|Remarks by Consul General GU Xiaojie at the Reception Marking the 69th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China|
I would like to warmly welcome you all to the reception tonight as we get together to celebrate the 69th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Over the past 69 years, the Chinese people have scored great achievements in economic and social development under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China. China has become the second largest economy in the world with a GDP exceeding 12 trillion US dollars. The life of 1.3 billion-plus people has improved significantly, and more than 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty. In the first half of this year, China's economy expanded by 6.8%, staying within the medium-high growth range of 6.7-6.9% for 12 quarters in a row. It is worth noting that this was achieved as China pressed ahead with adjusting both the growth pattern and economic structure. At present, the service sector accounts for half of China's GDP, and consumption contributes nearly 60% to China's economic growth. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in October last year mapped out an impressive blueprint for China's development and ushered in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Ladies and gentlemen,
China's development is the result of deepening reform in an all-round way and continuously expanding opening-up, and at the same time a process in which China integrates deeply with the world and achieves common development with other countries. In this respect, 2018 is a year of special significance to China in multiple respects.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. Over the past 40 years, China has fully invigorated market players and China's economy has maintained a high average annual growth rate of 9.5%. China has been unswervingly pursuing an open strategy of mutual benefit and win-win results, promoting a new pattern of comprehensive opening-up. In recent years, China's annual average contribution to global economic growth has stayed above 30 percent. At present, China is actively adapting to the new normal in its economic development, implementing the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, and striving to improve its development quality and efficiency. China's reform and opening-up has entered a new stage and reached a new level. We will continue to deepen reform in an all-round way, further expand opening-up and provide more opportunities for cooperation to the world.
2018 marks the 17th anniversary of China's accession to the World Trade Organization(WTO). Over the past 17 years, China has made continuous improvement to its socialist market economic system, significantly reduced import tariff and non-tariff barriers, continued to ease restrictions on foreign investment, strengthened protection of intellectual property rights and faithfully fulfilled its WTO accession commitments. China has become a major trading partner of more than 120 countries and regions, and an open Chinese market has provided tremendous opportunities for many multinational corporations. China remains resolute in opposing unilateralism and trade protectionism and firmly safeguards free trade and the international trade system and its rules. In November this year, China will host the world's first import-themed national level expo in Shanghai. Governments and businesses from other countries are welcomed to participate in the expo and share China's development dividend.
2018 marks the 5th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by President Xi Jinping. Over the past 5 years, we have upheld the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and promoted regional connectivity and economic development. 103 countries and international organizations have signed 118 documents with China for cooperation on the BRI. The trade volume between China and countries along the route has exceeded 5 trillion US dollars. China has invested over 20 billion US dollars in economic and trade cooperation zones built in those countries and created more than 200,000 jobs. The Photo Exhibition in Celebration of People-to-People Ties over the 5 years of the BRI staged here tonight has demonstrated vividly the positive role of the Initiative in fostering people-to-people friendship. I wish to emphasize that the BRI features in openness, transparency and inclusiveness, and China does not seek the so-called "sphere of influence", nor does China engage in building any exclusive circles or striking deals using coercive power. China will host the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation next year. We welcome other countries including Australia to get together again to explore ways to deepen the development of the BRI.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Both China and Australia are located in the Asia Pacific region, and our two economies are highly complementary. We have extensive common interest as well as huge potential for cooperation. A sound and stable development of bilateral relations serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and contributes to peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world at stage. China is willing to work with Australia to promote dialogue and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment so as to carry forward the bilateral relations along the right track.
State/provincial cooperation is the foundation for China-Australian relations, and New South Wales has been in the forefront among Australian states and territories in developing relations with China. In recent years, NSW has attracted nearly half of China's investment in Australia, about 60% of Chinese tourists and more than 30% of Chinese students studying in Australia. 2018 marks the 200 anniversary of Chinese immigration to Australia. For many years, the Chinese community has made important contributions to Australia's economic and social development and to the friendship between our two countries. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to friends and fellow compatriots in NSW for your continuous support to China's development and active efforts in promoting friendly cooperation between China and Australia.
Now I would like to propose a toast,
To the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China,
To the friendship and cooperation between China and Australia and China's cooperation with New South Wales,
To the good health of all our distinguished guests,