Toast at the Welcoming Banquet of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation
H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
Beijing, 26 April 2019
Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Your Excellencies High-level Representatives,
Your Excellencies Heads of International Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening. In the prime of spring, a season of hope, we have come together for the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, on behalf of my wife as well as in my own name, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all of our distinguished guests.
Tonight, the Great Hall of the People is graced by the presence of an august gathering of world leaders. While I rejoice in seeing so many friends, old and new, I would also like to pay tribute to all the globetrotters who have to travel whenever duty calls, for the sake of our people and prosperity and stability in the world. Frequent overseas trips may be exhausting, but we are repaid with a broader network of friends. Coming from all corners of the world to meet in Beijing, we have all the more reason to cherish the time we spend together.
– Our gathering today helps revive the beautiful memories of our past interactions. Despite our geographical distance, we have become like-minded partners, thanks to our common pursuit of peace and development and shared aspiration for a better life for our people. From Beijing to Moscow, from Jakarta to Nur-Sultan, from Cairo to Santiago, our heart-to-heart discussions still ring in our ears, as if they happened only yesterday. The many moments of our sincere interactions have been recorded by history. No matter how the international situation evolves, our true friendship will endure and win-win cooperation will prevail.
– Our gathering today gives us much food for thought. The charm of human civilization lies in its variety; the secret of human progress, in mutual learning. For millennia, the Silk Road had witnessed how countries achieved development and prosperity through commerce and enriched their cultures through exchanges. Facing the myriad challenges of today, we can draw wisdom from the history of the Silk Road, find strength in win-win cooperation in the present day and build partnerships across the globe to jointly usher in a brighter future where development is shared by all.
– Our gathering today reminds us of the weight of responsibility on our shoulders. The world is not a static place and the wheels of history keep rolling on. We are on the cusp of a new industrial revolution, which brings with it both opportunities and challenges. Like sailing upstream, we will be pushed back if we don’t move forward. Yet for world leaders, going backward is not an option. We can only forge ahead, rain or shine, in order to live up to the trust of our people and deliver on the promise for a better life. At a time of major changes rarely seen in a century, I hope we will all fulfill our mission and prove worthy of our time.
Nothing can separate people who share the same vision. In 2013, I put forth the initiative to jointly build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Six years on, with the concerted efforts of many parties, we have developed a plan for advancing Belt and Road cooperation and reaped many benefits. As we did this, people from different countries have got to know each other better and forged close partnerships in cooperation. Since Belt and Road cooperation is still at an early stage, some difficulties and setbacks are inevitable. But either in good times or bad, either on a smooth road or a thorny path, we will uphold the spirit of partnership, keep in mind what brought us together, and march forward without hesitation. For we all believe that our people deserve a better world, and Belt and Road cooperation will make the world a better place.
Now please join me in a toast:
To the happiness of people of all our countries;
To peace, stability and prosperity of the world;
To the success of the second Belt and Road Forum; and
To the health of all of the heads of state and government, all distinguished guests and your families.