Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Jin Zhijian at the Reception to Celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
2019/09/28

Respected Speaker Steingrímur J. Sigfússon,

Respected Minister Kristján Þór Júlíusson,

Distinguished guests and dear colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Good Evening!

 

First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Iceland, I would like to express my warm welcome to all of you for your presence today to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

 

On October 1, 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong solemnly announced to the world that the People's Republic of China was founded and the Chinese people stood up. Since then, the Communist Party of China has led the Chinese people to forge ahead through hard work and has turned China from a weak and impoverished country with backward productivity into the world's second largest economy, the largest industrial manufacturer, the largest trader of goods, the biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves, and the second largest country for foreign capital inflow in the world. China's GDP hit $13.6 trillion in 2018, accounting for nearly 16 percent of the world's total,174 times higher than GDP in 1952 in real terms. China has made historical transformation in comprehensive national strength and achieved a development miracle unseen before in world history.

 

Over the past 70 years, the living standard of the Chinese people has changed tremendously. China's per capita gross national income increased by 135 times, from roughly $70 to $9,470. Now China has the world's largest middle-income population of more than 400 million. In the past four decades since the reform and opening up, China has lifted over 700 million people out of extreme poverty, contributed more than 70 percent to global poverty alleviation, and became the first developing country to realize the UN poverty reduction target. Today, China has built the world's largest social security system, the life expectancy of the Chinese people has increased from 35 years in early years of the New China to 77 years in 2018.

 

Over the past 70 years, the scientific and technological strength has been significantly enhanced. China has led the world in the number of R&D professionals and invention patent applications for many years in a row. It also ranks second in the world in terms of R&D spending. China has made remarkable achievements in manned space flight, lunar exploration, quantum science, deep-sea exploration and satellite navigation. Modern information technologies, such as big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence, are thriving in the country. Innovative technologies such as 5G communications, mobile payment and high-speed railways have become China's "new business cards" that have truly impressed the world.

 

Over the past 70 years, China has actively integrated into the international community, and become an active participant, builder and contributor of the international system. China has made great contributions to world peace and stability. China's friendly cooperation with the rest of the world has developed in an all-round way, and the countries that have established diplomatic relations with China have increased from 18 in the early days of the People's Republic to 179 today. China has actively participated in multilateral diplomacy, acceded to almost all inter-governmental international organizations and more than 500 international multilateral treaties so far. It has taken an active part in the international efforts to settle hotspot issues and has contributed China's solutions to addressing major issues and building rule-based international system.

 

China is now the second largest contributor to the UN's regular and peacekeeping budgets among all member states, and has dispatched the largest peace keeping force among the five permanent members of the UN security council. By far China has sent close to 40,000 military personnel on peacekeeping missions. China is the largest trading partner of over 120 countries and regions, and accounts for nearly 30 percent of the worldwide increase in GDP over years, becoming truly the leading engine of the world economic growth. Since the Belt and Road Initiative was put forward six years ago, more than 160 countries and international organizations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China. The concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind is now endorsed by documents of the UN, the G20 and other international organizations, and it has played a positive role in promoting peace and progress of mankind.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the 70 years, the Chinese people have gone from regaining dignity to becoming prosperous and strong. China's journey to modernization is unprecedented in human history.

Many may wonder how China can achieve such brilliant developments in a relatively short period of time.

The answer is:

- the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China

- a development path that suits China's national conditions, that is to say, Socialism with Chinese characteristics

- sticking to the policy of reform and opening up

- and the hard work of all the Chinese people

 

Looking back, we feel proud of China's great achievements over the past 70 years. Looking forward, we are full of expectation for the bright future. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with the General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core, the Chinese people will stick to the path of peaceful development, deepen reform and opening-up, remain committed to build a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and work together with the rest of the world to create a community with a shared future for mankind. China will strive to turn itself into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by 2050. China's development does not pose a threat to any other country. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Although China and Iceland are far away from each other and have different national conditions, the two countries enjoy a long history of friendly exchanges. Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 1971, China-Icelandic relations has entered a period of fast development. The two countries have treated each other with respect and as equals, and have worked together for mutual benefits and win-win cooperation. In recent years, our political trust has been further deepened, and cooperation in fields of economy and trade, science and education, culture and people-to-people exchanges have seen new progress. In 2018, the total trade volume between the two countries exceeded $700 million for the first time. The cooperation in renewable energy and Arctic affairs between the two sides also have been enhanced. Last year there were nearly 90,000 Chinese tourists that visited Iceland, and the figure continues to grow this year. Meanwhile, more and more Icelandic people are visiting China for business, tourism or study. The two countries share common interests in safeguarding world peace and stability, international multilateral systems, and free trade, and enjoy broad prospects for cooperation in the fields of climate change, sustainable development, and environmental protection.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China cannot achieve its development independent from the rest of the world, and the sound bilateral relations between China and Iceland cannot come this far without the support and efforts of friends from all walks of life in our two countries. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to all of those who care about China's development and support the friendly cooperation between China and Iceland. Looking ahead from a new starting point in our history, I am fully confident that with the joint efforts of the two sides we will continue to write a new chapter in the China-Iceland relations.

 

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 bright future of China-Iceland relations,

To world peace and prosperity,

To the health of everyone present tonight,

Cheers!

Thank you.