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Speech at 2017 National Day Reception by Ambassador Lu Shaye
(2017/09/27)

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this beautiful autumn evening, we get together to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. On behalf of all the staff at the Chinese Embassy in Canada, I welcome all of you and wish you have a wonderful time here.

My dear friends,

Many of you are witnesses of China’s development. This year, thanks to the remarkable progress of the supply-side structural reform, China’s economy remains stable and continues to show great potential. In the first half of the year, China has had a year-on-year economic growth of 6.9%, bolstering the confidence of China’s trading partners across the world. Looking back, since the opening of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) nearly five years ago, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Mr. Xi Jinping as the core, we’ve holistically carried out the overall plan for promoting economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological progress, coordinated pursuing the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy of establishing a moderately prosperous society, deepening reform, advancing the rule of law, and strengthening Party self-discipline, and persisted in implementing the five key development concepts, which are to say innovation, balanced growth, a green economy, opening-up and inclusive development. China’s state governance has shown a brand new look, with the country’s comprehensive strength and international influence hitting new highs.

In these five years, China has become a major engine of the world’s economy, keeping a medium-high growth, and contributing more than 30% to the global economic growth. Many statistics indicating China’s development, including the manufacturing scale, the trade in goods, the volume of direct outbound investment, investment in research, operating range of High-speed Railway, and 4G network development are all taking the lead around the world.

In these five years, with commodity prices remaining stable and household income keeping fairly rapid growth, Chinese people’s living standard is constantly improving and their sense of gains significantly enhanced. China’s employment performance is recognized the best in the world, with more than 13 million new jobs added every year. And China reduces the poor rural population by more than 55 million, lowering the poverty rate to 2%.

In these five years, by sticking to pursuing innovation-driven development, China gradually broke the structural bottleneck of its economy, and its new growth driving forces are spurting out like current. More than 1,500 reform measures in various fields were implemented one after another, injecting powerful impetus into China's development. A large number of strategic science and technology projects, including aero-engines, quantum communication, deep-space and deep-sea detection, have made major breakthroughs in succession. And there has been a constant stream of new industries and new types of business such as High-speed Railway, online shopping, mobile payment and bike-sharing, which are changing people's way of life and offering more opportunities for enterprise-starters.

In these five years, while creating a brand new pattern of opening-up, China has become not only an active participator but also a more influential promoter and trendsetter in the economic globalization. China firmly advocates multilateralism and free trade, and strives to safeguard the achievements gained in the international negotiations of climate change. Crossed over lands and seas, the “Belt and Road” construction has become the largest international cooperation platform and the most popular international public good. More and more China’s initiatives are turning into international consensuses, and more and more Chinese approaches are converted to international actions.

The past 5 years have been a remarkable time of Chinese people’s self-motivated endeavour. The reason for China’s enormous achievements is that we’ve found a development path suited to our own situation under the strong leadership of CPC, which is called the socialist path with Chinese characteristics. We are fully confident about this path’s glorious prospect.

Dear friends,

We are equally pleased to see that China-Canada relations have maintained a good momentum of development. Both sides keep close high-level contacts. Last year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exchanged visits within one month. In this year, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Trudeau sent letters to each other. Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Trudeau made several telephone conversations. And Governor General of Canada David Johnston paid a successful visit to China in July. The close ties between our leaders have served as a strategic guidance to our countries relations.

Bilateral economic and trade cooperation has also witnessed continuous development. From January to July of this year, bilateral trade volume reached 29.2 billion U.S. dollars with a year-on-year increase of 16.9%. During Governor General Johnston’s visit to China in July, the well-known Chinese E-commerce giant—JD.com hosted a promotional event in which Chinese customers purchased 140,000 living Canadian lobsters in just 24 hours. How big the potential is in China-Canada economic and trade cooperation!

Yesterday, I was pleased to attend a great event “Gateway 17” organized by Alibaba, a renowned E-commerce company of China, but also the biggest one across the world. The chair of Alibaba Mr. Jack Ma had a profound dialogue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the venue, presenting to the audience a promising prospect for Canadian commodities of high quality to enter Chinese market with 1.4 billion people by E-commerce platform. As of now China and Canada have run 4 rounds of exploratory discussions on FTA, with consensuses accumulated increasingly. I hope the two sides start negotiations and sign the agreement as early as possible so that we can elevate the bilateral economic and trade cooperation to a higher level.

China and Canada have worked together closely on many regional and global issues. Both sides are firmly committed to advocating globalization and free trade, devoted to coping with climate change, and have continuously strengthened communications and co-ordinations in multilateral organizations such as the UN and the APEC. Canada has joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and China looks forward to carrying out practical cooperation with Canada within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The people-to-people exchanges between China and Canada are full of vibrancy and vitality. China is Canada’s third biggest source of tourists and its biggest source of overseas students. According to statistics from Canada, for the first half of this year, there have been around 34,000 Chinese students newly enrolled in Canadian universities, increasing by 80% year-on-year; and there have been as much as 280,000 Chinese tourists travelling to Canada, up by 15% year-on-year.

2018 marks the China-Canada Year of Tourism and I hope more and more Canadian people could manage to travel to China and take a look by themselves, forging more trust in China-Canada cooperation and enabling conditions for building the “Golden Era” of the bilateral relationship.

Dear friends,

On October 18, the remarkable 19th CPC National Congress will be held in Beijing and China’s development will open a new chapter. In the near future, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit China again and a new page will be written in China-Canada relations. Today we celebrate the 68th birthday of the People’s Republic of China. The number 68 is a very auspicious digit in Chinese culture, which symbolizes “smoothness” and “prosperity” and this is also my best wishes for my motherland and for China-Canada relations. Now, please join me for a toast:

To the celebration of the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China,

To the continuous development of relations between China and Canada, and

To the health of all friends here present,

Cheers!