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Overseas Chinese & Foreign Affairs
Latest Updated by2004-06-10 09:52:26

Overseas Chinese Affairs

Guangdong is the third largest province of China in terms of its population. According to the sampling survey done in 2002, the population of permanent residents in Guangdong Province was 78,585,800 with an annual growth rate of 0.97%, accounting for 6.12% of the whole country and continually ranking the third in China. The average population density is 442 persons per square kilometer.

Guangdong is a renowned hometown of overseas Chinese. At present, those who originated from Guangdong amount to nearly 30 million people, including Chinese nationals living abroad, ethnic Chinese, and compatriots living in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Chinese nationals abroad and ethnic Chinese add up to 20 million people in more than two hundred countries and regions across the world. Compatriots in Hong Kong and Macao total over six million, and Taiwan compatriots about four million. In addition, over 20 million of returned overseas Chinese and their families now live all over the province, particularly in the Pearl River Delta and Chaoshan plain followed by Meizhou region. "The World's Hakkas Kinship Conference", "The International Chaozhou Friendship Association" and "The World's Zhongshan Middle Schools Alumni Kinship Conference" are some of the Guangdong overseas Chinese organizations that have clout abroad.

From December 2nd to 4th of the year 2002, the 2nd " Conference of the World Guangdong Community Federation " was held in Guangdong. It was the first time Guangdong Province hosted such a grand international event of overseas Chinese and Chinese with foreign citizenship that are all of Guangdong origin. 2500 participants from over 70 countries and regions in the world, including Chinese nationals living overseas and ethnic Chinese, compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Areas, attended the conference. Mr. Li Changchun, Member of Political Bureau Standing Committee of the Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party, sent to the Conference a message of congratulations upon the event. Both Mr. Qian Qichen - Vice Premier of the State Council, and Mr. Guo Dongpo - Director General of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, were present at the opening ceremony and delivered speeches. Mr. Zhang Dejiang, Secretary of Guangdong Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and Member of Political Bureau of the Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party, attended the conference together with other prominent leaders.

In full partnership with Department of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation of Guangdong Province, Department of Land Resources Administration of Guangdong Province, Development Planning Commission of Guangdong Province, Jiangmen Municipal Government and Xinhui District Government, Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Guangdong Province successfully helped Singapore RGMI Group locate its papermaking project in Guangdong. By December of the year 2002, the papermaking project of Singapore RGMI Group was officially located in Shuangshui Town, Xinhui District, and Jiangmen Municipality. Its first phase of investment is worth of US$680 million, covering the construction of a production line with annual output of 450 thousand tons of high-grade paper. The second phase of investment totals US$1.3 billion with preliminary agreement signed by relevant parties. The total investment in this project adds up to US$1.98 billion, the second largest foreign investment in Guangdong Province after CNOOC-Shell Petrochemical Project - a joint venture project between China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) and Royal/Dutch Shell Groups of Companies. .

Huanghuagang 72 Martyrs Cemetery has been named as the "China Overseas Chinese Federation Patriotic Education Center". Entitling Ceremony was held in the Cemetery on December 3, 2002. Over six hundred people attended the ceremony and presented wreath to the martyrs to commemorate those overseas Chinese who came back home to join the revolution and sacrificed their lives here.

Visiting Dignitaries from Abroad

In 2002, the whole Province received 2,515 international delegations with 21,558 guests. Statesmen dignitaries included Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt; Amani Abeid Karume, President of Zanzibar,Tanzania; Nambaryn Enkhbayar, Prime Minister of Mongolia; Laisenia Qarase, Prime Minister of Fiji; Karim Masimove, Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan; Nguyen Van An, Chairman of the National Assembly in Viet Nam; Nicolae Vacaroiu, Speaker of Senate from Romania; Fouad Mebaza, President of the National Assembly in Tunisia; Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Parliament Speaker from Uganda; Truong Vinh Trong, Member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of Dang Cong San Viet Nam; Phan Dien, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of Dang Cong San Viet Nam; Nguyen Manh Cam, Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam; Le Van Bang, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs from Viet Nam; Korn Dapparangsi, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand; Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Princess from the Kingdom of Thailand; Somsavat Lengsavad, Vice Premier of Laos; Georgy Plotavchenko, Russian President's Representative Plenipotentiary to the Central Federal District; Ognyan Gerdjikov, President of the Parliament of Bulgaria; Askar Aitmatov, Foreign Minister of Kyrghyz Republic; Hashim Bin Abdullah Bin Hashim Yamani, Minister of Industry and Electricity from Saudi Arabia; Bill Clinton, Former President of the United States.; and Tatoul Markaryan, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Armenia.

International Exchanges

In 2002, exchanges and cooperation between Guangdong and its sister provinces (states, prefectures, regions) as well as provinces (states, prefectures) that have established friendly and cooperative relations with Guangdong were highlighted by productive exchanges including high-level exchange visits. The respective economy was also well served by those exchanges.

The exchange pattern of " greater sister relationship " has been increasingly evident with wider sharing of resources. Delegations headed by leaders of the province Li Changchun, Lu Ruihua, Lu Zhonghe, Zhong Qiquan, Si Zhiguang, Li Ronggen, Wang Jun, Liu Weiming visited France, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Japan, U.S.A., the Netherlands, and Sweden, promoting cooperation and exchanges between Guangdong and these countries in the fields of economy, trade, culture and education.

Leaders of sister provinces/cities or provinces/cities having cooperative relations with Guangdong were active to head delegations to visit Guangdong, such as Governor of State of Mexico (Mexico), Governor of Gyeonggi (Korea), Gichou(Chairman) of Hyogo Prefecture Assembly (Japan), Vice Governor of Hyogo (Japan), Gichou (Chairman) of Niigata (Japan), Suidocho (Vice Governor of Finance) of Tokushima (Japan) and Vice Governor of North Sumatra (Indonesia).

Other principal missions included Government Delegation for Promotion of Tourism led by Governors of Fukui and Saga and Vice Governor of Hokkaido (Japan), Parliament Mission from New South Wales (Australia), the 9th Mission of the Association for Guangdong Economy (Japan), and Aloha Delegation from Hawaii (USA).
Some departments directly under provincial government organized delegations to visit sister cities/provinces abroad, namely, Delegation of Guangdong Tourism Administration visiting U.S.A. and Mexico, Delegation of Guangdong Justice Department visiting Turkey, and Delegation of Guangdong Higher People's Court visiting Australia.
The main exchange programs of the year were Guangdong Culture Week held in West Pomerania of Poland in May; 600 people from Hyogo Japan visiting Guangdong with Delegations of officials, citizens, administrators, and Joint Session at Sea, led by Saito Tomio, Vice Governor of Hyogo; Government and Business Missions of 34 members headed by Suhn, Hak-Kyu, Governor of Gyeonggi (Korea) visiting Guangdong in October, discussing further economic and trade exchanges between the two provinces; high-ranking officials from about 20 government's competent departments and representatives from approximately 40 state-owned and private enterprises led by Governor Lu Ruihua visiting New South Wales (Australia) in November, attending the celebration of 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia and the 19th Guangdong-New South Wales Joint Economic Meeting; and a delegation of government officials and representatives from 30 large-and-medium-size state-owned enterprises and some privately-run enterprises, led by Vice Governor Zhong Qiquan, visiting Hyogo (Japan) in December, attending the celebration of 20th anniversary of establishment of sister relationship between Guangdong Province and Hyogo Prefecture and the 2nd Meeting of Japan-Guangdong Economic Promotion Council.

New sister province/city agreements were signed between Guangdong and North Sumatra (Indonesia), Guangdong and State of Mexico (Mexico), and Guangzhou and Ekaterinburg (Russia) respectively. By the end of 2002, Guangdong Province or Municipalities under its jurisdiction had totally 53 sister provinces or cities with other countries (as seen in Appendix).

Consular Affairs

Foreign consulates in Guangzhou: In 2002, the number of foreign consulates general in Guangzhou increased to 19, including newly established consulates general of Sweden and Indonesia. Their first consul-generals named Ulf Sormark and Hamdani Djafa respectively. Ousmane Adamo, a Nigerian businessman, was nominated by Nigerian Government as Honorary Consul of Niger in Guangzhou. Germany, Canada, Italy and Viet Nam sent their new consul-generals to Guangzhou.

For the whole year consulate officials were invited to attend 45 investment fairs and seminars and other public functions. Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office received 45 foreign delegations of 233 guests through consulates. Nine of them were led by ambassadors and 12 led by vice-minister ranking officials or above. 20 courtesy calls had been arranged for visiting foreign dignitaries, consuls general or ambassadors in China to meet with provincial leadership. The Foreign Affairs Office also assisted consulates general with 45 important celebration activities and 67 cultural events, and organized 25 delegations to visit the home countries of the consulates, which also facilitated the programs.

Consular officials were invited to sit in on meetings of Guangdong Provincial People's Congress and Guangdong Provincial Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and attend Briefings on Guangdong organized by Provincial Information Office. In addition, the Foreign Affairs Office asked the provincial government and competent departments directly under the provincial government to brief consulates on the latest social and economic development in Guangdong as well as issues of their concern coupled with Q & A sessions. At the meeting between Guangdong governor and consuls general, the consul corps for the first time presented the governor a tablet reading The government functions well with people's support. All businesses are flourishing. They wanted to express their congratulations and appreciation. With help of Japanese Consulate, the Japanese Government had sponsored Guangdong with RMB 2.5011 million yuan in 6 programs of Project for People's Benefit (interest-free loan granted to projects at grassroots level). By joint efforts with American Consulate, US Trade and Development Agency (TDA) donated US$ 520,000 to Guangzhou Metro Project and US$ 740,000 to Shenzhen Metro Project for the purpose of technical research programs in building new metro lines in the two municipalities.

People-to-People International Exchanges

In 2002, Guangdong People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries held a series of cultural exchange events, particularly on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations, bringing into full play the people-to-people contacts.

In partnership with relevant organizations, Guangdong Friendship Association invited Japan Takalazuka Revue Company to perform in Guangdong; selected and organized 20 "Young Cultural Ambassadors" to visit Japan for the promotion of friendly exchanges; hosted The 2nd China-Japan Aerobics Exhibition Game and published the Commemorating Stamp Album entitled The Blossom of Friendship.

To promote friendship among young peoples, Guangdong Friendship Association organized Junior Team of Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe to perform in Japan, which pushed ahead with the inter-school exchange relations between relevant high schools in Guangdong and Japan.

In order to promote Guangdong, the Friendship Association invited Russia's NTV to cover Guangdong. The Association also invited delegations as follows: mission led by Mr. Shugita Satoshi, Member of Hyogo Prefectural Assembly and Vice President of Japan-China Friendship Association and Honorary Council Member (overseas) of Guangdong Friendship Association, mission of Thailand-China Law Society and mission from Ho Chi Minh City Branch of Vietnam-China Friendship Society.

The Friendship Association also took initiative to function as a bridge between domestic enterprises and the outside world, organizing a lecture on Public Relations Strategy in Modern Enterprises and Euro Promotion Seminar, and Conference for the Promotion of Tourism in Sapporo Japan. The Association also facilitated local government delegations to hold investment seminars in Japan.

The VIP delegations received included Italian Parliament Mission, a delegation led by Hon. E. G. Whitlam, Former Prime Minister of Australia; Weredewold Woldie, State Minister of Capacity Building of Ethiopia; and Brigadier General(R) Moiss So Wong, Chairman of Cuba National Reserve Commission and Chairman of Cuba-China Friendship Association.

Foreign visits of Guo Rongchang, Chairman of Guangdong Provincial CPPCC, and Ou Guangyuan, Deputy Party Secretary of Guangdong Provincial Committee of CPC, achieved crowned success. The work team of Guangdong Friendship Association visiting Europe and Southeast Asia developed and strengthened the cooperative relations with friendship associations in these countries.

Foreign Correspondents

In 2002, 179 groups of nearly 720 foreign journalists came to cover events in Guangdong, such as Thomas Cup & Uber Cup World Team Badminton Championship, Guangzhou Convention of Overseas Chinese Scholars for Science & Technology Interchange, the spring and autumn sessions of Chinese Export Commodities Fair, China Hi-Tech Fair (Shenzhen), and Airshow China 2002 (Zhuhai). Exclusive interview with Governor Lu Ruihua was arranged for Chief Editor of Greater China Region with Reuters (Britain). And interview with Huang Yebin, Deputy Secretary General of Guangdong Provincial Government, was arranged for NHK-Japan Broadcasting Corporation to cover topic of Guangdong's Tourism Development. Strategies for Zhuhai Software Industry, an economic program filmed by NHK, was on air through satellite TV channel, which attracted extensive attention and interests of the public.

Work Relating to Hong Kong And Macao

Delegation headed by Mr. Donald Tsang, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), visited infrastructure facilities in the Pearl River Delta on February 28, 2002.
High-level meeting between Mr. Tung Chee Hwa, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Mr. Lu Ruihua, Governor of Guangdong Province, March 6, 2002.
The 5th Guangdong-Hong Kong Cooperation Joint Meeting held in Zhuhai, March 15, 2002.
The 22nd Annual Boundary Liaison Review Meeting held in Hong Kong on April 25, 2002.
Mr. Antony Leung, Financial Secretary from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, visited exhibition centers in Guangzhou and Shenzhen and Dongguan on May 10, 2002.
Governor Lu Ruihua from Guangdong led a delegation to attend the celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the Establishment of Hong Kong SAR and the Second Term Government Swearing-in Ceremony in Hong Kong on July 1, 2002.
Governor Lu Ruihua from Guangdong led a delegation to attend the Forum on Economic Co-operation between Guangdong and Hong Kong and Taiwan and met with Mr. Tung Chee Hwa, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, on August 26, 2002.
Mr. Tung Chee Hwa, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, in his visit to Guangdong, met with Mr. Zhang Dejiang, Secretary for Guangdong Chinese Communist Party Committee and Mr. Lu Ruihua, Governor of Guangdong, on December 4, 2002.
The 2nd Macao-Guangdong Cooperation Liaison Group joint meeting and the Annual Boundary Liaison Review Meeting held in Guangzhou on June 6, 2002.
On August 21, a high-level official meeting between Governor Lu Ruihua and Mr. Edmund Ho, Chief Executive of Macao SAR, was held in Guangzhou.
From September 12 to 14, Mr. Tam Pak Yuen, Secretary for Economy and Finance of Macao SAR, led a delegation to visit Yangjiang, Zhanjiang, and Maoming municipalities.

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