Chinese nationals in Botswana celebrated the Lunar New Year in Gaborone on Thursday in a ceremony characterized by music, fashion punctuated by chatting about the current status of the economy of China. The Ambassador of China to Botswana H.E Dr Zhao Yanbo said the Chinese have the tradition of celebrating the Spring Festival for making the new year plans and expressing hope for a better life in the coming new year. The tradition dates as far back as 5000 years ago. Dr Yanbo hailed the sharing the rich history with locals in attendance saying it shows China’s growing integration and interaction with the world, together with the charisma of the Chinese traditional culture.“This year 2018 is the dog. In Chinese tradition a dog is the symbol of loyalty, diligence and vitality,” he said.
Reviewing the past year Yanbo said in 2017 China entered into a new era through remarkable transformation, top of the list being successful convening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China(CPC) last October. According to Dr Yanbo, Congress set the new goals for China’s development in the next three decades which in general is to fully build a strong and modern socialist China by 2050. Dr Yanbo excitedly revealed that more than 10 million rural residents were lifted out of poverty as China took a step closer towards realising its first hundred-year goal of a well off society in an all-round way by 2021 when CPC will celebrate its 100th anniversary. “In 2017 China’s GDP rose to 80 trillion Yuan (equivalent to $13 trillion) with an annual growth rate of 6.9% over the previous year,” he said.