-A few words written before the 66th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China
by H.E.Chang Hua, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United Arab Emirates
On 1 October 1949, the People's Republic of China was founded. The Chinese people, who have suffered vissicitudes for more than one century, have finally embarked on a great path of rejuvenating the nation and enriching the people.
We look back on the past only to create a bright future. If we look back at the last 66 years, we see that the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, kept blazing new trails in a continuous manner and wrote a glorious chapter in history with remarkable achievements.
Over the last 66 years and the last 30 years of reform and opening up in particular, the Chinese people have followed the trend of the times by upholding socialism on the basis of the actual conditions of China, continued to promote reform and opening up and unleashed social productivitiy by achieving developments in a scientific and harmonious manner. In so doing, we have provided a solid basis for building China into a rich, democratic, civilized and harmonious country.
Over the last 66 years, we have managed to lift the largest population ever seen in the world from poverty by unleashing social productivity and improving overall national strength. Now, the Chinese people are generally leading a happy life. At present, the Chinese Government is making new efforts to stablize economic growth by economic restructuration, achieve a balanced development in economy, politics, social and cultural affairs, thus enabling the Chinese people to lead a btter and more decent life with full dignity.
China is now keeping establishing new records in its development. China's GDP has had a growth rate of aroud 10% on the average for the last 30 years. Average life expectancy for the Chinese people has increased from 32 to 75. All this is no mean feat. 106 enterprises from China are listed on Top 500 of the world, with a higher figure and better quality. It is expected that the length of high speed railway open to traffic will have hit 19,000 kilometers by the end of this year, accounting for more than 60% of world total. High speed railway will have covered almost all cities with a population of more than 500,000 in China by 2020. China is now also the biggest investor in the world in clean energy, as evidenced by the fact that investment by China in clean energy accounts for 29% of the total of G20 countries. Also, hydropower and wind power installed capacity as well as capacity under construction for nuclear energy and solar electrical energy generation all rank 1st in the world. Green development has become the mainstream of energy development. University graduates in China will number 7.5 million in 2015, more than the population of many countries in the world. In 2014, China' s outbound tourists totalled 104 million, with spending outside China reaching 160 billion USD. By 2022, Beijing will have been the first city in the world that has hosted both summer and winter Olympic Games. The aforementioned figures are nothing but an epitomy of China's development. As a developing country with 1.3 billion people, China is still faced with the problem of imbalanced and unsustained development. However, just as Chinese President Xi Jinping has indicated, China has a total area of more than 9.6 million square kilometers, enabling us to draw brilliant pictures therein. Therefore, China has a bright future with full potential.
Today's China deserves the title of world economic engine. After the global financial crisis in 2008, world economy has been mired in lack of development. Under such circumstances, China made joint efforts with other countries in the world to stimulate world economy and contributed more than 50% to global economic growth, thus providing a new model of development that can be chosen and copied by other developing countries. As the 2nd largest economy in the world, China's economic aggregate will exceed 1.1 trillion USD. Initiatives such as the Belt and Road, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank BRICS are being realized, thus allowing for more room and choices for global economic development. Even against the backdrop of global economic downturn, China's economy is still enjoying ample room and leverage for further development and will meet the conditions for a growth rate of 7%. In so doing, China will still contribute 1 percentage point to world economic development. At present, the quality of China's economic development has a lot to do with the stability and recovery of world economy. Also, China's successful economic restructuration will work together with other factors to bring about more business opportunities for the world rather than constitute a menace. China is willing to share with other countries its development bonus. The Chinese Government will make fresh efforts to further regulate the economy by relying on capital, human, science and technology advantages accumulated so far so that its development is at a reasonable level with a strong internal force, thus making due contributions to world economic recovery.
Today's China will keep its solemn commitment for peaceful development. The Chinese people, who have gone through a lot during wars in the last 70 years, cherish peace all the more and are more determined to safeguard peace and development. Not long ago, the Chinese Government celebrated the 70th anniversary of the victory over the Japanese and the facists with grandeur. In so doing, we aim at remembering history and the fallen, cherishing peace and ushering in a new future. Righteousness is the common virtue of all peoples. The path of peaceful development is the correct choice of the Chinese people and also a solemn promise to the world. President Xi Jinping announced that China will reduce the number of army by 300,000, which is a concrete action of the Chinese people to demonstrate their willingness for peaceful development and no hegemony. China stands ready with other countries in the world to firmly establish the mentality of human community, fully consider reasonable concerns of other countries while pursuing its own interests, promote common development while developing itself and uphold a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. In a word, we are determined to promote and safeguard world peace and development and make more contributions to the progress of mankind.
Let's go back to 31 years ago. On 1 November 1984, leaders of China and the UAE, bearing in mind the fundamental interests of the two peoples, demonstrated remarkable political wisdom and made the historic decision of establishing diplomatic ties between the two countries. Ever since, the two countries once connected by the ancient maritime silk road embarked on a new path hand in hand.
Over the last 30 years and more, bilateral political relations have been more and more mature with fruitful cooperation and deep people-to-people friendship. In particular since the two countries established strategic partnership in 2012, bilateral relations have been on the fast track. I entered into foreign service in the 1980s and was twice posted to the UAE, thus witnessing the earth-shaking changes of the two countries and the course of development of bilateral ties.
China and the UAE are always strategic partners of sincerity and mutual trust. There have been frequent high level exchanges on the basis of mutual respect. The two countries respect the way of development of each other and the development strategies of the two countries are highly complimentary to each other. The initiative of building the Belt and Road by China coincides with the initiative of rejuvenating the Silk Road by the UAE. There have been frequent contacts at all levels with perfect dialogue frameworks such as diplomatic consultation and economy and trade commission. The two countries have conducted close cooperation in multilateral affairs, supported each other on issues concerning the fundamental interests of each other and safeguard the interests of developing countries together. In so doing, we have become real friends and partners safeguarding regional peace and development together.
China and the UAE are always economic and trading partners in pursuit of mutual benefit. China is one of the most important trading partners of the UAE while the UAE has, for many years in a row, been the second trading partner and biggest export market of China in the MENA Region. Bilateral trade volume hit 54.8 billion USD last year with many new points of cooperation in finance, investment, technology and new energy. At present, there are more than 4,000 Chinese enterprises operating in the UAE, including both large enterprises and medium and small ones as well as self-employed enterprises in Dragon Mart in Dubai. They cover many areas such as energy, telecommunications, tranportation, construction, trade, securities as well as services. As economic relations between the two countries became increasingly closer, cooperation in the energy sector has been going upstream and that in the financial sector has been deepening. Chinese products, from mobile phones, electrical appliances and garment to infrastructure like roads and bridges, have entered into the everyday life of ordinary UAE people. Made-in-China has brought tangible benefits to people of the UAE.
China and the UAE are always partners learning from the civilization of each other. People-to-people exchanges have long been an important page in the annals of bilateral friendship. As early as more than 1,000 years ago, Chinese, Arabic and Persian civilizations have been learning from each other through the ancient Silk Road. During the International Book Fair held in Beijing not long ago, many cultural activities organized by the UAE deeply impressed the Chinese people with its unique history and culture. Many people in the UAE are now showing an increasing interest in learning Chinese. China and the UAE opened Chinese courses in Mushrif School of Abu Dhabi and established two Confucius Institutes in Zayed University and Dubai University, spreading Chinese and Chinese culture. Not long ago, a delegation of Youth Ambassadors dispatched by the Crown Prince Court visited China, feeling for themselves the changes and development of China, bringing the friendship of the UAE people to the Chinese people and coming back with stories of China's development. In the era of globalization, the UAE is no longer a geographic term for the Chinese. More than 200,000 Chinese are now leading a happy life in the UAE and more than 500,000 Chinese tourists will visit the UAE this year. They will make due contributions to bilateral people-to-people exchanges and the economic development of each other, allowing the ancient Silk Road to be covered with flowers of friendship.
During the last 31 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two countries have worked tirelessly to find a way of development suited to itself. Also, the two countries have risen up quickly during this period and created wonders respectively. When we are drinking water, we cannot forget its course. It is the political wisdom of leaders of the two countries and the wonders created by the two peoples that helped to form a pattern of cooperation covering different areas with a bright future.
As the Chinese ambassador to the UAE, I passionly long for a brighter futre for bilateral relations and a better life and lasting friendship for the two peoples, like all those caring for the development of China and the UAE and China-UAE friendship. Opportunities abound and we must grasp them. If we look into the future, bilateral cooperation is faced with historic opportunities. China has always viewed the UAE as a natural partner in building the Belt and Road and will make continuous efforts with the UAE to carry forward the spirit of the Silk Road of peaceful cooperation, mutual accommodation, learning from each other and pursuit of mutual benefit. Also, we will continue to respect and trust each other, connect our development strategies and carry forward our cooperation in all areas so that the banner of peace and development fly high and sail towards a brighter future.
Abu Dhabi, September 2015