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Speech by Ambassador Zhang Ming at the Online Celebration of the 72nd Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
2021/09/30

On the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese Mission to the EU held online celebrations and Ambassador Zhang Ming delivered a video message. The whole text is as follows:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

It's a great pleasure to get together virtually with both old and new friends to celebrate the 72nd 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 extend my sincere gratitude to all friends who have been devoted to China-EU friendship and to all those who follow closely the development of China-EU relations.

For China, 2021 is a year of epoch-making significance. We celebrated the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC). At the ceremony marking this historical moment, President Xi Jinping declared that China has realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, has brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty and is now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects.

China is committed to advancing world peace. China follows an independent foreign policy of peace and is the only country in the world that enshrines peaceful development in its Constitution. China believes in developing itself, helping others, and benefiting the world. Instead of trying to threaten, challenge or replace anyone, China pursues development for the purpose of ensuring dignity, security and a good life for the Chinese people that have suffered too much in history. China's development benefits from a peaceful and stable international environment, which is also necessary for further development. China will never seek hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence.

China is committed to contributing to global development. China has grown to be the world's second largest economy in a short span of several decades. Since its accession to the WTO 20 years ago, China has on average contributed nearly 30% to global growth annually and more than 70% to global poverty reduction. The all-round opening up of China has created more opportunities for countries to share its development dividends, and its tremendous consumer demand has offered a huge market for all countries.

China is committed to upholding the international order. China has joined almost all universal intergovernmental organizations and signed more than 600 international conventions. By upholding multilateralism, China firmly defends the international system with the UN at the core and the international order underpinned by international law. China has facilitated the conclusion of the Paris Agreement and announced far more ambitious deadlines than developed countries for carbon peaking and carbon neutrality. China has provided more than 100 countries and international organizations with 1.2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines and concentrates, the highest in the world. At the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly a few days ago, President Xi Jinping proposed a Global Development Initiative that focuses on development as a priority, a people-centered approach, benefits for all, innovation-driven development, harmony between man and nature, and results-oriented actions. This charts the way forward for overcoming severe shocks of COVID-19, boosting economic recovery and achieving stronger, greener and more healthy global development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

The China-EU relationship has come a long way since the two sides established diplomatic ties in 1975, and the hard-won achievements in bilateral relations should be valued. In a world of complex situations and challenges, mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation are needed more than ever. China and the EU, as two major forces, markets and civilizations, need to take up the responsibility of safeguarding world peace and stability and promoting common development and prosperity.

China and the EU should stick to comprehensive strategic partnership. China always views its relations with the EU from a strategic perspective, supports the European integration process, supports a united and strong EU, and supports a bigger role by the EU in international affairs. China and the EU have no major conflict of interests or geopolitical conflict, and they are not "systemic rivals" either. As two important poles in this multipolar world, the two sides should respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns, and develop relations along the right track of sound and steady growth regardless of disturbances and obstacles.

China and the EU are connected by a deep-rooted bond of interests. Last year, China-EU trade grew in both directions despite the COVID-19 pandemic to reach USD 649.53 billion, making China the EU's biggest trade partner for the first time. From January to August this year, bilateral trade increased by 34.2% year-on-year to reach Euro 454.9 billion and China remains the EU's biggest trade partner. The Agreement on Geographical Indications signed a year ago was a good example showcasing again that China-EU relations are defined by mutual benefits. China hopes to keep high-level exchanges with the EU, continue follow-up work of the investment agreement, implement high-level strategic, economic and trade, people-to-people, digital and climate dialogues and advance mutual recognition and protection of products under the GI agreement, in order to bring more benefits to people on both sides. China stays committed to greater openness and hopes that the EU side will also create a fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies.

China and the EU should join hands in promoting real multilateralism. As the international community is facing serious threats from unilateralism and hegemonism, China and the EU have more reasons to come together for multilateralism and defend the international system with the UN at its core and the international order underpinned by international law. China stands ready to work with the EU to generate positive outcomes from the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) to be held in Kunming and the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). They should jointly steer the WTO reform in the right direction and support each other in hosting a successful Beijing Winter Olympics and Paris Summer Olympics.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Friends,

The centenary only ushers in the prime of life. By rallying and leading the Chinese people through trials and tribulations, the CPC proves that adhering to its own path and a people-centered approach and pursuing peaceful development is the right way to realizing national rejuvenation. The past 46 years of diplomatic ties shows that the China-EU relationship has firm public support, enjoys broad common interests, carries the responsibility of defending world peace and development, and meets the call of the times. Developing this relationship is not optional but necessary. As we celebrate the 72nd anniversary of China's founding, I would like to wish our motherland enduring prosperity and all our friends health and happiness. Let us work together for the prosperity and development of China and the EU, and a bright future for the whole mankind!

Thank you!

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