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Remarks by Ambassador Yan Xiusheng at the Reception for Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

(September 16, 2019, Hilton Hotel)

Your Excellency Dame Sandra Mason, Governor General of Barbados,

Your Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister,

Your Honourable Sir Marston Gibson, Chief Justice,

Your Honourable Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade,

Hon. ministers of the Cabinet and members of Parliament,

Officials from the Government of Barbados,

Specially invited, the Barbados Defence Force Band,

Colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps and Consular Corps,

Representatives from the Association of Barbados - China Friendship, Barbados China Returned Scholars Association, Chinese companies, Chinese Medical Team, Confucius Institute at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, and Chinese Association in Barbados,

Other specially invited guests,

Members of the media,

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Good evening!

Welcome to the reception for celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, which falls on October 1st.

70 years ago, Chairman Mao Zedong declared to the whole world the founding of the People’s Republic of China, which ended China’s more than one hundred years of darkness of domestic turmoil and foreign aggression since the Opium War in 1840, thus marking China’s great transition from a millennial-old feudal autocracy to a people’s democracy. The Chinese people, who once had been ravaged by war, and had seen their homeland torn apart and had lived in poverty and despair, stood up ever since.

Over the past 70 years, the Chinese people have created an economic miracle. The national output, in terms of GDP, has increased more than 450 times, from $30 billion in the early years of New China to more than $13.6 trillion by the end of last year. China is now the world's second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest trader in goods, the biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves, which lay a solid foundation for China’s high quality development in the future.

Over the past 70 years, China has made significant progress in the field of science and technology. Due to the encouragement of an innovation-driven development policy, China has made remarkable achievements in manned space flight, lunar exploration, quantum science, deep-sea exploration, supercomputers and satellite navigation. According to statistics, China now has more than 1.3 billion mobile broadband users. Modern information technologies, such as big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence and 5G are thriving in the country, and has already been introduced to the market that benefits people’s daily life.

Over the past 70 years, the quality of life in China has improved tremendously. From 1949 to 2018, China's per capita national income increased from roughly $70 to $9470, and Chinese people’s average life expectancy has gone up from 35 to 77 years old. During the past 40 years after the reform and opening up policy, China has also lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty. Next year, China will finish building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, and ensure that Chinese people living below the current poverty threshold are all lifted out of poverty, which will be the first time in China’s five thousand-year-long history, and also a great contribution to the United Nations 2030 Development Agenda.

Over the past 70 years, China has also experienced a process of deepening the integration and cooperation with the rest of the world. In 1971, the People’s Republic of China restored its lawful seat at the UN and rejoined the international community. Since then, China has taken an active part in the international efforts to settle hotspot issues. For example, since 1990, China has dispatched nearly 40,000 military personnel on peacekeeping missions. Thirteen brave Chinese peacekeepers gave their lives to this lofty cause. In 2001, China became a member of WTO, embracing economic globalization and providing momentum to the global growth. For many years, China has contributed more than 30% of the world economic growth. In 2013, H.E. President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt-and-Road Initiative, to promote connectivity and prosperity around the world. Six years later, the Belt-and-Road Initiative has become one of the most welcomed international public products. So far, a total of 136 countries and 30 international organizations have signed BRI cooperation documents with China, including Barbados. Many developing countries recognized that the Belt-and-Road Initiative is a road leading to opportunity and prosperity for their development.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

The achievements of the past 70 years have touched every area and broken new ground: the changes in China over the past 70 years have been profound and fundamental. The achievements of the past 70 years are the result of the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the result of all the Chinese people pulling together in their pursuit, along with the understanding and support of all our friends from around the world.

With 70 years of hard work, socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era, which means the Chinese nation, since modern times began had endured so much for so long, has achieved a tremendous transformation: it has stood up, grown rich, and is becoming strong; it has come to embrace the brilliant prospects of rejuvenation. It means that scientific socialism is full of vitality in the 21st century China. It means that the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have kept developing, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence, and approach to solving the problems facing mankind.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Since diplomatic relations were established in 1977, China and Barbados have become good friends and partners. Our partnership has demonstrated a good example in international relations of mutual respect and developing equal relations between different sized countries.

During the past 42 years, China and Barbados have become good friends of mutual trust. Leaders between our two countries maintained frequent communication, which set forth the path of the development of our relations. Congratulatory messages are sent back and forth between the leaders when there are important traditional festivals or political agendas. China appreciates Barbados’ unwavering commitment to the one-China principle, and our mutual support and coordination in international and regional issues. During the last year, we were honored to have Minister Jerome Walcott, Minister Dwight Sutherland and other high ranking officials visiting China and attending various events. In the future, we look forward to further exchanges of ideas between our two countries on how to serve our peoples better and how to make our two countries even more prosperous.

During the past 42 years, China and Barbados have become good partners of mutual development. Under the South - South cooperation framework, China provided aid to build the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium and the Cheapside market, which have become necessities of Barbadian’s daily life, showing the glorious records of China-Barbados pragmatic cooperation. Now our two governments are working together on the establishment of the Hope Agricultural Training Institute and the Center of Food Security, which hopefully can enhance Barbados’ capability in agriculture. Moreover, during Minister Walcott’s visit to China last February, our two governments signed the MOU of Belt-and-Road Cooperation, which I believe will create more cooperation opportunities for our two countries in the areas of advanced agriculture, clean energy, blue economy, infrastructure, digital connection etc. The Embassy looks forward to working with our Barbadian colleagues to bring the MOU into practical cooperation projects and to advance the economic and social development of Barbados.

During the past 42 years, China and Barbados have become good example of mutual learning. The Fish and Dragon Festival, co-sponsored by the Embassy and the Central Bank of Barbados, has been successfully held for five consecutive years, and has become one of the most welcomed events in the Caribbean region. Recently, the Embassy hosted the first ever Chinese Film Festival on this island, screening eight different types of movies to the Barbadian audience. I am so glad that those movies were highly welcomed, which give me encouragement to bring more Chinese movies to Barbados, especially Kongfu movies. In the field of education, the Confucius Institute at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus continues to provide Chinese language teaching to Barbadian people. This year, 11 Barbadian students were offered scholarships to pursue bachelor or master degrees in China. Also this year, more friends joined the efforts to enhance the friendship between our two peoples, especially via the newly-established Association for Barbados-China Friendship and Barbados China Returned Scholars Association. Thank you all for the hard work to promote the people-to-people connectivity between our two countries.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to mention that, to fulfill H.E. President Xi Jinping’s commitment of ‘sending medical teams to Caribbean countries to enhance medical cooperation’ when President Xi met leaders of Caribbean countries in 2013, China has already sent three medical teams to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Now, the Third Medical Team has successfully finished their one year tenure in Barbados and will be leaving for China tomorrow. I believe that, like me, our Barbadian friends must appreciate their dedication during the past year. And the incoming team, the Fourth Medical Team has arrived last week and will continue to work at QEH. I believe they will continue to show the expertise and kindness and will be equally welcomed by our Bajan friends.

During the last year and a half on this beautiful island, I am overwhelmed by the kindness and friendship from Barbadian people. And I am also excited about the potential to be tapped for stronger cooperation between our two countries and two peoples. Ladies and gentlemen, as all the friends of the Embassy, you have offered valuable support to China-Barbados relations over the years, and it is my firm belief that with your continuous dedication, our relations are bound to greater achievements and will continue to bring more benefit to our two countries and peoples.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Today the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in one hundred years. The trends of global multi-polarity, economic globalization, IT application, and cultural diversity are surging forward; changes in the global governance system and international order are speeding up; countries are becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent; relative international forces are becoming more balanced; and peace and development remain irreversible trends.

Yet, as a world we face growing uncertainties and destabilizing factors. Global economic growth lacks energy; the gap between rich and poor continues to widen; hotspot issues arise often in some regions; and unconventional security threats like terrorism, cyber-insecurity, major infectious diseases, and climate change continue to spread.

No country alone can address the many challenges facing mankind; no country can afford to retreat into self-isolation. The future of the world rests in the hands of the people of all countries; the future of mankind hinges on the choices they make. China is ready to work with the people from all other countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind, to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, and to create a bright tomorrow for all of us.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Now,may I propose a toast:

—To the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China,

—To an even more sound and brighter future of China-Barbados relations,

—To the enduring friendship between our two peoples,

—To the peace and prosperity of the whole world,

—To the great health of all friends present tonight,


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