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Speech by Ambassador Zhang Ping At the Reception in Celebration of the 68th Anniversary Of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
2017/09/22

Your Excellency Jioji Konrote, President of the Republic of Fiji and First Lady Mme.Konrote,

Honorable Ministers and Members of Parliament,

Excellencies, Representatives of international organizations and members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Chinese community and business representatives,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Bula Vinaka and very good evening to you all!

October 1st this year marks the 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. It is a great pleasure for me, my wife and my colleagues to have the honor of your presence at this reception to celebrate with us this great day of the Chinese nation. First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, to extend warm welcome to all the distinguished guests present here tonight.

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China 68 years ago, under the strong leadership of Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese people have been striving hard against all odds in constant pursuit of building a strong, prosperous and modernized nation. Through the hard work and unremitting efforts, we have achieved remarkable progress and found a development path suitable to the country’s conditions. Especially after nearly 40 years of reform and opening up, China's social productivity and comprehensive national strength have made enormous strides. There is a significant improvement of people’s living standards. China is now the world’s second largest economy, the biggest trader of goods and the second largest direct overseas investor, with GDP exceeding 11 trillion US dollars and per capita GDP reaching over 8100 US dollars, contributing over 30% to the global economic growth.

During the past five years, the Chinese government firmly implemented the concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, steadfastly pushed forward the deepening of reform in an all-round way and actively expanded the scope of opening up. While strengthening the innovation-driven economic growth, the Chinese Government has made great efforts in pursuing coordinated development in urban and rural areas, boosting the country’s development toward the direction of better quality, more efficiency, increased fairness and growing sustainability. At present, China is witnessing historic changes. China’s development is standing at a new historical starting point and socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new development stage. The Chinese nation,which had experienced tribulation and hardships since modern times, has made a historic leap from standing-up to becoming better-off to getting stronger.

Next month, the Communist Party of China will convene its 19th National Congress in Beijing. The meeting comes at a crucial time for the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It also comes when China’s endeavor to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects has entered the decisive stage. The meeting will come up with a new grand blueprint for the future development of China which will guide the Chinese people to achieve the two Centenary Goals and realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China firmly sticks to the path of peaceful development and commits itself to be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and upholder of international order and has contributed Chinese wisdom and solutions to the promotion of world peace and development.

China plays an active part in safeguarding world and regional peace, firmly commits to seeking political settlements of international and regional hot spot issues, and plays a constructive role in bridging differences and promoting peace talks. China has made great efforts to build healthy and stable relationship with major powers, expand friendship and all-round cooperation with neighboring countries, promote quality improvement and upgrading of the cooperation with developing countries, carry out Chinese practice in building a new type of international relations.

China adheres to the concept of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and actively participates in global economic governance, making efforts to steer economic globalization to see it become more inclusive, mutually beneficial, and equitable. China advocates forging a community of shared future for mankind, and is committed to achieving common prosperity through mutually beneficial cooperation. In May this year, China successfully hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The Belt and Road Initiative has become a path of cooperation, a path of hope, and a path of win-win outcome for the international community to seek common development. Early this month, China successfully hosted BRICS Summit in Xiamen and ushered in the second Golden Decade of BRICS cooperation. The Xiamen Declaration, which calls for growth through innovation and structural reform, has injected new dynamics into building an open world economy and improving global economic governance.

China attaches great importance to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and has actively participated in international development cooperation. China was among the first to adopt and release the country's National Plan on Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and has provided various kinds of assistance to other developing countries for them to achieve sustainable development goals through mechanisms such as the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation. During the Xiamen BRICS Summit, China initiated “BRICS Plus”mode and invited five developing countries from different regions to participate in the dialogue between emerging market and developing countries. President Xi announced that China will provide 500 million US dollars to the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation to help fellow developing countries tackle famine, refugee, climate change, public health and other challenges. China will also enhance development experience-sharing and capacity building cooperation with other developing countries.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and Fiji share profound friendship. The two countries are not only good friends through thick and thin, but also good partners of win-win cooperation. The Chinese government is committed to developing friendly exchanges and cooperation with Fiji at various levels and in various fields and is endeavored to provide assistance within its capacity to Fiji’s economic and social development. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between our two countries, under the joint efforts of both sides, our bilateral relationship has seen rapid and steady development with fruitful results achieved out of cooperation in various fields. The two countries have established strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development. Over the years, China has assisted Fiji with 17 complete aid projects, 11 technical aid projects, 4 concessional loan projects, 27 material assistance projects and many other forms of assistance, which promotes in significant way Fiji’s economic and social development. China now is Fiji’s third largest trading partner, biggest source of foreign direct investment and the fastest growing market for Fiji’s tourism. This May, Hon.Prime Minister Bainimarama was invited to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang held in-depth exchange of views with the Hon.Prime Minister on bilateral relations, which gave a further boost to the development of China-Fiji relations. Since this year, our bilateral exchange and cooperation has seen further progress. The China-aid Somosomo hydropower station was officially commissioned this March. The China-aid reconstruction project of Vatuwaqa Bridge and Stinson Parade Bridge is progressing well. Workers of both countries are laying the beams on Stinson Parade Bridge and doing the deck pavement on Vatuwaqa Bridge. Law-enforcement cooperation and personnel training have achieved new fruitful results. The people-to-people exchanges are flourishing with more and more cultural, educational, tourism and sub-national activities going on between our two countries. This year, 16 Fijian students have been admitted to various Chinese universities under the Chinese Government scholarship program. 11 Chinese art troupes have visited Fiji so far. We are so pleased that an art troupe from Sichuan Province has joined us tonight and they will present us with their performance later at the reception. The Fijian Art Troupe Dolce Sounds/ Dulali Group has made their debut at Chengdu International Intangible Cultural Heritage Festival, showcasing the wonderful pacific island culture to Chinese audience. The renovation work of Suva Civic Center Auditorium undertaken by Guangdong Province is well underway. Guangdong Province has set up a training center in Navua Hospital in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health of Fiji. So far, three doctors from Guandgong Province have been working there for three months, providing training to the local medical workers and medical service to the patients. A team of ophthalmologists from Guangdong Province were also here, providing free cataract surgeries to the local patients.

China actively promotes cooperation on international climate and ocean governance and supports the efforts by Pacific Islands Countries in pursuing sustainable development goals as well as in tackling climate change and developing blue economy. We share the same joy when Fiji successfully co-hosted the first UN Ocean Conference and sincerely congratulate on Fiji’s presidency of COP23. We have provided firm support and assistance to Fiji’s presidency of COP23 as well as Fiji’s efforts to enhance the capacity of climate change adaptation to achieve sustainable and resilient development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and Fiji are both developing countries in Asia Pacific Region. We share similar task of development and a wide range of common interests. The Chinese government attaches great importance to developing relations with Fiji, respects Fiji’s choice for an independent development path suitable to its national circumstances. We sincerely hope Fiji’s development could be faster and better. More tangible benefits could be brought to the Fijian people through further strengthening of bilateral exchange and cooperation. We stand ready to work with our Fijian friends to seize the enormous opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative to enhance mutual trust, expand mutual exchanges, promote bilateral cooperation, so as to add more substance to our strategic partnership and push China-Fiji relationship to a new level.

Before I conclude, I would like to propose a toast,

To the prosperity and well being of our two countries and two peoples,

To the great friendship between our two nations and bright future of China-Fiji relations,

To the good health and happiness of all our distinguished guests,

Cheers!

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