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Remarks by H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, at the Reception Marking 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China


(Dublin, 27th September 2017)

Minister Andrew Doyle,

Ambassadors and Ministers,

Distinguished guests, my countrymen

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dia Dhuit, céad míle fáilte.

Good evening and welcome to our reception. Let us celebrate together the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

At this joyful moment, I am happy and proud to say that our nation of China has been keeping on beautifully in her significant national rejuvenation from 1949 when our new China finally founded and started under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party her great socialist reconstruction and modernization drive.

Beginning in the year of 1978, our national modernization entered a new stage and started China’s great reform and opening up. The Chinese people have been drawing wisdom from the whole humanity history and learning from countries across the world. In this great new Long March, we have successfully carved out a path of the socialism with Chinese characteristics based on our country’s real conditions, guiding the Chinese nation to greater prosperity and strength.

Numerous hardships and hurdles are tackled with and surmounted. Let us see the latest examples. Over the past decade since the 2008 global financial crisis, China's economic aggregate has grown by 239% and the total volume of its exports and imports in goods has risen by 73%. China has become the world's second largest economy; the lives of its 1.3 billion-plus people have been significantly improved. China has made increasingly great contributions to both regional and global economic development accounting for more than 30 percent of global growth.

Our national modernization and rejuvenation have been all the more dynamic in recent couple of years as we embarked on fresh transformation in our economy. In 2017, solid steps have been made on our efforts to change the old mode of economic development into a new one. We have been successfully implementing the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan and carrying out five new concepts for growth emphasizing innovation, coordination, ecology, openness and sharing. In the first half of this year 2017, our economy grew by 6.9% with a stable performance and better momentum. Guided by the central government’s guidelines for structural reform, we are steering prudently in our adaptation to the new normal of economic situation and seizing fresh opportunities.

With all those achievements, we are going to see an even bigger celebration in Beijing soon: the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China scheduled to open on October 18th. The results of the Congress will guide China’s economic and social development in the next 5 to 10 years, and among other significances, decide on a comprehensive, long-term strategy for how China will march on upon the new plateau and set out new goals for our future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our advancement is always the result of friendship and cooperation with the rest of the world. China is a country with very unique 5,000 years of uninterrupted history and continuous growing civilization. Universal peace, world harmony, and win-win common prosperity with love and care are the hallmarks of our culture and values. The development of China has brought about rejuvenation and dynamism for the Chinese nation; it has also brought in growing opportunities for all the other members of the international community with more and more Chinese wisdom and solutions to the problems and challenges facing mankind.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a good example. This grand initiative was put forward by our President Xi Jinping himself in September 2013 and wide applause has been echoed all over the world since then. Last May, China hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. It was attended by 29 heads of state or government and more than 1,600 representatives from over 140 countries and 80 major international organizations. The success of the Forum marked a new phase of the initiative; now concepts are being put into practice and plans turning into real roads and ports. We are greatly delighted that the Irish government sent a delegation to the Forum and expressed Ireland’s readiness to join the efforts. The Belt and Road Initiative calls for common development on the principle of achieving shared growth through consultation and collaboration, and provides a new platform for real development and win-win cooperation. It creates opportunities for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. All that has been embraced by UN resolutions and becomes a world consensus with growing understanding and support globally.

Our active engagement in the cooperation with emerging economies and developing countries is another best example. Earlier this month of September, the 9th BRICS Summit and the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries were held successfully in Xiamen, a beautiful city on China’s southeast coast. The five countries took the opportunity of implementing the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership to further promote economic cooperation. Over 30 outcomes were achieved in the fields of public policy, trade, finance, innovation and culture, ushering in the second golden decade of BRICS cooperation and solidarity. We during the Summit also hosted the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries. Leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan, and Thailand attended the Dialogue. Discussions of all parties focused on how to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation for common development, sending out very positive signals to the world for sustainable development, unity to tackle climate change, enhanced South-South cooperation and open global economy.

Ladies and gentlemen,

China-Ireland relationship is getting stronger and richer. 2017 is the 5th anniversary of the establishment of a China-Ireland Strategic Partnership for Mutually Beneficial Cooperation. Over the past five years, China-Ireland bilateral relations and cooperation have been continuously expanded and mutual trust deepened. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other Chinese leaders have visited Ireland. Irish President Michael D. Higgins, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny and other high level Irish delegations have traveled to China. They witnessed every footprint and milestone of China-Ireland Strategic Partnership for Mutually Beneficial Cooperation, injecting powerful energy for stronger ties.

The bilateral ties between Ireland and China are like a big tree with its roots now growing deeper, its trunk and branches stronger and greater. Exchanges are active and fruitful at all levels. Since the beginning of this year, nearly 20 Chinese provincial and ministerial level delegations have visited Ireland, covering political, economic, trade, culture, science and technology, education, local/subnational cooperation and other fields. They have helped to lay an even more solid foundation for stronger mutual understanding, trust and economic cooperation in the bilateral ties. My colleagues and I witnessed many twiningship or partnership agreement signing ceremonies this year; Beijing and Dublin, Shanghai and Cork, Hainan Province and Wicklow County, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County and Chengdu City, to name a few. Up to now, 14 county or city links between China and Ireland have been built. 7 are formal twinning relationships and the other parties are busy putting on bricks and panels. A few days ago, my friend, the new Irish Ambassador to China, H.E. Eoin O'Leary, presented his credentials to President Xi Jinping with a very encouraging conversation. I’d like to take this opportunity to express my warm congratulations.

Our economic and trade cooperation becomes increasingly dynamic. In the first 7 months of 2017, the bilateral trade between Ireland and China reached 6.35 billion USD, increasing by 50%. Our bilateral trade has surpassed 40 billion USD since year 2012, and is enjoying an amazing momentum of growth. Ireland has set up more than 350 firms in China with actual located investment of nearly 1.7 billion U.S. dollars. China has invested 27 enterprises in Ireland, creating more than 3,000 jobs. New progress has also been made in working towards Irish beef export to China and Beijing-Dublin direct flight services.

Humanity exchanges are booming. The Dublin Chinese New Year Festival events have been successfully held for 10 years. Two months ago, Cultural Exploration of West China brought Chinese minority ethnic group’s dancing and singing to Ireland. A few days ago, I attended the 10 Years Anniversary Celebration of UCC’s Confucius Institute. This country has for the first time decided to start offering the Chinese language as a Leaving Certificate curriculum language subject by 2020. With increasing people-to-people exchanges between China and Ireland, the ties between two peoples will be further strengthened. Friendship will further flourish.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I with my colleagues feel really blessed working here with you. Smiles and cheers are in every corner in the country. Since my arrival last year, from Derry and Letterkenny in Donegal to Skellig Michael in Kerry, from Newgrange in Meath to Croagh Patrick the holy mountain in Mayo, I have visited 21 counties and cities, meeting with their Cathaoirleachs, Mayors and Chief Executives. I have also spoken with many of your leaders from local companies, farms, universities and research centres and have seen lots of your charming landscapes. All is so impressive: the hospitable and amicable people, rich scenery, culture and history, the open economy echoed the beats and vitality of the past, present and future. I have found clear mutual complementarity on economic cooperation and most importantly our two peoples’ aspirations to boost our joint efforts for ever shining common-destiny.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As William Butler Yeats put it, “In dreams begin responsibilities”. It is our shared dream to further deepen the cooperation between China and Ireland and have it benefit both peoples. That dream will surely take us ahead with even wider and greater horizon in the years to come.

With all that, I’d like to thank each and every one of you present today for your love, care and support, essential for the steady and sound growth in any moment of China-Ireland relationship. Let’s join hands and work together for an even brighter future.

Please join me in a toast,

To the 68th birthday of the People's Republic of China,

To further growth of China-Ireland friendship and Strategic Partnership

And to the best health of all.

Sláinte! 干杯 and Go raibh maith agat!

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