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Remarks by Ambassador Xu Erwen at the Receptionfor the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
September 27, 2019, Esplanade Hotel
2019-09-28 17:51

Your Excellency, Deputy Speaker of Croatian Parliament, Mr. Željko Reiner,

Your Excellency, Former President of Croatia, Mr. Stjepan Mašić,

Your Excellency, Former Speaker of Croatian Parliament, Mr. Josip Leko,

Your Excellency, Former Prime Minister of Croatia, Ms. Jadranka Kosor,

Senior Representative from President of Croatia, Mr. Mate Granić,

Head of the Office of the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Daniel Glunčić, Head of the Office of the Prime Minister of Croatia, Mr. Zvonimir Frka-Petešić,

Respected State Secretaries and Assistant Ministers from Respective Ministries of Croatia,

Respected Majors and Leaders of City of Zagreb, City of Dubrovnik, City of Poreč, City of Varaždin,

Members of the European Parliament,

Members of the Croatian Parliament,

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors of Diplomatic Corps,

Overseas Chinese compatriots,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening!

Thank you so much for coming to the reception and my warmest welcome. Tonight, we are gathering here in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. At this joyful moment, I wish to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to the friends from all walks of life in Croatia and the friends present here tonight for your support to China and China-Croatia friendship and relationship.

The Chinese nation, with an uninterrupted civilization of more than 5,000 years, has both gone through sufferings and made splendid achievements. When the West embarked upon industrialization and embraced the oceans, China fell behind because its emperors chose to shut China’s door to the outside world, and this made China a victim of foreign aggression. Since modern times began, China was beset by crises at home and abroad, and ravaged by wars and chaos, which delivered untold sufferings and pains to its people. However, in a century of darkness, the Chinese people, never stopped searching for a way towards national rejuvenation and prosperity.

Seventy years ago, the Communist Party of China, rallying the Chinese people around itself, engaged in an indomitable struggle and succeeded in establishing a New China in the ruins of an old semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, thus achieving national independence and liberation of the Chinese people.

The past seven decades have witnessed China’s historical transformation in terms of social productivity and composite national strength and delivered initial prosperity to its people who were once struggling to meet their basic living needs. China’s status and influence have risen as never before. China now is the world’s second largest economy, the largest manufacturer, the largest trader of goods, the second largest consumer, second largest recipient of foreign direct investment and the No.1 foreign exchange reserves country. Tremendous progress and breakthrough has been made in science and technology, education, culture and etc. More than 700 million people were lifted out of poverty. In 1997 and 1999, HK and Macao returned to the embrace of Motherland. As for HK, the “one country two systems” arrangements are big success. To maintain HK prosperity and stability, the pressing task is to reject violence and defend rule of law. China has been resolute in its resolve to uphold its sovereignty, security and development interests. We strongly oppose interference of our internal affairs. Taiwan is inalienable part of China. We firmly adhere to one country principle, contain and combat separatist forces. Now China is faced with more bright prospects than never before to realize China dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation under the leadership of President Xi Jingping.

The past seven decades have also witnessed China’s tremendous development opportunities to the whole world. Chinese economy has contributed more than 30% to world economic growth for many years and continues to be the largest contributor. China has established diplomatic relations with 180 countries, set up partnership relations of various kinds with 110 countries and become the major trading partner with more than 130 countries. We in China have continued to promote opening-up across the board, advance international cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative,upgrade an open world economy, and work for a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation and work together with other countries to build a community of a shared future for mankind featuring long-lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness and inclusiveness, as well as clean and beautiful world. China has been and will continue to be a builder of world peace, promoter of global growth and upholder of the international order.

The past seven decade’s miracle of the PRC has been achieved by the hard working Chinese people through their vision, courage, reform and innovation. We stay true to the founding mission of Communist Party of China, uphold the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and be guided by a people-centered development philosophy. From the founding and building of the People’s Republic to the launching of the reform and opening-up program and the shifting of focus to economic development, we have moved away from revolution to reform, from a planned economy to a market economy and from isolation to all-round opening-up. In this process, we have broken free from the fetters of dogma and Utopian thinking, freed our minds and taken a realistic and pragmatic approach. Four to five generations of us Chinese have, going through twists and turns, probed a way forward, and made great accomplishments.

A land of more than 9.6 million square kilometers, a people of nearly 1.4 billion, and a history of over 5,000 years: these are the underlying features of China, and they are the source from which China derives confidence in its path, theory, system and culture. We have embarked on a right path that fits China’s conditions and is in keeping with the trend of the times. And we will further improve and enrich socialism with distinctive Chinese features through reform and opening-up. This is a path we believe in, and we will steadily forge ahead along this path.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am so proud of the great achievements made by New China and also very proud of the fast growing cooperation and relationship between China and Croatia. China-Croatia relations have made great progress and entered one of the best periods in history. We are faced with great opportunities for cooperation between our two countries. The opportunities are coming from:

First is the solid foundation of political mutual trust between our two countries based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. Since the establishment of our diplomatic ties 27 years ago, our bilateral relationship has maintained very good momentum of development. The leaders of both countries have kept close contacts and exchanges of visits. Last year, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković visited China to attend the first China International Import Expo. This April, Premier Li Keqiang visited Croatia and attended the 8th Meeting of Heads of Governments of China and Central and Eastern European countries (17+1), thus further enhancing our political mutual trust.

Second is our highly complementary economy with each other. Our two countries have been enjoying fast growing cooperation in areas of infrastructure, digital economy, primary industry, clean energy, health etc. The Pelješac Bridge is a historic breakthrough in the cooperation between China and Croatia, and also with EU. In next five years, China will import more than 10 trillion US dollars of goods from outside of the world and have outbound investment of 750 billion US dollars. Along with the economic development and the growth of “middle-class” which reached close to 400 million, China's demand for various high-quality products will continue to increase. I hope that more and more Chinese consumers will be able to enjoy the high-quality products like milk, wine and truffles from Croatia. More and more Chinese investors will come to work together with their Croatian partners to benefit both countries and both peoples. Of course, our Croatian friends are most welcome to go to China to do business as well.

Third is the deep affection of both peoples with each other. China and Croatia have a very strong traditional friendship and our communication between our two peoples is growing quickly. In 2018, the number of visitors from China to Croatia was increased by more than 40%, this year it will be much more. It is estimated that in the next five years, China's outbound tourists will reach 700 million. I hope many of them will come here and our Croatia friends are most welcome to go to China as well. This year is China and Croatia Year of Culture and Tourism. The two countries have promoted cultural and tourism cooperation to a new peak by holding a series of events and activities, which greatly enhanced our mutual understanding and friendship.

Fourth lies in the multilateral arena. At present, there are two major platforms for the development of China-Croatia relations. First is the “Belt and Road Initiative” and second is “17+1 Cooperation”. The “Belt and Road Initiative”, a modern version of the ancient Silk Road, is an open, inclusive platform for international economic cooperation. On this ancient silk road, “The Travels of Marco Polo” once connected the East and the West; Today, Croatia is an important country at the intersection of the Silk Road. “17+1 Cooperation” is also a new platform for economic cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries as well as with Europe. Last year the trade between China and Central and Eastern European countries increased by 21%. And China’s investment in these countries has grown by 67%. They are successful because they are based on joint consultation,joint contribution and shared development.

Ladies and gentlemen!

We are fully aware that China’s development is inseparable from a peaceful and stable international environment. A constantly developing China, should make more contribution to the world. China will firmly follow the path of peaceful development. This is a strategic choice the Chinese government and people have made in light of the development trend of the times and their own fundamental interests. China will also further deepen reform and opening up, to create new opportunities for cooperation and win-win for the world economy. China is willing to join hands with countries including Croatia to contribute to the maintenance of multilateralism, free trade, the improvement of global governance, and to make unremitting efforts to build a better world.

Finally, I propose a toast

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China,

To the bright future of China-Croatia relations,

To the friendship and cooperation between our peoples,


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