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2009-09-30 00:57


H.E. Mr. ZHOU Yuxiao, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia

September 25, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to begin my remarks by expressing sincere gratitude to all the distinguished guests for your graceful presence at my reception to mark our National Day.

As you all know, the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949. 60 years have elapsed since then. The number 60 is of special significance for the Chinese, as years were counted in a circle of 60 in ancient China. However, this tradition is still very much alive in our social life today. For example, when one reaches 60, a grandiose birthday party is usually held to commemorate one’s longevity, wisdom and contribution. We celebrate the birthday of our nation in the same way. That’s why China is busy preparing grand celebrations, which will be culminated by a largest-ever military parade to be held at the Tiananmen Square on October 1, 2009. We are happy to share our joys with all of you.

60 years is a very short span of time in the long history of China. But the achievements that we have made in this period and particularly in the 30 years since 1978 when the reform and opening-up policy was initiated are much greater than that in any historical period in the past. I wish to single out some of the achievements, which I think are important, to share with you.

First, China has managed to establish a unique political, economic and social system that has ensured China’s political stability, national unity and economic prosperity which made rapid development possible in all fields.

Second, China has changed from a closed society to one that is widely open for friendship and partnership with all countries in the world while retaining its own cultural identity. It has become an active participant and initiator in international affairs with a view to build a harmonious world. The Forum on China Africa Cooperation, which has greatly enhanced Sino-African relations, is just one case in point.

Third, its economic management has made a historic transition from a highly centralized planned economy to a robust socialist market economy where the rules of supply and demand and fair-competition are seriously applied.

Fourth, China has moved from an agricultural society to an industrialized country where high-tech and information technology play crucial roles.

Fifth, people’s life has changed from dire material shortage to abundance of consumer goods and to a relatively well-to-do life in all aspects.

Sixth, China’s developmental concept has been undergoing change from quantity-oriented to quality-oriented with increasing emphasis on eco-friendliness, which was evidenced by the important speech made by my President Hu Jintao at the UN Climate Change Summit on September 22.

Let me give you a few figures to illustrate these earthshaking changes. China’s GDP increased about 80 times to reach 4.4 trillion US dollars in 2008, making it the 3rd largest economy in the world. Its contribution to world economic growth exceeded 20%. China has succeeded in supporting 22% of the world’s population with a mere 10% of the world’s arable land. China has become a major industrial producer. About 9% of the industrial goods consumed in the world are made in China. China’s foreign trade volume reached 2.5 trillion US dollars in 2008. Its foreign exchange reserves have surpassed 2 trillion US dollars this year, ranking the first in the world. China has built more than 60,000 kilometers of highways in the last 25 years. The successful launching of the lunar satellite and manned spaceships has made China the world’s third country that independently possesses the space exit technology. In the past two decades or so, China has attracted more than 860 billion US dollars of Foreign Direct Investment, ranking first among developing countries and the second in the world. At the same time, China has also begun to invest overseas in a meaningful manner. Its poverty population has reduced from 250 million to 15 million. The average life expectancy in China has risen from 35 years in 1949 to 73 years at the present. China is one of a few developing countries that have successfully hosted Olympic Games.

As Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao once said: In China, any impressive figure reflecting achievements, when divided by 1.3 billion, becomes very tiny. Any tiny figure reflecting problems becomes extremely large when multiplied by 1.3 billion. All the Chinese people are very proud of the achievements that we have made. But we are not carried away by the past success. We all know that we have nothing to be complacent or arrogant. With its GDP per capita still ranking behind the 100th place among nations, China remains a developing country. The tasks lying ahead of us are more arduous and complicated than ever before. For example, it is an enormous challenge for China to strike a balance between a reasonable rate of development and adequate control of carbon emission, as neither of them we can afford to sacrifice. But we are confident that these problems can be resolved through continued development, renovation, reform and cooperation with others.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are also happy to see the tangible achievements that you have made in the 3 years after the inauguration of your government. Destroyed infrastructure like power facilities, roads and buildings etc. are being rebuilt gradually but steadily. Foreign diplomatic missions in Liberia are on the increase. Debt relief has made major breakthroughs. More and more business people are coming for trade and investment opportunities. People’s minds are more geared to peace and development. As the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, I wish to extend my warm congratulations to the Liberian government and people on those gratifying achievements and reiterate China’s continued support to Liberia in its renewal and reconstruction process. We are committed to work in partnership with Liberia to built a better future for both of us.

Finally, may I invite all of you to join me in a toast

to the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China

to the peace, stability and prosperity of China and Liberia

to the health of Her Excellency Madam President and

to the health of all the distinguished guests present, Cheers!

Than you all.

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