|Speech by Consul General Zhao Jian at the Virtual National Day Reception|
|(September 30, 2020)|
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to our virtual National Day reception today.
October 1 marks the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Over the past 71 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, through pioneering and hard work, have successfully opened up a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, making economic and social miracles rarely seen in human history. We have transformed the poor and backward old China into an increasingly prosperous new China with a bright future for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Over the past 71 years, the Chinese government has unswervingly followed a people-centered development philosophy, setting for itself the goal of building a better life for the Chinese people. It has raised China’s per capita GDP from less than US$200 at the start of the reform and opening-up to today’s over US$10,000, and expanded China’s middle-income population to more than 400 million. This year, we are poised to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and eliminate poverty for all the rural poor in China living under our current poverty line.
Moving forward, China will continue to deepen reform, open wider to the outside world, and build a new pattern of development with domestic cycle as the mainstay and domestic and international cycles mutually promoting each other. While fully tapping into the potential of our domestic market, we will provide better market access and protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors so as to achieve a higher-level of opening up and create more cooperation opportunities for all countries.
Over the past 71 years, China has unswervingly pursued an independent foreign policy of peace and followed a path of peaceful development. No matter how the international situation may change, China will stay committed to developing friendly cooperation with other countries on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit, promote the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind, and make more contributions to world peace and development. China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Human history is like a mighty river forging ahead with unstoppable force, sometimes calm, sometimes turbulent. When struck by the worst-in-a-century pandemic, the Chinese people, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, have stood united and responded with scientific and well-targeted containment measures, bringing the pandemic under effective control. We have spared no effort in treating every patient to maximize the cure rate and minimize the infection and mortality rates, thereby effectively protected the lives and health of the people.
We have acted in an open, transparent and responsible manner, moving quickly to inform the WHO and other countries of the outbreak, releasing the gene sequence of the virus and related information as soon as it was available, and sharing our response and diagnostic and treatment experience without any reservation. We have also taken concrete actions to provide as much assistance as we can to other countries, helping save tens of thousands of lives around the world.
The great success China has made in fighting COVID-19 has showcased the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China and its pursuit of the people-oriented values, the tenacious will and great strength of the Chinese people, and the conscientious effort of China in fulfilling its duties as a major responsible country.
Virus is a common enemy of mankind that respects no border or race. We will not forget the valuable help and support the American people provided to the Chinese people when we were at the most difficult time fighting the pandemic. Since March when the virus started to spread rapidly in the U.S., the Chinese government has made every effort to facilitate U.S. purchase of PPEs and other medical supplies from China. Chinese provinces and cities, businesses and social organizations have also actively donated anti-epidemic supplies to the people in the U.S. In this fight against COVID-19, the people in the world, including the Chinese and American people, have stood together in mutual support and assistance.
The biggest lesson we can learn from this pandemic is that the life and health and the security and development interests of all people in the world are closely interconnected. And we are living in a community with a shared future. In this battle between man and virus, China and the U.S. are teammates, not rivals. In fact, during a phone call at the end of March, the heads of state of China and the United States reached important agreement on strengthening cooperation in fighting COVID-19. China will continue to share prevention and control information and experience with the U.S. in good faith, and is ready to have more extensive and in-depth cooperation with the U.S. in diagnosis and treatment development, vaccine research and even economic recovery. We sincerely hope that the American people will get over the pandemic at an early date.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the past 41 years since we established diplomatic ties, considerable progress has been made in China-U.S. relations, thanks to the concerted efforts of several generations of Chinese and Americans. It has become one of the most deeply interwoven relationships in the world with broadest cooperation areas and most extensive common interests. Bilateral trade volume has increased by over 200 times since the early days of diplomatic ties, two-way investment jumped from almost nothing to nearly US$ 240 billion, and the two countries have established 50 pairs of sister province-state and 227 pairs of sister-city relationships. Last year, there were five million mutual visits between our two countries, and the number of Chinese students studying in the U.S. neared 400,000. The growth of China-U.S. relations has not only brought huge benefits to the two peoples, but also greatly promoted world peace, stability and prosperity.
Currently, the China-U.S. ties are experiencing grave difficulties, which is not in the interests of the two countries, nor consistent with the aspirations of the two peoples. Cooperation between China and the U.S. has always been mutually beneficial, and both sides as well as the rest of the world have benefited from the growth of this relationship. As the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and the world’s two largest economies, our two countries shoulder important responsibilities for almost all global issues concerning world peace and development. Facts have proven time and again that we both stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Cooperation is the best choice for both sides.
During his visit to China in 1972, President Nixon said that he had come for the U.S. interests. He noted and I quote, “It is not our common beliefs that have brought us together here, but our common interests and our common hopes”. “There is no reason for us to be enemies”. China is committed to developing a China-U.S. relationship that features no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation while firmly safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and development interests.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
There has been a long-standing history of exchanges between China and the U.S. Midwest. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the Midwestern states have played an important role in the development of China-U.S. Relations. They have established close links and deepened practical cooperation with China in a wide range of areas like economy, trade, culture and education, bringing real benefits to both sides. During the fight against COVID-19, the Chinese people and the people in the Midwest have supported and helped each other. Despite the pandemic and other challenges, many people in the business community in this part of the U.S. remain confident about the Chinese market and deeply involved in China’s opening-up endeavor, and many institutes of higher learning here welcome Chinese students to their campuses. All this has reflected the wish of the people on both sides for better China-U.S. relations, and the strong popular support for our friendly exchanges and cooperation. The Chinese Consulate General will continue to work with people in all sectors in the Midwest to further enhance mutual understanding, exchanges and cooperation between China and the U.S. to the benefit of the two peoples.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year’s National Day coincides with China’s traditional Mid-autumn Festival, an occasion when family members get together to wish each other well and admire the moon which is the roundest and brightest on that day and symbolizes reunion, happiness and the good wishes of the Chinese people for a better life and a better world. I am confident that the difficulties and challenges brought by the pandemic will be overcome eventually and we will see the rainbow after the storm.
To conclude, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to all the friends who have supported China-U.S. exchanges and cooperation, and wish my great motherland prosperity and strength and the Chinese people happiness and well-being! May the friendship between China and the United States last forever! May all of you enjoy the double festival and have best of health and happiness !