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Remarks by H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, at the Reception Marking 69th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
(Dublin, 25 September 2018)
(2018-09-27)

Your Excellency Cathaoirleach Denis O'Donovan

Ambassadors and Ministers,

My fellow Chinese,

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

Dia Dhuit, céad míle fáilte.

Good evening and warmly welcome. Today, we are gathering here to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. It also happens today to be the second day of China's traditional Mid-Autumn Festival. At this joy moment, on behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to express my warmest greetings and best wishes to the Chinese community in Ireland, and my great thanks to all Irish friends for your caring and supporting China's growth and prosperity. I also would like to grant my sincere appreciation to all representatives of those peoples and countries all over the world for your assistance and help.

69 years ago, the People's Republic of China was founded by the Chinese people through their decades' hard struggle. 69 years is short in human history, but holds great significance in China's endeavor for national rejuvenation. Under the leadership of China's Communist Party and through joint efforts of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, we have overcome numerous challenges and difficulties and moved forward with solidarity, confidence and determination on the path of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. China's Reform and Opening-up was launched in 1979 and brought new vitality to China's development and turned a new page for our modernization drive. Now, China has transformed from a poor and backward state to a more prosperous and modernized country. We are contributing more to the international society for peace, security and prosperity.

Our achievements are great and many. China has become the second largest economy and largest industrial country with largest trade and foreign exchanges reserves, and highest output of 200 major industrial products. China has outperformed the rest in the world in many research and development fields. Our contribution to the expansion of world economy counts as high as 30%.

The livelihood of Chinese people has also been dramatically improved. Among 1.3 billion Chinese people, 1 billion are no longer worried about their daily life subsistence. More than 700 million have been lifted out of poverty, accounting for 70% of the global total.

Last year, the 19th National Congress of CPC was successfully held. The Congress is the most significant event in history of the P. R. China, providing a new guideline and horizon for China's history in the coming 10, 20 and 30 years ahead.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This year, we have improved our planning and laid a good foundation on strategy and vision mapped out by the Congress, for which we are fully confident. The whole Chinese people are really proud of those 69 years’ march and ready for the even more promising future.

We will continue to have a steady and sound growth in China. In order to ensure the long term healthy and sustainable development, new transformation in our economic and social structure and institutions will be introduced, such as supply-side reform, redressing various regional or sectional imbalances and enhancing the digital application. We are also to tap the potential and promise of urbanization and to encourage agricultural modernization.

We will continue to push forward the enhancement of our society and communities. Our government will always put people first by listening their voice and strengthening the consulting and assistance input. We will also encourage our people from all fields and corners to build China as one big family of 56 ethnic groups. We will put more resources to our education, health, social security systems and strengthen our food security, aged care and emergency reaction systems.

We are committed to opening our country up even wider. Our market access is getting easier and our legal system will be further enhanced. We will create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen protection of the intellectual property rights and expand our imports. With those commitments, China as a whole is expected to import over eight trillion US dollars worth of goods and make over 750 billion US dollars of outbound investment in the next five years. We will in coming November hold the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Around 140 countries and regions, including Ireland, and about 3,000 companies have confirmed their participation and more than 150 thousand domestic and international professional buyers are expected to attend the event.

China will continue to play a constructive, responsible and positive role for maintaining peace and security and promoting win-win cooperation in international area. We will continue to join hands with all our partners and friends around the world to pursue common development and shared prosperity. This year, the Chinese government has taken new initiatives in enhancing our exchanges and cooperation with countries in the world: Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference was successfully held in Hainan in April, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit took place in Qingdao in June, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit took place in Beijing in September. Last but not least, the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai will be opened in coming November. China is embracing the globalization and creating opportunities of our cooperation with our partners and friends over the world. All those actions also reflect the bright future and great potential of the Belt and Road Initiative which put forward by President Xi 5 years ago. I am happy to see here in Ireland that friends I met always give me very positive readiness and are really keen on participating in a bigger way in the initiative.

China will continue to act as a defender, facilitator and contributor to the strength of the international system, the aims and principles of which are enshrined in the Charter of the UN. While the global growth and trade are facing new challenges, China will as always work with the international community to support and maintain the international multilateral and liberal trade system and its constructive practice, to avoid and be opposed to any kind of unilateralism, protectionism and bullyism.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The relationship between China and Ireland is strong. 2018 marks the sixth year of the Strategic Partnership for Mutually Beneficial Co-operation between China and Ireland. Over those years with the wise leadership and guidance of leaders from both sides, the relationship has enjoyed a very encouraging and sustained momentum with a very promising future. H.E. Simon Coveney, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, visited China as part of St. Patrick Day celebrations in March this year with a successful meeting with Mr. Wang Yi, the State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China and emphasized that Ireland is ready to be China's trusted friend in the European Union. H.E. Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Ceann Comhairle of the Dail Eireann, met with H.E. Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, and H.E. Wang Yang, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in his visit to China in April. Mr. Cai Qi, party secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee visited Ireland and reached new consensus with his Irish counterpart on furthering the bilateral cooperation. Over 20 ministerial delegations visited Ireland and brought new opportunities for our cooperation in many new fields.

The trend of our economic and trade cooperation is very good. Last year, the China-Ireland total import and export value reached a record high of 11.05 billion U.S. dollars, 36.7 percent up on an annual basis. For years, it is Ireland’s favor. 400 Ireland enterprises invest in China with the total investment valuing around 1.84 billion U.S. dollars. China invested a total value of 674 million U.S. dollars in Ireland, creating nearly 3000 jobs. China lifted the ban and re-opened its market to Irish beef again. H.E. Heather Humphreys, Irish Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation will lead a delegation of 25 Irish companies to participate in the China International Import Expo in November, which is a great opportunity for Ireland to impress China as a good friend and trade partner.

Our people-to-people exchanges has been more and more lively, colourful, enriched and diversified, deepening the cooperation in the areas such as tourism, education and culture strengthening the mutual understanding between our people. Chinese Spring Festival has been celebrated in Ireland for more than 10 years in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick,etc., and this year 18 landmark buildings across Ireland were lit up in "China Red". The Great Wall in China was also lit up in green for St Patrick's Day. The preparations for China Cultural Center in Ireland are well on track. More musicians, painters, writers, dancers are coming to Ireland and they are all well received. Over 5,000 Chinese students are studying in Ireland. Last year over 70 thousand Chinese tourists come to emerald land, 15% rise than that of last year. The direct flights from Dublin to Beijing and Hong Kong started to operate in June. My colleague from the consular section told me the number of phone calls they received from Chinese visitors in Ireland has tripled since then.

I am happy to see more and more Irish counties and cities have joined in our efforts to promote bilateral friendship and cooperation. 7 sister city relationships have been established. I recently visited leading personalities and local communities of several Irish Counties, they are all very keen on starting and expanding their exchanges with China. They really have done a lot to make effective achievements, efforts and progress.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Looking into the future, we are fully confident that China will march on for a stronger, better and more prosperous nation. China will certainly continue to expand its friendship with Ireland, with Europe, with all countries around the world to build together our international community into a more harmonious and promising one with a shared future for all.

Let the peoples of China, Ireland and all countries join hands to work together for peace, cooperation and common prosperity of the world.

Please join me to toast,

To the strength and prosperity of the People’s Republic of China,

To the friendship between China and Ireland,

And to the health and happiness of all friends present,

Sláinte!

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