Ex-ambassador: China playing constructive role

By Fan Junmei
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China.org.cn, November 5, 2009
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Among the many scholars attending the second Beijing Forum on Human Rights, one man stood out for his humor, cordiality, eloquence, and profound knowledge of Chinese culture.

He is Mohamed Naman Galal, former ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the People's Republic of China, now an advisor on Strategic Studies at the Bahrain Center for Studies and Research.

Mohamed Noman Galal

Mohamed Naman Galal

Speaking to China.org.cn, Galal expressed his admiration for China's remarkable achievements over the past 60 years and its active role in promoting the cause of human rights. China is playing a constructive role on the world stage, he said, especially in the context of financial crisis. Galal said he had witnessed dramatic changes while serving ambassador to China from 1998 to 2001. He was impressed by China's development in information technology and space technology and the magnificent staging of the Beijing Olympics, but he said China's greatest success was in eliminating poverty.

"It's amazing that more than 200 million Chinese people have been lifted above the poverty line", he said. "Before China's reform and opening-up in 1978, there was no middle class in Chinese society; most people were poor. But now, a new group is emerging that has benefited from poverty reduction and economic development."

Galal pointed out that China is the number one holder of US Treasury bonds with June holdings of US$776.4 billion. "China has developed from a poor and weak country into a great power. In the past it would have been unthinkable that China would become a lender to the United States", he said.

Galal also drew attention to the win-win cooperation between China and Africa. "China is a responsible and generous country. It is a donor country now, and provides a great deal of aid to developing countries, especially in Africa," he said. China's enormous investments have allowed Africa to reduce its dependence on traditional trading partners such as the United States and the European Union (EU), and have created many jobs for local people.

While acknowledging China's progress on human rights, Galal pointed out some challenges: "China should continue its path of peaceful development, keep up the pace of economic development, tackle the issue of unemployment, improve its level of education, and build up its health care service."

He said China should continue to focus on development, unity and stability. "Chinese leaders are very intelligent," said Galal with a smile. "President Hu Jintao's call to build a harmonious world is a great idea. China's achievements prove that if harmony prevails, individuals, societies and nations can be prosperous, safe and secure."

"China's international standing has improved enormously," he said finally, "It's a miracle achieved; I love China".

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