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Remarks by Ambassador ZHAN Yongxin at the National Day Reception
2017/09/17

(Ambassador Zhan Yongxin)

You Excellency, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel,

Your Excellency, Mayor of Tel-Aviv, Mr. Ron Huldai,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Good Evening!

In this pleasant evening of the harvest season, we gather here to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Israel, I would like to extend my warm welcome to all our distinguished guests, and my sincere gratitude to the friends who care for China-Israel friendship and support China’s development.

The establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 profoundly changes the historic course of this oriental nation. In the past 68 years, especially during the thirty some years since the Reform and Opening-up, China has undergone great changes. 68 years ago, China was tortured by war and conflict, poverty and underdevelopment. Today, thanks to the unremitting efforts of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, China has become a major power in the world with rapid development, improving living standards and rising international status.

This year, China also made remarkable achievement. Chinese government has emboldened all-round reform, improved its governance and unleashed new vitality to opening-up. Innovation Policies, such as the Internet Plus Action Plan, the Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation, have been implemented and enhanced. The gap between the rural and the urban is narrowing. Environmental protection and ecological awareness have seen constant strengthening. The job market is thriving, and people’s welfare improving. The society becomes more harmonious and just. The people enjoy more cultural activities. The satisfaction and contentment of the Chinese people are growing.

Against the backdrop of the sluggish development of the world economy, China maintains a stable and fairly rapid economic growth. In the first half of this year, China’s GDP growth rate reached 6.9 percent, with exports increased by 19.6 percent. In the coming five years, China will import 8 trillion USD of goods, attract 600 billion USD of foreign investment and make 750 billion USD of outbound investment. China’s economic development will bring more and better opportunities to the whole world including Israel.

China upholds the idea of peace, development, cooperation and win-win Situation. We abide by the concept of building a human community with a shared destiny, and advocate a new international relationship with cooperation and win-win situation. China is deeply intertwined into economic globalization. We support building and maintaining a new system of an open economy, and firmly support multilateral trade mechanism instead of trade protectionism. This year, China successfully held the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the 9th BRICS Summit, which are of great importance and have sent positive signals to the world that we could build up “Belt and Road” together and share peace and prosperity through planning and building together. We call for the world to make joint efforts to achieve lasting peace and prosperity.

A few months ago, President XI Jinping put forward the Four Propositions on promoting the settlement of the Palestinian issue. It is China’s consistent policy to play a positive and constructive role in promoting Middle-East peace process. China sincerely hopes that Israeli and Palestinian friends can solve disputes and coexist in peace.

One month later, the Communist Party of China will hold the Nineteenth National Congress, which is a significant political event in China. We are expecting it will lay out a blueprint of China’s future development.

Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends,

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relation between China and Israel. The past 25 years have witnessed the strengthening of China-Israel friendship, and our bilateral cooperation now has come to its best time in history. I believe that each and everyone here has made your contribution. As the Chinese Ambassador to Israel, I would like to brief you on the progress of relations between China and Israel in the recent year.

Our political exchanges were frequent. In March this year, H.E. Prime Minister Mr. Netanyahu paid a successful visit to China. President Xi Jinping, Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang and other top Chinese Leaders met with him and announced the establishment of Innovative Comprehensive Partnership between China and Israel. Over this year, China and Israel conducted consultations in several areas and achieved numerous consensuses. Last week, Israeli Minister of Finance, Minister of Environmental Protection, Minister of Tourism and Deputy Minister of Construction and Housing successively visited China and exchanged views with their Chinese counterparts. I joked with Israeli friends that they could even hold a cabinet meeting in China.

Our mutually beneficial cooperation was deepening and expanding. Israel is a well-known start-up nation, strong in creation and innovation, or from 0 to 1. China, with its strong manufacture capacity and huge market, is good at making 1 to 100. Our cooperation has great potential and is benefiting each other. The two Government to Government mechanisms, namely China-Israel Joint Task Force and Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation boosted our cooperation in many areas, such as technological innovation, ecological agriculture, advanced medical science, water treatment and so on. China is Israel’s largest trading partner in Asia, third largest in the World. Over the first half of this year, the trade volume between China and Israel reached 6.17 billion USD, with a growth rate of 16.4 percent. Furthermore, China’s import from Israel grew as much as 33 percent, along with an actual investment of 6.5 billion USD. We have achieved agreements on recruitment of Chinese workers in short-term work in specific industries in Israel. In addition, the third round of Free Trade Agreement negotiation is about to be held.

People to people exchange between China and Israel is also frequent and intimate. The 10-year multiple-entry visa agreement between China and Israel has come into effect. This year, the number of Chinese people coming to Israel is expected to double that of the year before last year, exceeding one hundred thousand. In a few days, the Chinese Culture Center in Israel will open to the public. Lots of fascinating performances were carried out: the Musical Showcase -A Story of Jews in Shanghai, the traditional Chinese lute music tour, the Dragon-boat Festival, the stage show, the Chinese Film Week and so on. Frequent exchanges between local governments, universities and think-tanks of our two countries are reinforcing our friendship and mutual understanding.

I sincerely hope, our two countries can sum up the experience of the development of our relations over the past 25 years and work together to promote our Innovative Comprehensive Partnership to a further and higher level.

Dear friends,

China’s development has been integrated to the international society. To promote China-Israel relations, we need to drum up joint efforts from various circles of our two societies. “When everyone adds fuel, the flame rise high.” I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to all the friends here for your continuous interest in and support for China’s progress and China-Israel relations. To conclude my remarks, please allow me to propose a toast:

To the nations’ prosperity and people’s happiness of China and Israel,

To the cooperation and friendship between our two countries,

To the health and felicity of everyone present and their families,

Cheers!

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