Remarks by Ambassador Cui Tiankai at the Reception for the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China
September 26, 2019
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to offer my warmest welcome to you as we join together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Chinese civilization goes back nearly 5,000 years and, in that context, the past 70 years is only a fleeting moment of history, but it has a lasting impact on China and it points the way to our future. Over the past seven decades, the Chinese nation has stood up, stuck together as one indivisible nation, grown rich and become strong. Indeed, people marvel at the miracles China has worked in such a short time. But no great achievement is possible without great effort. For 70 years, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has led the people in our common endeavor to develop the country. For 70 years, the Chinese people have marched, explored, built and served; we have been united as one for the development of our homeland with unyielding resolve and resilience.
For 70 years, we have remained true to our ideals and kept our mission firmly in mind. We have made it our sole and ultimate goal to live up to the people’s aspiration and expectation for a better life. Our efforts have paid off: the Chinese people’s average life expectancy has increased from 35 to 77. Over 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty. The nine-year compulsory education has now covered 93.8% of school-age children. More than 1.3 billion people are under the umbrella of medical insurance. Over 900 million people enjoy basic old-age insurance. By 2020, China will develop into a moderately prosperous society in all respects. The Chinese nation will for the first time in history eliminate absolute poverty.
For 70 years, we have believed in hard work and self-reformation as a way to realize our dream. Starting from scratch, we have put our shoulders to the wheel and established a complete national economic system. We experiment, we improve. We launched reform and opening-up over 40 years ago. Never since then have we wavered in our conviction to turn the blueprint into reality. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, we have channeled more resources to reform. A total of 400 documents and 1,900 programs dedicated to reform demonstrate our commitment to change. We plan to stay on the path of reform and opening-up.
For 70 years, we have kept a broad mind and blazed a socialist path with Chinese characteristics. We have adapted Marxist principles to China’s realities and taken an inclusive approach to other peoples and cultures. We have made every effort to modernize China’s system and capacity for governance. With respect to peaceful reunification of the country, we have successfully put into practice “One Country, Two Systems”, and made major strides forward. All of these represent important efforts to improve and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics.
History has shown that upholding the leadership of the CPC and socialism with Chinese characteristics holds the key to resolving the current-day problems in China, and it also lights up the way for us to our future.
Over the past seven decades, China’s development has not only benefited its own people enormously, but also made great contributions to world peace and prosperity. From this chapter of history, we have drawn some valuable inspiration.
First, a prosperous and stable China is in itself a huge contribution to the world. Here are some inspiring figures: China has fed almost 20% of the world population with less than 10% of the world’s arable land. 70% of the world’s total population lifted out of poverty are in China. And we are one of the first to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals. Contributing over 30% to global growth for many years in a row, China is acclaimed as one of the top engines of the world economy.
Second, a prosperous and stable China is also a great boon to other countries. China is committed to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in state-to-state relations, and its web of friends has now covered 179 countries from a mere dozen in the early days of the People’s Republic. It is now the world’s No.1 trader in goods and a major trading partner for over 120 countries and regions. Facts speak louder than words: China’s development has delivered significant benefits to other countries and their people.
Third, a prosperous and stable China has no intention to beat or displace any other country, nor does it have the slightest interest in hegemonism or expansionism. Instead, it has always been a staunch force for world peace, global development and international order. The world has become a better place because of China’s contribution to global governance and to the fight against global challenges. It is a safer place as China has dispatched a large number of troops to UN peacekeeping operations, more than any other permanent member of the Security Council. And it is also more prosperous thanks to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and its efforts for an open world economy. We are confident that it will be even better as we work with other countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. All along the way, China-US relations have been growing in tandem with the development of China. The past seven decades divides into 23 years of estrangement and confrontation and 47 years of win-win cooperation. History proves that we have a thousand reasons to make the China-US relationship work, and not a single reason to let it fail. History proves that both China and the US gain from cooperation, and lose in confrontation. So for our two countries, there is no better option than cooperation.
However, standing at a new crossroads, China-US relations are still faced with some difficulties and challenges. Therefore, both countries should stand to their responsibilities to history. Both countries should answer the call of the 1.7 billion Chinese and Americans and even the entire world population. And both countries should make a right choice as to the future of their relations.
We need to promote a China-US relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability, and reject the notion of a “new Cold War”. At this important moment, it is most necessary to have a correct reading of each other’s strategic intention, to respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, and to properly manage our differences. The last thing we would want at this time is to turn back the clock of history.
We need to develop sound economic and trade relations, and resist the words and deeds aimed at “decoupling”. We need to join hands for the sustained growth of the world economy, for global issues such as climate change, and for challenges brought by artificial intelligence and other new technologies. The world will look to us, its two major countries, for greater contribution to human progress.
We need to step up mutual understanding and mutual learning between the Chinese and American cultures, both gems of the human civilization. We need to respect each other’s choice of development path and ditch the so-called “clash of civilizations”.
We also need to push for more robust people-to-people exchanges, as this is the bond between hearts and the bridge between souls. Any attempt to undercut the people’s friendship must be thwarted. It is the people who make history. And it is the Chinese and American people, not any political force or schemer, that will determine the future of China-US relations.
Now, I would like to invite you to join me in a toast:
To the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China;
To the friendship and cooperation between the Chinese and American people;
And to a better future of China-US relations, and a better future of world peace and development.