Speech of Ambassador He Xiangdong at the Reception Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
2019-09-27 07:10

(27th September 2019, Intercontinental Dublin)

Distinguished Minister Charlie Flanagan,
Distinguished Mr. Gabriel Makhlouf, Governor of Central Bank of Ireland,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and friends from diplomatic corp,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

It is a great honour to have you with us here tonight to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you, express my sincere greetings to the Chinese community in Ireland, and pay tribute to our Irish friends for your contributions to the friendship between China and Ireland.

70 years ago, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese people realized liberation and national independence through decades' hard struggle. The new China was founded and the Chinese people have stood up ever since then.

70 years is short in human history, but the past 70 years witnessed the tremendous changes of China, a country with thousands years of civilization.

During the past 70 years, China's rapid development has attracted world attention. China is now the world's second largest economy, with the largest manufacturing output, the largest trade volume in goods, the biggest foreign exchange reserves, and top in the length of railway and motorway, port capacity and delivery volume. Now China's GDP in a single day is more than that of a whole year of 1950. Its fiscal revenue for a day is 8 times of that for the whole year of 1950. In the early days of new China, many things needed to start from scratch. At that time, we even needed to import matches and nails. Today many national projects such as manned space flight, deep-sea exploration, high speed rail and large air-plane are advancing by leaps and bounds. China is a world leader in the new technologies of 5G, big data, cloud computing, and AI, to name but a few.

During the past 70 years, Chinese people has benefited the most from China's development. More than 800 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty as China's poverty rate fell from 97.5% to 1.7%. China sets to hit its target of eradicating poverty by 2020. China's per capita gross national income increased from 54 dollar in 1949 to 9,732 dollar in 2018 and average life expectancy from 35 years to 77 years. Chinese people have enjoyed a stronger sense of gain, happiness and security.

Ladies and gentlemen,

During the past 70 years, China unswervingly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. We are firm in our resolve to uphold China's sovereignty, security and development interests and oppose hegemonism and power politics. The logic that a strong country is bound to seek hegemony never exists in Chinese political and diplomatic traditions, not to mention "clash of civilizations". China always adheres to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and is committed to the peace and stability of the world. China actively integrates into the process of globalization and its contribution to global economic growth has surpassed 30 percent in the past few years. As the largest developing country in the world, China plays a constructive role in forging a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and building a global community with a shared future.

Looking back into the past 70 years, China recognizes that following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and managing its own developing affairs well is its biggest contribution to peace and development of the world. We also believed that better results of an overall well-off society and the great national rejuvenation can only be achieved with joint development and prosperity with other countries in the world. All countries are welcome to get on board the express train of China's development, share best practice and share greater development dividends.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a public good that China has offered to the world. It is an initiative for economic cooperation, not one for geopolitical or military alliance. It is an open and inclusive process that neither targets nor excludes any party. Rather than forming exclusionary blocks, it aims to help China and the rest of the world jointly seize opportunities and pursue common development. It is intended to avoid ideological demarcation, zero-sum games, or any of the "traps". It is open to any country which is willing to participate.

As a responsible major country, China has actively promoted and improved global governance with new achievements. At 2019 Osaka G20 summit, the Chinese solutions proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping to promote global governance has gained much attention. Irish friends as we do are very concerned about climate change. A few days ago, the UN Climate Action Summit was held in New York. Currently, global climate governance has entered a critical stage. We believe that "Clean water and green mountain is great fortune", and firmly adhere to the path of green, low-carbon and sustainable development, and vigorously promotes low-carbon production, new energy generation, new energy vehicles, afforestation, carbon emissions trading.

In 2018, China's carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP dropped by 45.8% compared with 2005, equivalent to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 5.26 billion tons. China has contributed to a quarter of the increase in global forested areas since the turn of the century. We will faithfully fulfill our obligations under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, and realize as scheduled its nationally determined contribution targets submitted to the UNFCCC secretariat. Meanwhile, we will adhere to multilateral cooperation to address climate change, discuss and solve problems under the framework of the Convention and the Agreement.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Chinese people will not forget that in the 1950s, withstanding tremendous pressure from outside, Ireland was the first Western country to support the restoration of the lawful rights of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations. Chinese people will not forget the valuable experiences we learned from Shannon Free Trade Zone in the early days of China's reform and opening up. China-Ireland friendship has been condensed by the efforts of leaders from generations and the people from all walks of life in both countries.

Here I would like to extend my highest respect and sincere gratitude to the Irish friends who have long dedicated to the development of China-Ireland relations and China's development.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Ireland. It is also the "big year" for the development of China-Ireland relations. In just less than five months after I arrived in Ireland, I have received more than 30 senior Chinese delegations to Ireland. I am delighted to be so busy, because it is an indicator that shows close interactions between our two countries.

From 2015 to 2018, bilateral trade of goods between China and Ireland has doubled from 7 billion US dollars to more than 14.5 billion US dollars. For the first 8 months of this year, our bilateral trade increased by another 24.5% to 11.4 billion US dollars, among which, Ireland exported more than 9.2 billion to China, increased by 35.4% comparing with the same period of last year. Chinese investment in Ireland has grown by 75%. The export of Irish beef to China has increased significantly. From January to July this year, China imported more than 3,000 tons of Irish beef.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The relationship between China and Ireland could be a model for win-win cooperation and shared prosperity between countries despite the differences in terms of stage of development and social system, historical and cultural background, size of territory and population. Looking into the future, we need to start again and jointly promote the China-Ireland Reciprocal Strategic Partnership to a new height to better benefit our two peoples.

We shall consolidate political mutual trust, understand and respect each other's core interests and major concerns. Different systems, different roads and different viewpoints are by no means an obstacle to our communication. Seeking common ground while reserving differences and pragmatic cooperation is our way of getting along.

We shall tighten the win-win bond. China and Ireland are firmly committed to upholding free trade system with WTO as its core, and both of us are participants and beneficiaries of globalization. China welcomes Ireland to take an active part in the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to deepen our cooperation and enhance the well-being of the two peoples. In recent years, more and more Chinese enterprises have come to invest in Ireland and have made positive contributions to the Irish economic and social development. We hope Ireland will continue to offer a good business environment for Chinese investors.

We shall enhance cultural exchanges and strengthen the close contact between our two peoples. People-to-people friendship is the "source of running water" and the most basic, solid and long-lasting cornerstone for the bilateral relations. Let's open our minds, expand the good momentum of friendly people-to-people exchanges, and spread the seeds of friendship and cooperation among our two peoples, especially the young generations.

Dear Friends,

The "Chinese Dream" is not only a dream for China to achieve national prosperity, national rejuvenation, and people's happiness, but also a dream of promoting peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit of the whole world. With the open mind of seeking peace, promoting development and pursuing cooperation, we will continue to work with our Irish friends to write a more glorious chapter of China-Ireland friendship.

Please join me in a toast,

To the 70th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China,

To the brighter future of China-Ireland relations,

And to the good health of all guests,