Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Cong Peiwu at the Reception in Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Good evening! Welcome to the reception in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. I just arrived in Canada this Sunday and it is such a great pleasure to meet you all here. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the friends who have the unfailing care and support of China’s development, and extend sincere greetings to overseas Chinese living in Canada.

Over the past seven decades, the Chinese people have spared no efforts to forge ahead. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, thanks to the hard work of the Chinese people under the leadership of CPC, the Communist Party of China, we have made remarkable achievements in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. This has profoundly transformed China, brought about tremendous benefits to our own people and produced wide-reaching positive influence on the world.

China has achieved great leaps in socialism with Chinese characteristics. In light of China’s own national conditions, we have blazed the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. In pursuing development, we have accomplished just in a few decades what has taken developed countries several hundred years to achieve. China has provided a wider range of approaches for other developing countries to realize modernization, and contributed wisdom and solutions for addressing challenges facing mankind.

The socialist system with Chinese characteristics is becoming more and more mature, and its advantages more evident. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core has, in keeping with the context of China’s development, put forward the Two Centenary Goals, and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. The 19th CPC National Congress established Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a guiding ideology, which has provided a navigation mark for China to break new ground on all fronts. China’s practice has proved that as long as we adhere to the leadership of the CPC and the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we will continue to press ahead with the cause of China’s reform and development.

China has created a miracle in the history of human development. When the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, it was a very poor and backward country with a extremely weak economic basis. According to our statistics, in 1952, China’s GDP was only 67.9 billion RMB yuan with 119 RMB yuan per capita. However, by the end of 2018, China’s GDP has exceeded 90 trillion RMB yuan, accounting for nearly 16% of the world economy. China now is the second-largest economy, the largest trader in goods, the biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves, and the second largest recipient of foreign direct investment.

In 1978, there were 770 million rural residents living in poverty. By the end of 2018, this number decreased to 16.6 million. China has contributed over 70 percent to the poverty eradication around the world. The number of people receiving higher education in China is over 38 million. There are nearly 830 million netizens in China. And more than 100 million Chinese people surf the internet to get knowledge about China and the world every day. China’s high-speed railway, with the top speed of 380km/h, exceeds 29,000km, accounting for more than 60 percent of the global total. China now has all industries listed by UN industry category, with more than 200 industrial products ranking the first in the world. China has yielded impressive results in manned spaceflight, quantum science, deep-water exploration, super-computing, and satellite navigation. This January, China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft made the first ever soft-landing on the far side of the moon. As the Chinese saying goes, “As Nature thrives through self-regeneration, so should a man of noble character ceaselessly strive for self-improvement”. China’s development achievements owe to strenuous efforts by generations of our people. It is fair to say that the past 70 years have been extremely phenomenal and extraordinary.

China has made significant contributions to world peace and development. We pursue the independent foreign policy of peace, always advocates the basic principles of international relations with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence as the core, China is the constructor of the world peace, contributor to the global development, and upholder of the international order. China now is the second-largest financial contributor to the UN’s regular budget and the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. China has played an irreplaceable role in a series of hotspot issues and hence has become a mainstay in safeguarding multilateralism and promoting reform of the international system.

Entering the new era, under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, China advocates and forges a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and commits to build a community with a shared future for mankind. China actively promotes the Belt and Road Initiative based on the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, providing important international public goods for the development of all countries. China earnestly fulfills the obligations under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. China has also invested 20 billion RMB yuan to establish the South-South Cooperation Fund on Climate Change, supporting other developing countries against climate change. In recent years, China has contributed an average of over 30 percent to the global economic growth on the annual basis. China has been the biggest engine of the world economy. In the first half of this year, China’s economy grew by 6.3 percent, keeping a good momentum of steady growth. Furthermore, we have launched major measures such as further opening up the market, expanding imports and improving business environment with the aim of breaking new ground in opening up and striving for high-quality development. It can be well expected that China’s development will provide new opportunities for the development of all countries in the world, including Canada, and bring benefits to all peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Today, we are here celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. And next year, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Canada. History has proved that a healthy and stable China-Canada relationship is in the common interests of our two countries and two peoples. And only by upholding the principles of equality and mutual respect, can China-Canada relations move forward along the right track. Otherwise, China-Canada relations and the interests of our two countries will be hurt. As we all know that China-Canada relations are faced with difficulties at present. We are deeply saddened by this, but China shall not be the one to blame. There is an old saying in China, “Whoever ties the knot should untie it.” We hope that the Canadian side will take steps to properly resolve the outstanding issue confronting the bilateral relationship at an early date, so as to untie the knot and create conditions for our bilateral ties to go back on the right track.

There is great potential for cooperation between China and Canada. Our two peoples have friendly sentiments towards each other. Dr. Norman Bethune has long been a household name in China. And I am very glad to learn that, President Xi Jinping has recently signed a presidential decree to award Madam Isabel Crook, the Canadian emeritus professor of Beijing Foreign Studies University, the Friendship Medal of highest state honor. Meanwhile, there are more than 1.7 million overseas Chinese living in Canada. They are all ambassadors of friendship between our two countries. These are the driving forces for the long-term growth of China-Canada relations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

I once served in the Chinese Embassy in Canada at the start of this century. Back to Canada again, the environment here is very familiar to me. I assumed my duty as Ambassador to Canada at this particular time, which has raised my full awareness of the great responsibility I shall bear. I look forward to making extensive contacts with people from all walks of life in Canada, introducing China’s development and progresses, and listening to your advice on the development of our bilateral ties. I hope all friends here will continue to support the development of China-Canada relations and the work of the Embassy.

Now may I invite you to join me in a toast:

To the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China,

To the friendship between our two peoples,

To the health of everyone here,