Remarks by Ambassador Cui Tiankai At the Signing Ceremony in OAS

December 12, 2014


Secretary General Insulza,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Good afternoon. It's a great pleasure to meet all of you here at the OAS headquarters. Just now, Secretary General Insulza and I signed two important agreements on behalf of the General Secretariat of the OAS and the Government of the People's Republic of China respectively. They are the Second Additional Protocol to the Agreement for the China-OAS Cooperation Fund and the Memorandum of Understanding for Human Development and Scholarships Programs between the Ministry of Education of the PRC and the General Secretariat of the OAS.

According to the agreements, in next five years starting from 2015, the Chinese Government will pledge the third term of the China-OAS Cooperation Fund, which will be increased to 1.5 million US dollars from 1 million US dollars for each previous term. And during the same period, the China-OAS Scholarship Programs, sponsored by the Chinese Ministry of Education, will increase the annual scholarship offer from 10 to 15.

2014 marks the 10th anniversary of China's Permanent Observer status in the OAS. Over the past decade, we witnessed the progress of the Americas in addressing challenges, seizing opportunities and promoting development. Meanwhile, we are not just observing. We have promoted high level exchanges between China and the OAS and taken an active part in OAS activities. The past two terms of Cooperation Fund provided 2 million US dollars in support of 70 programs in various areas, which benefit all Latin American and Carribean countries. We sponsored 110 students from member states and OAS officials to study or attend training courses in China. We also funded the upgrading of some Secretariat office equipment and the modernization of the OAS main building. Looking back to the past 10 years, we are glad that China has become one of the most active observers to the OAS.

A Chinese saying goes: Nothing can separate people with common goals and ideals, not even mountains or oceans. Although China and the Americas face each other across the vast ocean, our peoples have a natural sense of affinity. During the past 10 years, China has become the second largest economy of the world and the Americas, especially Latin American and Carribean region also enjoy rising international standing. China and countries from the Americas have developed close exchanges at all levels and deepened mutual political trust. President Xi Jinping visited Latin America in July and launched officially with Latin American leaders the China-CELAC forum. It symbolizes a new historical stage in China-Latin America relations. The past 10 years has also witnessed all-round growth in our business ties and practical cooperation. Bilateral trade has expanded rapidly. China has become an important trading partner, export market and source of import for many countries in the region. In addition, people-to-people exchanges have flourished and deepened the friendship between our peoples. In a word, historical ties and increasing exchanges have brought us close together.

In this inter-connected world, countries have shared interests and face common challenges. China will remain committed to the path of peaceful development, take a more active part in international affairs and shoulder its international responsibilities. The Americas are important cooperation partners for China. Now the Chinese people are working hard for the "Chinese Dream" of national renewal, and the people in the Americas are pursuing unity, collaboration, development and revitalization. There's a lot we can do together. We look forward to sharing opportunities with the Americas and contributing new dynamism to world stability and development.

Dear Friends,

The signing of the two agreements is a milestone in China-OAS relations and a new starting point for us to build on and expand our cooperation. Going forward, we will channel more resources to OAS' priority agendas, provide more financial and human resources support for the modernization of the General Secretariat, create more opportunities to expand and deepen our exchanges and cooperation, and further boost the win-win cooperation between China and the American States. China is not only an observer. It is ready to be a good partner and good friend of the OAS.

Before I conclude, I wish to thank all of you. China-OAS relations would not have come this far without your supports. I hope you will continue to support our relations and help bring them to new heights. I also hope the OAS will contribute even more to the prosperity and stability of the Americas and better and happier life for its people.

Thank you!


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