Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Jiang Jiang at the Reception Marking the 69th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

Your Excellency Madame President,

Hon. Foreign Minister and Mrs. Abela,


Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you all for accepting our invitation and joining us in celebrating the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

In the vast ocean of history, 69 years is but a tiny drop of water. Yet these past 69 years hold special memories for all Chinese people.

Through unremitting efforts under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party in these 69 years, the Chinese people have lifted their country out of impoverishment and put it on a path of rejuvenation. The recent four decades of reform and opening up, in particular, have seen a miracle in the human history of development coming true in China - a GDP growing at 9.5% on average annually, foreign trade expanding by 14.5% year on year, and 700 million-strong people moving out of poverty, accounting for over 70% of the global total.

As the world's second largest economy, the top industrial nation, the largest trader in goods and holder of the biggest foreign exchange reserves, today's China has written its success story for mankind seeking to uproot poverty, once and for all, and for developing countries exploring a path of development suited to one's own national conditions.

While pursuing its own development, China has also played an active part in fostering world peace and prosperity. It has been a responsible member of the WTO. It put forward the Belt and Road Initiative as a public good for the global community. And it played a key role in tackling the Asian and global financial crises. For years, China has contributed over 30 percent to global growth. It is fair to say the country has become an anchor and main engine of the global economy.

Meanwhile, China has pursued major-country diplomacy with Chinese features, vision and style.

In the past nine months this year, China successfully hosted the Annual Conference of the Boao Forum for Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit and the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

In hosting these events, China lived up to its responsibility as a major developing country, and contributed its wisdom to the greater good of mankind. Its role on many fronts has been widely recognized and much appreciated. Entering the new era, China is committed to developing a new type of international relations and to building a community with a shared future for mankind with a view to fostering a better external environment for its own development and bringing more positive energy to the noble cause of human progress.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A Chinese poem says, "Distance separates no true friends even though they may be thousands of miles apart."

In the past 46 years since China and Malta established diplomatic relations, no matter how the international situation evolves, our two peoples have worked side by side through thick and thin, and our bilateral ties have grown from strength to strength.

Our political trust has deepened based on mutual respect and mutual understanding. Practical cooperation has expanded across the board to the benefit of common progress. A strong bond of fraternal ties has been forged between our peoples who have supported and helped each other, rain or shine.

In the two years since I arrived in Malta, I have been deeply impressed by the strong desire of the Maltese friends for closer relations with China, and I have witnessed first hand the ever growing friendship and cooperation between our two countries.

Last week, the Hon. Foreign Minister Abela paid a successful visit to China and had a productive meeting with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The two sides held the inaugural session of the steering committee of the Medium Term Cooperation Plan during which important agreement was reached on strengthening China-Malta practical cooperation in the years ahead.

China wants to work with Malta to harness the historic opportunity of the Belt and Road initiative and intensify exchange and cooperation to elevate our relationship to new heights in the new era.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. China's reform will not stop, and its door will open even wider.

At this year's Boao Forum for Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed China's commitment to reform and opening up, and announced a series of key measures for further opening up.

These measures include, among others, wider market access to the banking, insurance and securities industries, and significantly lowered import tariffs on nearly 200 types of consumer goods.

China will host the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai this November as a platform for all countries to share market opportunities in pursuit of common prosperity.

It is estimated that in the next 15 years, China will import US$24 trillion of goods, shifting from a major exporter and investment recipient to a major market and outbound investor. In this process, China will continue to contribute its part to the global economic recovery and rebalancing, and bring more opportunities to Malta and other countries in the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen, In the new wave of reform and opening up, Fujian, a southern Chinese province where the Maritime Silk Road starts, is turning a new page in its development. Tonight, we will be entertained by artists from the Fujian song and dance troupe, and I wish you all a most enjoyable and unforgettable evening.

Please join me in a toast,

To the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China,

To the health of Your Excellency Madame President and all the friends present, and

To the friendship between China and Malta.

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