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Remarks at the Reception of Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
--by H.E. Ambassador Lin Songtian
2019/09/25

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

First of all, let me extend the warmest welcome and heartfelt thanks to all friends, both old and new and distinguished guests present here, for joining us in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

On October 1, 2019, the People's Republic of China will celebrate her 70th anniversary. Over the past seven decades, the Communist Party of China has been leading the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to overcome and defeat all kinds of domestic and external difficulties and hardships and forge ahead, not only achieving national prosperity, rejuvenation and people's happiness, but also making great contributions to the peace, stability and prosperity of the world.

Hon. Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Chinese nation boasts more than 5,000 years of history and splendid civilization. China's "Four Great Inventions", i.e. gunpowder, the compass, printing and paper making, have made great contributions to human civilization and progress. But unfortunately, due to the complacency and arrogance of China's Qing dynasty which closed its door to the outside world, China became poor and weak in modern history and suffered from aggression and bullying by Western powers.

Through long and arduous struggles, in 1949, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China(CPC), the Chinese people founded the People's Republic of China, putting an end to the century-old history of aggression and oppression of the Chinese nation by imperialism. Since then, the Chinese people have stood up, and firmly held their destiny in their own hands. China has taken on a new look in the East.

During the past 70 years, especially the 40 plus years since the reform and opening-up, the CPC has united and led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to stay committed to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, stay committed to reform and opening-up, stay committed to taking economic development as our central task, and stay committed to the people-centered philosophy of development, thus having created a miracle in the history of human development.

Over the past 40 plus years, China's GDP has achieved an average annual growth rate of 9.5%, with the per capita GDP growing from 35 US dollars in 1949 and 156 US dollars in 1978 to more than 10 thousand US dollars in 2019. Foreign trade has increased from 20.6 billion US dollars in 1978 to 4.62 trillion US dollars, registering an average annual growth rate of about 14.5%. The FDI in China has exceeded 2 trillion US dollars. In 2000, China's outbound investment was less than 10 billion US dollars. Now it has surpassed 1.9 trillion US dollars.

In 1978, less than 3% of the people in mainland, China were not poor, while in 2018, only less than 3% were in poverty. Up to now, 850 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty, contributing more than 70% of the global poverty alleviation. More importantly, by the end of 2020, all of China's 1.4 billion people will be lifted out of poverty with no one left behind. This is the solemn political commitment of the CPC! This is a great achievement of socialism with Chinese characteristics! It is also a great feat of human rights cause in the world!

Now China has become the world's second largest economy, the largest manufacturer, the largest trader in goods and the largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. Every year both China inbound and outbound FDI have exceeded 130 billion US dollars and the Chinese people make more than 160 million overseas trips. China has become the largest trading partner of more than 100 major countries in the world, importing more than 2 trillion US dollars annually. China has contributed more than 30% of world economic growth since 2006, has become the major driver and stabilizer for world economic growth.

Hon. Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Now under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping, the socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. The Chinese people are committed to building a strong, prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful modern socialist country. The Chinese nation has made a great leap forward from standing up, becoming rich to getting strong.

President Xi has always put the people first, and ensured that all the achievement shall be shared by all. He is committed to green and innovation-driven development and is resolute in winning the battle of treating and preventing environmental pollution so as to ensure our people enjoy blue skies, clear waters and green mountains again. President Xi has made sweeping efforts to see the Party self-governance exercised fully and with rigor, and govern the state by rule of law in a comprehensive manner, having realized that all the Party members and government officials now do not dare to, are unable to and have no desire to engage in any corruption, having successfully tackled the three tough issues in the world: poverty alleviation, ecological conservation and combating corruption.

Now China is committed to innovation-driven and high-quality development. China's annual input in R&D of GDP is 2.18%. China has become one of the pioneers in 5G technology, digital economy, internet economy, sharing economy, cross-border e-commerce and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. By the end of next year, the application of 5G technology will be available in the whole China.

Foreign trade is very important to China's development. But domestic consumption has become the main driving force for China's economic growth. In 2018, it contributed over 76% of China's economic growth. With 1.4 billion Chinese people and 400-million mid-income population of them, China will soon become the world's largest consumer market in the world.

These remarkable achievements have greatly changed China and the Chinese people, and provided new choices for other developing countries to pursue self-sustainable development. Under the strong leadership of President Xi, the Chinese people are committed to realizing the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. This is the shared aspiration of all Chinese people both at home and abroad. No one, no country, or no force can stop it!

Hon. Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the past 70 years, China has been committed to an independent foreign policy of peace and has developed and maintained friendly and cooperative relations with 180 countries in the world.

In the face of the world's profound changes unseen in a century, bearing in mind the traditional Chinese philosophy that "one should care for others when one is better off" and the vision that all countries around the world shall strive for win-win cooperation for common development, President Xi put forward that only when the world is good can China become better and called on us to build not only a better China but also a better world.

To this end, President Xi put forward the great vision that the international community shall jointly stay committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind, and proposed Two Pathways to realize this great vision. First, we shall build a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. Second, we shall advance the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that follows the principle of Three Togethers, namely plan together, build together and share together and stays committed to Five Connectivities in policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people-to-people exchanges, so as to achieve win-win cooperation for common development. So far, more than 160 countries and international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China on the BRI, which has become the most popular global public good.

China is ready to join hands with all countries to build an open world economy, achieve interconnected, open, inclusive, innovative, green and common development, so as for all peoples around the world to share peace, harmony and prosperity.

Hon. Ministers, Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and Africa have always been a community of shared interests and shared future. In the last, we fought side by side against imperialism and colonialism for political independence and national liberation. Nowadays, we are joining hands in hands to fight against poverty for common prosperity and for a better life to our two peoples.

Now China-Africa relations have entered a new era of win-win cooperation for common development. In 2018, China-Africa trade grew against the odds, registering a year-on-year increase of 20%, among which, Africa's export to China increased by 30%. China has been Africa's largest trading partner for 10 years in a row, and 30% of the infrasrutcture in Africa were financed and built by China.

We are glad to see that driven by the FOCAC and the BRI, Africa has been rising as a whole. Last year, 17 African countries achieved a GDP growth rate of over 5%, among which Ethiopia, Kenya and other east African countries achieved a GDP growth rate of over 6%.

China is ready to work with all African countries to advance the BRI and build a closer community with a shared future between China and Africa so as to make the 2.7 billion Chinese and African people live a better life.

As comprehensive strategic partners, China and South Africa always regard each other as a strategic pivot and priority in our respective foreign policies. We always understand and support each other on issues concerning our core interests and major concerns, and firmly safeguard the common interests of our two countries and developing countries.

South Africa is the only country in Africa that President Xi Jinping has paid three state visits to. Our two heads of state hold regular meetings annually, injecting new impetus into the comprehensive development of our relations and delivering tangible benefits to our two peoples.

China has been South Africa's largest trading partner for ten consecutive years, and has become a major source of investment and tourists for South Africa. South Africa has been China's largest trading partner in Africa for nine years in a row. In 2018, two-way trade between China and South Africa reached 43.55 billion US dollars, up by 11.18% year on year. So far, Chinese companies have invested more than 25 billion US dollars in South Africa, creating more than 400,000 jobs for local people. More investors will come.

This year, in addition to promoting exchange of officials visits between governments,parliaments and political parties, we have also invited delegations of the vice-chancellors of South African universities, principals of primary and secondary schools, student and religious leaders and representatives of media and think tanks of South Africa to visit China respectively, which has promoted our people-to-people exchanges and greatly enhanced the mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples.

Among them, the delegation of South African religious leaders and delegation of media and think tanks visited Tibet respectively and got the first-hand experience of the rapid development, ecological conservation, ethnic harmony, religious freedom and people's happiness in Tibet.

Under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa is embracing a new era of "development and renewal". China is ready to share the fruits of its development and huge market with South Africa, promote our cooperation, to join your great efforts to become a locomotive and production base for Africa's industrialization and modernization, and achieve win-win cooperation for common development so as to deliver more benefits to our two countries and two peoples.

In conclusion, may I invite you all to join me for a toast,

To the 70th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China,

To a better future for China-South Africa and China-Africa relations,

To the good health of our two heads of states and all the distinguished guests here,

Cheers!

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