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Speech by Ambassador of China to Iceland Zhang Weidong at the Reception Marking the 67th Anniversaryof the People's Republic of China
2016-09-30

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Good afternoon. It is a great pleasure to welcome you to join us here in celebrating the 67th birthday of the People's Republic of China. Please allow me to extend my heart-felt thanks to you all.

The number 67 reminds me of the opus 67, the Symphony No. 5 of Ludwig van Beethoven. The four-note fate-at-the-door opening motif and, in particular, the words he wrote in a letter saying that he would "seize fate by the throat; it shall not bend or crush me completely" impressed me deeply.

In the past 67 years, China has not only seized its fate, but also changed it. The founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 put an end to the era when China was a semi-colonist and semi-feudal society. Gone are the old days that China was fragmented. This has brought about the most extensive and profound social transformation in the history of China, reversing its fate from continuous decline to increasing prosperity. The Chinese people have become richer and stronger ever since. In 1949, China's GDP per capita was only 35 US dollars. Now the GDP per capita reached 8000 US Dollars.

In the past year, China achieved new social and economic development. Our people's living standards have been increasingly leveled up. China's economy grew by 6.7% in the first half of this year, maintaining a moderate and steady development trend. China's economy has bright future with great potential.

China's development provides great opportunities for the other part of the world and its development also relies on the world. In September this year, China successfully hosted the G20 Summit. Under the theme of "Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy", many important consensuses were reached. China made tremendous efforts and major contributions towards the success of the Summit, which will be helpful to the development of the world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This year also marks the 45th anniversary of the China-Icelandic diplomatic ties. In the past 45 years, our two countries have seized the fate and achieved a great deal in cooperation in various fields. In 2016, our relations have maintained the forward-moving momentum. A growing numbers of Chinese delegations from central and local governments in economy, culture, health care and academy visited Iceland. Fruitful exchanges have been conducted and new agreements were signed. These achievements are due to the care and support of our two governments and two peoples. I wish to take this opportunity to thank people in all walks of life that have been involved in promoting China-Iceland relations, including the overseas Chinese and Chinese students in Iceland. We will make joint efforts to push our bilateral relations to a new height in the hope of befitting both peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The beginning of Beethoven's fifth symphony seems morbid and pessimistic, but over the course of three movements, it is brought to a triumphant close. It seems to be a metaphor for any kind of journey in which one must overcome hardships and eventually ends the journey with victory.

Now, our world faces many new challenges. Fate is knocking at the door of the global village. We shall "seize fate by the throat" and do not let it "bend or crush" us. We shall cooperate and work together to overcome difficulties and make contributions to the creation of a universal community of shared win-win future. We will compose together a symphony of mankind with a happy and harmonious ending. China will continue to do its best.

To conclude, may I propose a toast,

to the 67th birthday of the People's Republic of China,

to the cooperation and friendship between China and Iceland,

to the prosperity and health of all of you,

Cheers.

Thank you.

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