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Remarks by H. E. Ambassador ZHAN Yongxin at 67th Chinese National Day Reception

(September 27th, 2016)

Your Excellency Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, Minister

Yariv Levin,

Respected Mr. Alex Gilady,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Good Evening! Erev Tov!

I am more than happy to have all of you with us here to celebrate the 67th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Sixty-seven years of the establishment of new China have witnessed profound developments. 1.37 billion Chinese people have changed their lives and fates through hard work. Thanks to Chinese people's perseverance, resolve and dedication, we have succeeded in turning China into the world's second largest economy, the biggest trader of goods, the third largest direct overseas investor, and lifted over 700 million people out of poverty, and pushed China's per capita GDP up to 8,000 US dollars. My generation is the direct witness of this dramatic change. When I was young, I could only have peanuts on Chinese new year. But now, younger generation avoid eating peanuts to keep fit.

Dear friends,

As China's economy grows in size and influence and its interaction with the rest of the world deepens, the prospect of China's economy has drawn international attention. Many people wonder whether China can keep steady growth? How will China's economy continue to act as a pushing force for the world economy?

China's economy, after 38 years of reform and opening-up, has entered a new normal, a stage China cannot bypass if we are to upgrade its economy and make it better structured. The way of growth, speed and quality of development have entered transitional period which is quite similar to a person's growing process, a rapid growing before the age of 18 and a gradually mature progress after.

Judging from this year's performance, China's economic development has done a good job. Its GDP grew by 6.7%, the final consumption expenditure contributed 73.4% to GDP, and the added value of the tertiary industry took up 54.1% of GDP. We have reasons to believe that China will embrace even better prospects and make still greater contribution to the world. We shall not be overly excited about some rebounding indexes, nor should we be overly panicking about some falling ones. All in all, Chinese economy is great in foundation, strong in toughness and large in leeway. We have faith and ability in keeping our economy developing in medium-to-high speed growth.

As we are living in a global village, each country should rely on one-another to pursue sustainable growth. During the G20 Summit, China came up with an initiative of jointly building an innovative, open, interconnected and inclusive world economy. The essence is to take innovation as the driving force, uphold the spirit of openness and interconnection and pursue the goal of inclusiveness, so as to let growth and development benefit all countries and peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Let me move onto China's diplomacy. Foreign Affairs are the extension of domestic affairs. We have already set out goals, and are uniting all our people in a common effort to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. Chinese diplomacy is to serve this overriding domestic objective. We are committed to the path of peaceful development. It is rooted in China's long and profound historical and cultural tradition and is crucial to our development. We'd like to maintain friendship with all countries and peoples, on the basis of Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. We are also ready to provide more public goods to the international community. The Belt and Road Initiatives and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are just a few examples. Here, I'd like to stress that China's opening drive is not a one-man show. Rather, it is an invitation open to all. It is not a pursuit to establish China's own sphere of influence, but to support common development of all countries. It is not meant to build China's own backyard garden, but a garden shared by all countries. As an old Chinese saying goes:"Joy shared with others are more enjoyed."

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Thanks to joint efforts made by Chinese and Israeli governments and our two peoples, the friendly and cooperative bilateral relations between China and Israel have been maintaining a strong momentum. Frequent political exchanges and dynamic mutual visits take place at all levels. Last week, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress H.E. Mr. ZHANG Dejiang visited Israel, the highest level visit in the past 16 years. Your Speaker of Knesset H.E. Mr. Yuli Yoel Edelstein paid an official visit to China in April. Besides, our Vice Premier of State Council Mme. LIU Yandong visited Israel last March and co-chaired with PM Netanyahu the second meeting of China-Israel Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation.

While our political mutual trust is strengthening, the economic and trade links are also expanding. China is now Israel's largest trading partner in Asia, third largest trading partner in the world, and largest goods supplier. China and Israel have also carried out extensive people-to-people exchange. Hainan Airlines opened a route between Beijing and Tel Aviv in April, the mutual issuing of Ten Years Visa will come into effect soon. In the first half of this year, the growth rate of Chinese tourists coming to Israel reached around 50% compared with last year. It is also worth mentioning that Israeli football star Mr. Eran Zahavi has been recently awarded by H.E. Mr. Shimon Peres the Ambassador of Peace and Good Relations with China for his outstanding achievement in promoting the friendship between the two peoples through sport.

Mr. Shimon Peres is a dear friend of Chinese People. He is highly respected in China for his resolute commitment in the pursuit of regional peace and his tireless effort in promoting Israel-China relations. We are very much concerned with his current health situation. During the visit by our NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang last week, Chairman Zhang sent the accompanying Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming to pay a good-will visit to Sheba Medical Center and meet with Mr. Peres's family. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Israel. In the past 25 years, we respected each other and enhanced our friendship persistently. Looking into the future, we have every reason to believe that our efforts to build a multifaceted partnership will get substantial achievements.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Younger generation is the hope to the future of our two countries and the China-Israel relations. Tonight, lovely kids from China will present their wishes for the prosperity, development and better friendship between the two countries. Wish you a pleasant evening.

In conclusion, I would like to propose a toast,

For the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China!

For the friendship between the Chinese and the Israeli peoples!

For your good health!

Cheers! Le Haim!

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