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The 50th Anniversary of the Restoration of the People's Republic of China's Lawful Seat in the United Nations

The 50th Anniversary of the Restoration of the People's Republic of China's Lawful Seat in the United Nations

TODAY marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the United Nations.

Historically, the Republic of China was among the founding members of the United Nations, as it joined the global organization as early as on 24 October 1945.

The “Big Four” victors of World War II, namely the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, were the founding members of the UN that drafted the United Nations Charter in 1944, which was ratified on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of 50 countries.

China, in recognition of its long-standing fight against aggression, was accorded the honor of being the first to sign the UN Charter.

President Franklin Roosevelt had acknowledged China’s war effort in World War II and stated his desire to allow China to “play its proper role in maintaining peace and prosperity” in the world.

Thus, despite opposition from other leaders, especially Sir Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, China became a permanent member of the Security Council from its creation in 1945.

However, in 1949, after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China by the Communist Party that claimed victory and formed the sole legitimate government of China, the lawful seat of the PRC in the UN had been occupied by Chiang Kai-shek’s regime in Taiwan for 22 years.

In 1971, some UN members requested the “restoration of the lawful rights of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations” and decided to recognize the Government of PRC as the only legitimate representative of China to the UN.

The historic relationship between the PRC and the URT governments

The peoples of Tanzania and China have enjoyed a very cordial relationship that dates back from the days of the leadership of the founding fathers of these nations, namely the late Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, Abeid A. Karume and Chairman Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People’s Republic of China.

China established diplomatic relations with Tanganyika and Zanzibar on December 9, 1961, and December 11, 1963 respectively and China extended her diplomatic ties and established bilateral relations in 1964 when the United Republic of Tanzania (URT) was born on April 26, after the union between the Republic of Tanganyika and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar.

H.E. Benjamin W. Mkapa, the late former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, described Tanzania-China relations as “transcended the traditional government to government contacts and extended to people to people cooperation, to the extent that the peoples of Tanzania and China call each other ‘rafiki’ which means ‘friend’ in English.

The two countries have so far built and grown a comprehensive partnership of mutual benefit in win-win cooperation.

The governments of the People’s Republic of China and that of the United Republic of Tanzania, have signed various bilateral pacts that cover trade, financial assistance, cultural exchanges, infrastructure building projects, etc.

The economic and trade cooperation

China has become Tanzania’s biggest trading partner and second biggest source of foreign direct investments.

From the onset of the bilateral relations, China has assisted Tanzania with a variety of economic aid projects which delivered notable results.

The most notable early aid project was the TAZARA railway line built from 1970 to 1975 with Chinese funding, labor and technical assistance. The 1,860 km railway connects landlocked Zambia with Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania.

The 57-year-old industrial venture of ‘Urafiki’ Friendship Textile Mill (FTM) is another China-sponsored landmark project completed in 1965, which embodies the Tanzania-China friendship, as the fruit of cooperation between the two governments and their people.

The other two mega construction projects were the biggest 60,000 seats capacity multi-purpose Benjamin Mkapa Stadium completed in 2007 and the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre with 1,000-plus seats capacity in its main theater, which was completed in 2012. Both of them are located in Dar es Salaam, built with Chinese assistance.

The education sector cooperation

A number of Tanzanian and Chinese students have joined various universities in the two countries, to pursue their tertiary studies so as to foster our bilateral relations and cultural cooperation through people-to-people exchanges.

Two Confucius Institutes were opened in the University of Dar es Salaam and the University of Dodoma respectively.

The Chinese TV operas in Swahili language are also being aired in Tanzania.

The delegations from the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, Television and the Chinese-African People’s Friendship Association have visited Tanzania.

Recently, Tanzania attended the first Roundtable meeting for Sino-Africa Cultural Industries in China.

The military ties

Tanzania has enjoyed close defense ties with China and this has included naval exercises, construction projects and the supply of military equipment.

For instance, in November 2014 the two nations concluded the month-long Exercise Beyond/Transcend naval training exercise, the first joint training exercise in the history of bilateral military relations.

This follows numerous naval visits to Tanzania by the Chinese militay. Also, each year the Tanzania People’s Defense Forces (TPDF) officers and non-commissioned officers attend training courses in China at various military training centers.

Way forward in strengthening China- Tanzania ties '

The cooperation between Africa and China has gained momentum and triggered much interest in the recent past.

This is because China is playing an increasingly prominent role in global trade, investment, finance and development aid. China has continued to provide Tanzania with financial aid in a number of development projects over the years, mainly in agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

Therefore, Tanzania as part and parcel of Africa–China cooperation platform, should keep exploiting all available opportunities by playing a proactive role and place herself strategically toward China by identifying key cooperation areas, creating and promoting investments and market opportunities, designing new patterns of cooperation in mutual and cordial manner for the sustainable development of our two peoples.

I hereby, wish to congratulate the PRC government and her ruling party, the Communist Party of China (CPC), for the 50th anniversary of restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the UN. Viva Tanzania-China Friendship

(The writer is the chairman of the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security Committee, National Assembly of Tanzania.)

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