with fastest development in the world. Over the past 30 years, the average annual growth rate of Chinese economy is near 10% which has made China the second largest economy and the largest trading country globally. However, with the population of 1.3 billion, China has per capita GDP of just more than 6,000 USD and is ranking the 83rd of the world. The development among regions in the country is not balanced, and there are still more than 200 million people in China living below the poverty line. Therefore, the country has to keep making great efforts to help all the Chinese people live well-off lives.

Chinese is one of the oldest languages of the world. It is also the common language with a longest using history and largest number of speakers in the world. As China developed rapidly and continued to deepen foreign cooperation, the global interests in understanding China become stronger and stronger, and learning Chinese has been a craze worldwide, but also a fashion. It is estimated the population of foreigners learning Chinese is over 100 million, while the total number of foreign students who have studied in China has accumulated to almost three million.

In recent years, the China-Barbados relationship is developing healthily and deeply, and the enthusiasm of the Barbadians to learn Chinese, understand China and do business with Chinese people is on the rise. In order to meet the demand of Barbadian side, China sent a Chinese lecturer to the Cave Hill Campus of University of West Indies to open Chinese Language courses, and a Confucius Institute will be established at the Cave Hill Campus early next year. As of the end of 2013, 41 Barbadian students obtained Chinese Government Scholarships and studied in China. This year, the Chinese side increased the scholarships from 4 to 10, to help more Barbadian students get the opportunities to China, learn Chinese language, acquire modern knowledge and understand the oriental country in depth. China and Barbados are good friends and partners. The mutual beneficial cooperation and friendly exchanges between the two countries has much potentials in the field of trade, investment, tourism, renewable energy, culture, sports and education. And this will provide the students who get the chance to study in China and master the linguistic and professional skill with more career opportunities.

Here I would like to offer the students some advice. Firstly I hope you cherish the opportunities of being selected among numerous applicants, and while in China be brave to overcome the challenges of unfamiliar situation and language difficulties, try your best to get good grades, so as to live up to what your parents and country expect of you. Secondly I hope at your spare time, you could go out of the campus, to contact with society, understand Chinese culture, make more Chinese friends and be ambassadors of your country to introduce Barbados to the Chinese people in order to enhance the familiarity and understanding between the peoples of the two countries. Thirdly going to China will make you be related to this country. I hope you could make satisfactory achievements in China and apply your knowledge to the development of your country, devote yourself to facilitating the exchanges and cooperation and promoting the friendship between China and Barbados.

In closing, I wish you success and a happy life in China.

Thank you!

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