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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Xu Erwen on the Occasion of the 72nd Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China and the Farewell Reception for Ambassador Xu Erwen
2021-09-30 02:14

Dame i Gospodo, Dobar Jutro, Good morning!

Your Excellency, Mr. Mesić, former President of the Republic of Croatia,

Your Excellency, Mr. Josipović, former President of the Republic of Croatia,

Your Excellency, Mrs. Kosor,former Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia,

Your Excellency, Mr. Simonić, former Vice Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia,

Honorable State Secretary Mr. Matusić,

Honorable State Secretary Mr. Plazonić,

Honorable Mayor Mr.Janči,

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors,

Dear friends from Media,

Dear overseas Chinese, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Thank you so much for joining us this morning and welcome to the online reception celebrating the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and bidding farewell to me. The pandemic has changed the way we work and live, and as the Covid-19 situation remains serious, for the health and safety of our friends, we decide to host this celebration online. First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all of you who have been committed to the development and progress of China and Sino-Croatian relations!

For the past 72 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people have been able to overcome obstacles and forge ahead, and have gone through an extraordinary journey, achieving a miracle of rapid economic growth and long-term social stability that is unprecedented in the world, and writing a great chapter in the history of the world as dramatic as it moves. 72 years is quite brief in terms of history, China has been the world second largest economy and has long been the largest contributor to global economic growth. The standard of living of the people has continued to rise, with the middle-income group has grown to over 400 million and is expected to be doubled to reach 800 million by the year of 2035. China has eradicated absolute poverty, lifting 770 million people out of poverty, accounting for more than 70% of global poverty reduction over the same period, which has achieved the UN SDGs on poverty reduction 10 years in advance. China attaches great importance to ecological conservation, and strives for harmony between humanity and nature. In China, clean energy accounts for 24.3% of the total energy consumption, with the installation and generation of Photovoltaic and wind power ranking first in the world. We actively facilitated the conclusion and implementation of the Paris Agreement, will strive to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060 and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, demonstrating the responsibility of China as a major country.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, China has put people and their lives above everything. Every life matters. The epidemic situation was quickly brought under control to promote a stable recovery and a steady improvement in the economy. Last year, China's GDP became the only major economy in the world to achieve positive growth. In the first half of this year, China's GDP increased by 12.7%. Recently, a number of international organizations released reports that raised China's economic growth forecast to around 8% in 2021, leading the world's major economies and expected to contribute more than 25% to global growth this year.

Development is the key to achieving social progress and people's happiness. Not long ago, President Xi Jinping solemnly proposed a Global Development Initiative at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Calling on all countries to stay committed to development as a priority, to a people-centered approach, to benefits for all, to innovation-driven development, to harmony between human and nature and to results-oriented actions. The initiative responds to the theme of the times of peace and development, echoes the strong desire of all people for a better life, and provides a guide for action for common development in the world. We welcome all countries, including Croatia, to join the initiative, deepen the alignment of development strategies, jointly promote cooperation in key areas and create a brighter future for the cause of global development.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Nothing, not even mountains and oceans, can separate people with shared goals and vision. Although China and Croatia are far apart and have different social systems, we face many same challenges and share broad common interests. Sino-Croatian relations have maintained high-level and all-round development, mutual political trust and traditional friendship have been deepened, solidarity and cooperation have always been the main theme of bilateral relations, and the Sino-Croatian comprehensive partnership has entered a solid "diamond stage".

First, the leaders of the two countries have maintained close contacts. President Xi Jinping has kept close communication with President Milanović by frequent exchanges of letters, jointly promoting the Sino-Croation Comprehensive cooperative partnership. In February this year, President Xi Jinping hosted the China-CEEC Summit, which was attended by Prime Minister Mr. Plenković who made a wonderful speech, giving new impetus to the cooperation between the two sides. Just several months after Premier Li Keqiang’s official visit to Croatia, and attendance of the Eighth Summit of Heads of Government of China and CEECs, Mr Speaker Jandroković visited China and attended the second China International Import Expo in November 2019, laying a solid foundation for the entry of quality products from Croatia into the Chinese market. In March 2020, Premier Li Keqiang had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Plenković to give direction to the two countries in their joint fight against the pandemic and Sino-Croatian relations. In May this year, Mr Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, visited Croatia and had friendly and fruitful exchanges with the Croatian leaders, reaching a broad consensus.

Secondly, practical cooperation has been productive. Bilateral trade between the two countries is up 10.6% in 2020 despite the pandemic. In the first half of this year, bilateral trade reached a new record high of 1.21 billion US dollars, up 50.6%, with Croatia's exports to China increasing by 278.2%, a particularly strong momentum. The Pelješac Bridge, the flagship project of the China-Croatia-EU trilateral cooperation, was successfully closured, shortening the three-hour journey to a few minutes and fulfilling the long-awaited wish of the Croatian people to link the northern and southern parts of the country for many years. The Senj Wind Power, which will provide an additional 538 million kwh of electricity annually, once it is operational, will effectively bridging the Croatian domestic power gap and also demonstrating the high degree of compatibility between China's new development concept and the new green development policy of the Croatia and Europe. Huawei company has continued to provide excellent services to the Croatian customers and make contribution to the Croatian economic growth. These key projects have become shining "brand names" of the high-quality and green development of the "Belt and Road" initiative, jointly built by China and Croatia. At the same time, Croatian dairy products which made breakthrough to export to China last year, together with wine, olive oil, truffles and other high-quality agricultural products are gradually becoming known and loved by the Chinese market and consumers. The two sides have great potential for cooperation in the fields of science and technology innovation, green energy, health care and electric vehicles etc.

Thirdly, there are many highlights of people to people exchanges. The two countries have continued to promote exchanges and cooperation in the fields of education, sports and tourism, signing a number of cooperation agreements, and more than 100 Chinese students and athletes have studied and exchanged at the University of Zagreb. The Confucius Institute at the University of Zagreb is running well, and the "Chinese Bridge" competition is increasingly influential, becoming an important bridge for the two countries to enhance mutual understanding and deepen friendship. Next year, China will host the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, thus, I look forward to meeting you all in Beijing to see the athletes of both countries achieve further success.

Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Croatia, and the relationship between the two countries has reached a new starting point. China looks forward to working with the Croatian side to seize new opportunities in the new situation, to do a good job in top level designs for bilateral relations, to continuously expand the convergence of interests, to promote practical cooperation in various fields to a new level, and to make a greater contribution to the sustainable, healthy and stable development of Sino-Croatian relations.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Croatia has beautiful natural scenery and rich historical heritage. Its achievements in the humanities such as literature, art, music and important inventions such as alternators, pens and ties (kravata) are all amazing! When I first came here more than two years ago, I was merely a visitor from a foreign country, but now, as I bid farewell to it, my heart is overflowing with feelings of leaving hometown. At this time, I am very pleased with the current state of flourishing relations between China and Croatia and proud to have had the privilege of contributing to the friendship between two sides, as we have worked together to overcome many challenges, such as the epidemic and the earthquake. I wish Croatia, a nation that has strived and moved forward courageously throughout its long history, the best of luck and will shine even brighter.

A bosom friend from a far would have brought a distant land close. Over the past two years, I have established valuable friendships with people from all walks of life in Croatia. As I am leaving, I have received many warm calls and greetings from my dear friends. I was deeply moved by the positive comments that made by them on the promotion of Sino-Croatian exchanges and cooperation during my term of office and the good wishes. I want to say that the achievements I have made in my work in Croatia would not have been possible without your support and dedication. I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to all those who have shown concern and support for China's development and Sino-Croatian friendship, and to all those who have provided me with support and assistance in carrying out my duties.

I would also like to thank the overseas Chinese, Chinese business people and international students in Croatia, who have not only made outstanding contributions to Croatia's economic and social development and cultural pluralism, but have also played an important role as a bridge to deepen friendship and cooperation between the two countries. I hope you will continue to make more contributions to the development of Sino-Croatian relations in future, and that the Embassy will always be your home.

Finally, I would like to express my special thanks to my colleagues from our Embassy for the wonderful work you have done with me over the past few years. Your loyalty to the country, commitment to the mission and dedication to the cause have made me so proud. I wish you all well and greater success in Croatia.

Wherever I am, I will always be mindful of Croatia and will do my best to promote Sino-Croatian friendship. I am convinced that, with our joint efforts, the ship of China-Croatia relations will continue to ride out the waves and overcome the difficulties, and that the future of China-Croatia friendship and comprehensive partnership between the two countries will be brighter.

Thank you all!

May the China-Croatia friendship last forever!

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