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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Lu Shaye at the Asia-Pacific Group Luncheon

Excellencies and friends,

Good afternoon! I am very delighted to get together with you and exchange views at the very beginning of the new year. Although it is very cold outside, Im happy to see the atmosphere inside is very warm. Five days ago, I came back to Ottawa from China. During my stay in Beijing, I participated in two major events. One is accompanying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his visit to China and the other is attending the 2017 Conference of Chinese Chiefs of Diplomatic Mission. The two events leave me a lot of reflections and I would like to share them with you.

In the past two years, leaders of China and Canada have maintained frequent exchanges. I think the importance attached to bilateral relations by leaders of both countries and the leading role played by them are crucial for the development of China-Canada strategic partnership. In September 2016, Chinese premier and Canadian prime minister exchanged visits within one month, jointly ushering in a new “golden era” for China-Canada relations. In July and December 2017, the then Governor General David Johnston and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid respectively visits to China. During the recent visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, China and Canada issued the Joint Statement on Climate Change and Clean Growth, and decided to establish two new mechanisms of ministerial dialogue on climate change and clean energy, expand two-way trade and investment and continue to explore the feasibility of a free trade agreement.

With the active promotion of both governments and unremitting efforts of people from all walks of life, the outcomes of China-Canada cooperation have not only laid out remarkable figures but also delivered tangible benefits to the two peoples. In the first 11 months of 2017, according to Statistics Canada, bilateral trade volume between China and Canada reached 86.37 billion Canadian dollars, with an 11-percent year-on-year growth. The number of Chinese students coming to study in Canada in 2017 increased by 64,000, making the aggregate of Chinese students in Canada over 200,000 for the first time. At present, China is the third largest source of tourists for Canada. In the first 10 months of 2017, the number of Chinese tourists to Canada reached 610,000, up by 10.8%, and equivalent to the annual level of the previous year. As 2018 marks the China-Canada Year of Tourism, I am confident that greater increase in people to people exchanges can be reached.

Excellencies and friends,

The other major event I attended in Beijing is the 2017 Conference of Chinese Chiefs of Diplomatic Mission. The CPC’s 19th National Congress held last October open up for China a new journey toward the goal of fully building a modern socialist country. The theme of the conference was grasping the spirit of the CPC’s 19th National Congress and promoting major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. Since the new century, as the process of multi-polarity accelerates and international patterns become increasingly balanced, the major international trend becomes irreversible. China holds high the banner of peace, development and win-win cooperation, and will continue its efforts to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development and uphold international order. The overall goal of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era is to build a new form of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.

To build a new form of international relations is to embark on a new path of state-to-state exchanges, emphasizing “mutual respect, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation”. And we believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are all equal, and different political systems, religions and civilizations should be treated as equals. Meanwhile, we oppose the law of the jungle and call for transcending the zero-sum game so as to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

To build a community with a shared future for mankind is to promote the building of an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. These features constitute the magnificent structure of a community with a shared future for mankind, whose philosophy is rooted in China’s long history and brilliant traditional culture, and integrated with ancient Chinese sages’ lofty dream about a world of universal harmony, and meanwhile focuses on the reality and offers solutions to problems facing today’s world.

The two “ to build” chart the course for China’s diplomacy in the new era while the Belt and Road Initiative serves as a practice platform thereof and offers a public goods to the international community. Since the Belt and Road Initiative was put forward, in the spirit of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, we have signed cooperation agreements with 80 countries and organizations, engaged in regular cooperation in production capacity with more than 30 countries, and built 75 outbound economic and trade cooperation zones with 24 countries along the route. Investments by Chinese enterprises in countries along the route have amounted to more than 50 billion US dollars and nearly 200,000 jobs have been created. China is willing to work with all parties to achieve policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, brazing a new path to address the difficult issues in development, optimize economic governance, realize sustainable development and rebalance of economic globalization.

Excellencies and friends,

We all belong to the Asia-Pacific region, and we are good neighbors and partners, our interests closely connect with each other. Currently, the Asia-Pacific region is increasingly becoming the anchor that helps stabilize the globe, and serves as a highland for cooperation and an engine for development. Joining hands to establish a prosperous and stable Asia-Pacific region is not only the common aspiration shared by the countries in this region, but also an important task of China’s major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

In keeping with the vision of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness, and pursuing the foreign policy of forging friendship and partnership with neighboring countries, China will deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with neighboring countries, continue to promote the building of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific and the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with a view to its signing at an early date.

We should upgrade China-ASEAN relations from the growth period to the mature period featuring higher quality at higher levels, build an East Asia Economic Community, and push forward Lancang-Mekong Cooperation. As for the issue of South China Sea, China will, together with other countries in the region, join hands to peacefully resolve disputes through dialogue and consultation, maintain stability and advance maritime cooperation by adhering to the “two-wheel driven strategy of the implementation of the DOC (Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea) and the consultation of the COC (Code of Conduct in the South China Sea).

As for the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, proceeding from safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime as well as peace and stability on the Peninsula, China stays committed to the goal of the denuclearization as always and insists that the issue should be addressed through dialogue and consultation. We welcome and support the direct dialogue recently held between ROK and DPRK.

Excellencies and friends,

In this year, China will hold grand celebrations for the 40th anniversary of its reform and opening-up, host two major diplomatic events, namely the Boao Forum for Asia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Qingdao , and will also host the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. In the next 15 years, China will import commodities worth 24 trillion US dollars and absorb foreign direct investment of 2 trillion US dollars. Chinas total volume of outbound investment will reach 2 trillion US dollars as well. China will unswervingly promote the policy of opening-up, which benefits not only China itself, but also the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

Finally, I sincerely wish everyone good health and greater success in the new year 2018. Thank you.

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