DCM&Minister Li Kexin's Remarks at the Reception for Global Ties
2019/01/29

 
(January 24, 2019, the Chinese Embassy)

Distinguished guests from Global Ties,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the Chinese Embassy! We are so happy to host this event for you. As the Chinese Lunar New Year is around the corner, may I wish you a prosperous Year of the Pig!

I particularly like Global Ties’ vision: A peaceful, prosperous world where individuals build enduring relationships through international exchange. We look forward to strengthening cooperation with Global Ties, and to leveraging our partnership to enhance mutual understanding between China and the United States.

As such, we have set up a booth of China, for the first time, at your Annual meeting. That is showcasing China's development and China-US relations. We hope you will stop by, take a look, and mingle with my colleagues.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Seventy years ago, the new Republic put an end to more than 100 years of wars and humiliation, opened up a new development page. Over the past 40 years of reform and opening to the world, China has risen from a poor and backward country to the world's second largest economy, and the biggest contributor to the world’s economic growth, accounting for nearly 30%.

Last week I was back to China and went to some of western provinces. Every time I went back, I realize we still have a long way to go. We may be very big in numbers, but not so excellent in substance. China’s per capita GDP is only one seventh of that of the United States. You surely see new and modern airports, posh hotels in Beijing and Shanghai, and high-speed rails connecting the two cities, but we still face huge development challenges. We have 30 million rural population living in poverty, and more than 80 million disabled people. In many ways, research and development, military capacity, even entertainment, there’s a big gap between China and US.

But we are a people with dreams, and we work very hard. We will be better and better. Ultimately however, I don’t think China will become America. A two-story house with 5 bedrooms, swimming pool at the backyard, 3 kids, 2 cars, maybe a dog…., this American dream cannot be replicated in China. Why? Because our planet is not big enough. We do have the Chinese dream. That is a decent life, clean air and water, strong social safety net, good education for children, caring for the old, freedom, fairness and justice.

Actually you will find the essence of American dream and Chinese dream is the same. That’s why our two great people can come together, share and cooperate with each other.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the US. The development and fruits of China-US relations over the past 40 years has exceeded expectations. In 2018, bilateral trade was at 633 billion U.S. dollars and the number of people working and living in the other’s country exceeded 5.3 million. The two countries also established 50 pairs of friendly provinces and 227 pairs of sister cities.

Over the past 40 years, we have learned a lot, but the key of success for the bilateral relations is:

No.1, people first. The first batch of Chinese students studying in US in 1980s later became the key players in China’s modernization. The clean technology cooperation between us benefited hugely on Chinese farmers as well as city dwellers. The Chinese investment in US recent years has created nearly 100,000 jobs for Americans, and the bilateral trade has saved every American family about $850 per year.

No.2, manage differences. We do have differences. But we put them in a managed circle. The three Joint Communiques serve as the political basis for the bilateral relations. On security issues, or economic issues, it is very important to compare notes from time to time. But the most important thing is the trust, mutual trust on each other’s strategic intention. I think the personal relations between top politicians and dialogues contribute to the differences management.

No.3, global responsibilities. As two major economies in the world, our interest and responsibilities go beyond our national boundaries. In Africa, we jointly tackled the serious challenge of Ebola, saving thousands of lives on the Continent. We have shared information on terrorism in many parts of the world. We together initiated the Group of twenty economic powers to address the financial crisis in 2008.

We have many more success stories with our two countries. I think the fundamentals of these successes are the people like you, doing specific jobs in various fields, because you are the bridges, thread and connecting hinge for the real feeling of two great peoples. Everybody in this room is an ambassador.

I hope with Global Ties, an very important platform for promoting international exchanges and communication, you can continue to play a key role for orienting the relations between our two countries today. We are facing some unique challenges, not so familiar with as in the past. But I think we can deal with them, because the common aspiration for a good China-US relations among the people remains unchanged.

Let me again welcome you to the Chinese Embassy. Hope every one of you will have a pleasant and memorable evening, and wish you a very successful annual meeting. Thank you very much!

 
 
 

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