Speech by Amb. Ou Bouquian
Your Excellency Dame Cecile La Grenade, Governor-General,
Hon. Gregery Bowen, Acting Prime Minister
Hon. Elvin Nimrod, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs,
H. E. Sir Daniel, Former Governor-General and Lady Williams，
Members of Parliament, Senators,
Permanent Secretaries and other Government Officials,
My colleagues from the Diplomatic corps,
My fellow Chinese compatriots,
Friends from the media, Ladies and gentlemen:
I am very pleased to have all of you to join me here this evening in celebrating the 67th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
67 years is a short span in history. Earthshaking changes have taken place in China. Modernizing a big country with a population of more than 1.3 billion is an endeavor never undertaken in the history of mankind. Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, China pursues its own path of development of socialism with distinctive Chinese features. Tremendous achievements have been made by Chinese people who have overcome numerous and unbelievable difficulties with a high spirit of unity, confidence, perseverance and courage.
Since the strategic policy of reform and opening up was implemented in 1978, economic miracles are made in China. China’s GDP in 2015 is nearly 52 times of that in 1978, growing from 212 billion US dollars to nearly 10.9 trillion US dollars, and the share of China’s economy accounting in the world economy rising from 1.8% to 15.5%. From 1978 to 2015, China’s total volume of import and export increased by 156 times, from 24 billion US dollars in 1978 to 3.75 trillion US dollars in 2015. The total length of railway network in China in 1978 was 50,000 kilometers and now the figure exceeds 122,000 kilometers, among which more than 20,000 kilometers are high-speed railways, which is 60% of the world total. The high-speed railway has become a new name-card of China.
Today Chinese people are closer than ever to the dream of rejuvenation of Chinese nation. China has become the world largest trader of goods, the 2nd largest economy, the 3rd largest direct overseas investor and lifted China’s per capita GDP to close to 8,000 US dollars in 2015 from 190 US dollars only in 1978. China’s economic growth contributes nearly a quarter of the global growth in 2015. Among the Fortune Global 500 companies, 99 of them are Chinese. China has lifted over 700 million people out of poverty and significantly made life better for its 1.3 billion-plus people. China’s poverty rate fell from 88% in 1981 to 5.7% in 2015. We have accomplished just in a few decades what has taken other countries several hundred years to achieve. China is now dedicated to the great cause of “Two Centenary Goals” meaning that China will become a moderately prosperous country by the centenary Anniversary of the CCP in 2021 and moderately developed country by the centenary Anniversary of the PRC in 2049.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The course of reform and development in China is a course of China and the world embracing each other. China’s development has benefited from the international community and we are ready to provide more public goods to the international community.
As Chinese President Xi Jinping elaborated in his initiate of building a community of common destiny, China will remain committed to the path of peaceful development and call for common commitment to such a path, so that we could together build a community of shared future and interests for all mankind. President Xi’s initiate has been echoed and recognized broadly by the international community. China will continue its efforts to forge partnerships that all countries respect one each other as equals, seeking win-win cooperation and common development, pursuing common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and ensuring inclusive and diversified culture.
In its efforts to promote common development, China hosted G20 summit in Hangzhou, a city in south China last week. Representatives from G20 members, guest countries as well as international organizations are invited to attend the summit. In-depth views have been exchanged by the participants on strengthening policy coordination, breaking a new path for growth, more effective and efficient global economic and financial governance, robust international trade and investment, inclusive and interconnected development and other issues affecting the world economy. Important consensus were reached in many areas and the G20 Leaders’ Communiqué of the Hangzhou Summit was adopted which sets out the direction, goals and steps for G20 cooperation, embodies the Hangzhou Consensus for growth and provides the blueprint for building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy.
Yet China remains a developing country, its per capita income is still a fraction of that in advanced countries. As the largest developing country, China will continue to abide by the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests to cooperate and collaborate with other developing countries in the pursuit of enhancement of livelihood of people and common development so as to jointly uphold the common and fundamental interests of developing world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Since resumption of diplomatic relations 11 years ago, China and Grenada have witnessed together the comprehensive development of our bilateral relations and fruitful cooperation in all fields.
Bilateral relations have been consolidated through dynamic exchanges and cooperation. In March of this year, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao paid an official visit to Grenada. He had fruitful meetings with Governor General Her Excellency Dame Cecile La Grenade, Prime Minister Dr the Rt Hon. Keith Mitchell and then Foreign Minister the Hon. Clarice Modeste–Curwen. Two important treaties were officially signed on this visit, which are the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and Treaty on Extradition. This is a strong demonstration of mutual political trust and profound mutual understanding between China and Grenada.
Last December, the Chinese naval hospital ship “Ark Peace” paid her first visit to Grenada. The ship provided various kinds of free medical and humanitarian service to Grenadians. 9057 person-time Grenadians benefited from health exam, outpatient treatment and surgical operations. The historical visit of Arc Peace has made itself another landmark on our bilateral relations and further promotes the friendship between our two peoples. Other cooperation in public health area includes medical equipment handing-over and a recent workshop on integrated vector control management. This is the first ever cooperation in the area of vector transmitted disease control and proved to be very important under current circumstances.
Unprecedented practical cooperation and people-to-people exchanges invigorate the friendly relation. The Grenada National Athletic Stadium, now Kirani James Stadium, funded by the Chinese government was handed over to the Grenada early this year. The Class One certificate granted by the International Association of Athletics Federations makes both of us proud.
An agreement on the second phase of low-income housing project was officially signed and the project will soon be launched. The year 2016 marks a new record of Chinese scholarship and bilateral and multilateral training courses, from which 267 Grenadians benefit. The Confucius Classroom of TAMCC progressed rapidly with a new Chinese medical professor joining the team. A special introduction to Mme. Meng Hong and her assistant, Ms Zhang Miao, Mme Meng is a well-experienced professor of acupuncture department in Tianjin College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Apart from Chinese language and martial, acupuncture and massage will be the new attraction. A group of faculties and a group of students from TAMCC respectively visited China two months ago and another group of students, the winners of the Second Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition 2016 will go to China next month to participate the final global competition together with other competitors from the rest of the world. The first China–Grenadian Media Forum was held to promote in-depth understanding and cooperation in media.
The strong friendship and relationship between China and Grenada would not go so smoothly without the cordial support and assistance from all of you. Please allow me, ladies and gentlemen, to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to one and all for your longtime valuable support. China cherishes this cordial relationship and will continue to promote friendship and cooperation between us.
Last but not least, the day after tomorrow will be the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is the second important traditional festival in China, that is an occasion for family reunion. Please allow me to express festival greetings to my fellow Chinese compatriots.
In closing, please join me in a toast:
To the prosperity of the People’s Republic of China and Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique;
To the happiness and well-being of our peoples;
To China–Grenada friendship;