Celebrating the 74th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China
Ambassador Cao Zhongming,
Deputy Secretary-General Mr. Enrique Mora,
Chairwoman a.i. of the Management Committee Ms. Theodora Gentzis,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening! It is my great pleasure to get together with all of you tonight to celebrate the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. On behalf of the Chinese Mission to the European Union, I would like to express my warm welcome to all of you and extend my sincere thanks to people from various sectors who have long been committed to China-EU friendship and cooperation.
In the past 74 years, China has witnessed historic changes under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). We have eliminated absolute poverty, built the world’s largest education, social security and healthcare systems, and achieved rapid economic growth and long-term social stability. 45 years ago, China launched reform and opening-up, a policy that has not only changed China profoundly, but also created huge opportunities to the rest of the world. Today, we are confidently embarking on a new journey to promote the great rejuvenation of the country through a Chinese path to modernization.
The year 2023, which marks the beginning of full implementation of the guiding principles adopted at the 20th CPC National Congress, is also a crucial year as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. We have made solid progress in high-quality development with green development as its key and distinctive feature. In the first half of this year, China achieved a 5.5 percent economic growth, one of the highest among major economies. This demonstrates the strong resilience, tremendous potential and great vitality of the Chinese economy. The fundamentals sustaining China’s long-term growth remain unchanged. Looking ahead, China’s development enjoys bright prospects, and will inject more and fresh impetus to the global recovery and sustainable development.
Today, in a world of turmoil and transformation, humanity is faced with unprecedented challenges. In this context, President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, providing Chinese perspectives for addressing the global development deficit, meeting global security challenges, and strengthening exchanges among civilizations.
This year marks the 48th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the EU, as well as the 20th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic partnership. Since I arrived here last December, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many European friends and witnessed the positive momentum of China-EU relations. President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang met with President Michel and President von der Leyen on several occasions, providing strategic leadership for this important relationship. High-level dialogues on environment and climate, economy and trade, and digital cooperation have been resumed. And the high-level strategic dialogue is expected to take place during High Representative Josep Borrell’s visit to China next month. The two sides are also maintaining close contacts on the annual China-EU Summit to be held within this year. At the same time, China and the EU are each other’s second-biggest trading partners, with nearly $100 million of goods traded between the two sides every hour. The China-Europe Railway Express has greatly facilitated trade between China and Europe and countries along the route, with an impressive 77,000 trips and a total value of more than $340 billion. After the China-EU geographical indications agreement was signed in 2020, the two sides have achieved mutual recognition and protection of 244 products, with the publishing of a second batch of 350 mutually recognized products also completed. These are vivid examples of the practical cooperation between China and the EU that have benefited tens of thousands of businesses and consumers.
I am also aware of the difficulties facing China-EU relations. I would like to emphasize that risk prevention and cooperation are not mutually exclusive, and interdependence should not be simply equated with insecurity. As a matter of fact, it is the lack of cooperation that brings the biggest risk, and it is the lack of development that constitutes the biggest insecurity. As two major forces, markets and civilizations, China and the EU have a big role to play in preserving global stability and prosperity of the Eurasian continent, and the world at large. To promote development and prosperity in this uncertain world, it’s important that we manage our differences, seek common ground with openness and cooperation, and increase people-to-people exchanges to ensure a stable and robust China-EU relationship.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Many of you have contributed to China-EU friendship and mutual understanding between the two peoples. I want to thank you for your contribution, and hope you could continue to do so in the future. Let us work together to promote the steady development of China-EU relations.
In conclusion, I would like to propose a toast to the prosperity of the motherland, to the strength of the China-EU friendship, and to the happiness and good health of all of you!