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Remarks by Ambassador Zhan Yongxin at the Reception Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of The People's Republic of China
2019/09/26

Remarks by Ambassador Zhan Yongxin at the Reception Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of The People's Republic of China

(September 25, 2019)

On the evening of September 25, 2019, Ambassador Zhan Yongxin delivered the remarks at the reception marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of The People's Republic of China. The full text is as follows:

Your Excellency Yoav Gallant, Minister of Immigration and Absorption,

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

   Good Evening! Erev tov!

   Thank you very much for joining us in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

   Ladies and Gentlemen,

   70 years ago, on October 1st ,1949, the Chinese people put an end to the century of wars and humiliation. Thanks to the heroic struggles under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the People's Republic was founded, and the 5,000-year-old civilization embarked on a new journey of development.

   To ancient civilizations, 70 years is merely a fleet of time, but to the People's Republic and all the Chinese people, the past 70 years has witnessed fundamental changes in their country and lives.

   -Over the past 70 years, China has achieved leap-frog growth in its economy. Comparing with the 1950s, China's GDP has increased by 175 times in 2019. For 13 years running, China has contributed nearly 30 percent to the world economy, more than any other country in the world.

   -Over the past 70 years, China has broken the blockade and isolation and embraced all-round opening up. In 1950, China's foreign trade was only 1.1 billion US dollars, with almost no foreign investment. In 2018, China's export and import jumped to 4.6 trillion US dollars, the largest in the world, and 135 billion US dollars flowed into China, making it the second largest investment destination across the globe.

   -Over the past 70 years, China has put a great effort to improve people's lives. Comparing with 1949, the per capita disposable income increased over 500 times to 9,732 US dollars. Average life expectancy increased from 35 years to 77 years. More than 700 million Chinese people were lifted out of poverty, making up of over 70 percent of the poverty alleviation around the world.

   -Over the past 70 years, China has made big strides in science and technology. In 2018, China's R&D investment has jumped to over 300 billion US dollars, the second largest in the world. China also has the largest number of researchers and invention patents across the globe, which enables China to lead in such areas like manned spaceflight, lunar probe, quantum science, supercomputers, 5th generation mobile network, etc.

   Despite the turbulence and downward pressure in the global economy, China has continued to develop steadily in recent years. In 2018, China's GDP grew by 6.6 percent. In the first 8 months of 2019, the growth rate is 6.3%, the foreign trade is also increasing. We have enough resilience and huge potential to keep the economy on a soundtrack for a long time to come.

   More importantly, as the 1.4 billion Chinese people moving up the income ladder, the world will see more opportunities in China's market, investment and cooperation. In the next 15 years, China will import 30 trillion US dollars of goods and 10 trillion US dollars of services. We want everyone to have a share in this cake of 40-trillion-US-dollars.

   The future, like the past, will prove once again that a prosperous China serves the interests of the world, and any attempts to de-link China with the world is doomed to fail.

   However, the journey of the People's Republic has never been a plain sail, and we are acutely aware that China is still a developing country. Our per capita GDP is only a quarter of Israel's and our motherland has yet to be reunited. There are many challenges on our way toward the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

   Ladies and Gentlemen,

   China's development will not be possible without international peace and stability, and a growing China should contribute more to mankind.

   China is committed to promoting a new model of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. All countries, regardless of size, strength and wealth, are equal, and they are entitled to choose the course that serves their best interests. China will never interfere in other countries' internal affairs, and we oppose any attempts by anyone to do so.

   China is committed to working with all countries for a community with a shared future. The globe is big enough for every nation to rise and prosper, but it is also too small if we engage in wars and conflicts. We must work together to pursue the greatest possible common interests, so that we can live in an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

   China is committed to the win-win strategy of opening up, the free trade system and multilateralism. As President Xi Jinping said, China has made the promises to open up, and we will follow it with real actions. In 2018 alone, we have further lowered average customs level from 9.8% to 7.5%, and we are working to further unleash the power of free trade with more Free Trade Zones and shorter negative list for foreign businesses. We will hold the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai this November. Over 3,000 businesses from 150 countries will participate, including Israel.

   As an international public product for the world, China will continue to push forward the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to create new cooperation space, tap into new cooperation potential and achieve shared prosperity among all the participating countries.

   Ladies and Gentlemen,

   Over the recent years, China-Israel relations have been enjoying sound momentum of growth. With the guidance of our leaders and the support of the peoples from both countries, we have been able to translate the blueprints into actions and turning visions into fruits.

   -Political mutual trust has been enhanced. In 2017, our leaders announced the establishment of the China-Israel Innovative Comprehensive Partnership. It defines innovation as the link between our growth strategies and demonstrates that we see each other as long-term opportunities, not one-time expediency.

   A good example of the trust is the huge and effective cooperation mechanism that we put to work. Last year, we convened the fourth meeting of the Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation-JCIC. With a dozen ministerial officials from each side, we signed the 3-year action plan and charted the course for the cooperation in economy, trade, agriculture, health, transportation, etc.

   -Win-win cooperation is flourishing. The trade has grown from 10.9 billion US dollars in 2014 to almost 14 billion US dollars in 2018. We are confident that our bilateral trade will keep the good momentum of growth.

   A good news on the way is our bilateral Free Trade Agreement. Teams from our two countries are working around the clock to reach an agreement. We should be able to complete the negotiation in a short period of time. It will boost our economic cooperation and bring more benefits to our people and businesses.

   -People-people relations are growing on a fast track, and our traditional friendship is on a stronger footing. 4 years ago, only El Al operating direct flights between China and Israel. Now, the airlines like Hainan, Sichuan and Cathay Pacific have all joined the aviation network, making the trip faster, more affordable and more comfortable.

   From 2015 to 2018, the number of Chinese visiting Israel almost tripled from less than 50 thousand to 139 thousand. And we expect this number to reach 170 thousand this year. In 2017, the Chinese Culture Center opened in Tel Aviv, establishing another channel for Israeli people to understand more about China through its culture.

   Ladies and Gentlemen,

   During the past 4 years, I have extensive contact with Israeli officials and people, which gives me a deep impression that the growth of China-Israel relations needs valuable support and engagement from all sides. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my most sincere thanks to all the guests present today, and through you, to all the Israeli friends.

   Now, I would like to propose a toast,

   To the prosperity and well-being of China and Israel,

   To the cooperation and friendship between our two countries,

   To the health and happiness of all our friends,

   Cheers! La heim!

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