GIS - September 06, 2012: Mauritians of Chinese descent constitute an economically dynamic and culturally vibrant component of our society. The efforts which they have deployed in the country’s quest to move forward and in nation-building have to be acknowledged and praised.
This was the gist of the speech of the Acting Prime Minister, Dr Rashid Beebeejaun, GCSK, FRCP, at the opening ceremony of the third edition of the World Chinese Conference held this morning at the Grand Baie International Conference Centre. The event, scheduled from 6 to 9 September 2012, is organised by the Federation of Chinese Societies in collaboration with the Ministry of Arts and Culture to promote cultural exchanges, cooperation and development among members of the Chinese Diaspora. The Conference also coincides with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations of Mauritius with the People’s Republic of China and the centenary anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Middle School.
In his opening address, Dr Beebeejaun stated that he was confident that the Mauritians of Chinese descent will continue in their endeavour to further uphold the development process of the country with renewed vigour and dedication for the future of generations to come. The Acting Prime Minister commended the Federation of Chinese Societies for its active involvement in the promotion of Chinese language and culture in Mauritius and in advancing friendship and bilateral cooperation between Mauritius and China.
The Acting Prime Minister also affirmed that the Chinese culture forms an integral part of our national heritage, of our pluralistic society which makes the pride of the Mauritian nation. “Our cultural diversity is the foundation of our society; it is necessary to integrate the principles of cultural diversity and values of cultural pluralism into all public policies, mechanisms and practices, particularly through public private partnerships”, he added.
According to Dr Beebeejaun, China and Mauritius have long standing historical, political, economic and cultural ties spanning over several decades. He expressed his pride that the relationship between China and Mauritius has stood the test of time and has matured into very friendly ties and mutual aid beneficial partnership. The Acting Prime Minister said that he was confident that joint efforts from both countries will enable a brighter future for the partnership between the two nations.
For her part, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Mrs Bian Yanhua, lauded the contribution of the Mauritians of Chinese descent in the economic and social advancement of Mauritius and in nation- building, highlighting the active role of Chinese Diaspora in the prosperity of their respective country. She also spoke of the way the Chinese community has integrated so many countries around the world by sharing their values, habits and customs.
The theme of the third edition of the World Chinese Conference is: The role of the Chinese Diaspora in the shaping of the modern world. The Conference features a business forum, a cultural, historical and linguistic forum and photo exhibitions. Some 300 delegates from China, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Botswana, Réunion Island, Seychelles and Mauritius are participating in the event.