Ambassador's Speech at the Reception in Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
2019/09/27

Honorable Former President, Mr. Arnold Rüütel,

Honorable Chairman of Riigikogu Mr. Henn Põlluaas,

Honorable Ministers,

Honorable members of Riigikogu,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends and fellow Chinese,

Good afternoon, everyone!

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Over the past seven decades, the Chinese people have braved thorny paths and confronted hard times. On the way seeking the model of development, we have encountered setbacks, paid the price and endured a great deal of pressure. However, the Chinese people of all ethnic groups have always united as one, to work with a pioneering and dauntless spirit and finally found our development path that suits China's national conditions and characteristics. We have created one miracle after another in human history, which deserve the pride of every Chinese.

In the past 70 years, China has gone from a country of basic survival to the world's second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest commodity trading country and the largest foreign exchange reserve country. Nearly 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty and more than 400 million people have become the middle class. We will realize our first centenary goal: building a moderately prosperous society in all respects next year. The Chinese people's yearning for a better life is gradually becoming a reality. Now, the Chang'e-4 lunar probe is exploring the dark side of the moon 380,000 kilometers away, becoming the first robotic mission to land on the far side of the moon. The Beidou satellite positioning system is forming network in the space orbit hundreds of kilometers away to optimize the navigation service. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, which stretches across 55 kilometers, is famous for its unprecedented construction difficulty and top-notch construction technology. Our manned submersible goes nearly 10,000 meters deep into the sea, exploring the unknown underwater world. As a Chinese saying goes, “One should not judge another person with outdated stereotypes”. China’s tremendous changes show to the world the efficiency and quality of the “Chinese model”.

China's success is made by the smart leadership, hard-working Chinese people and pursuing a foreign policy of peace and openness. China has always advocated the basic norms of international relations with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence as its core, upheld the interests of national sovereignty, security and development and opposed hegemonism and power politics. China has always held high the banner of international law, extensively joined the formulation of the rules for global governance and actively participated in multilateral cooperation such as anti-terrorism, non-proliferation and climate change. China sticks to sharing opportunities and interests with other countries and actively integrates into the global division of labor system as well as the industrial chain, innovation chain and value chain. China has sent the largest number of peacekeepers around the world among the permanent members of the UN Security Council and has participated in the resolution of almost all hot issues in the world today, such as the DPRK nuclear issue, the Iranian nuclear deal, and anti-terrorism in Afghanistan, etc. China is also the second largest contributor to the UN regular budget and peacekeeping budget. All these demonstrate our firm support to the UN-based international system and the cause of world peace and development.

China has benefited from its reform and opening up policy. In 1978, China's GDP was only 149.5 billion US dollars while in 2018 it reached 13.6 trillion US dollars, with an average annual growth rate of 11.9%, contributing more than 30% to global economic growth. China has not only developed itself but also benefited the world. At present, the world is facing a major change unseen in the past 100 years. The anti-globalization trend has risen. Protectionism and unilateralism have spread while the instability and uncertainty of the world have increased. Even so, multilateralism is still the consensus of the international community. The G20 summit in Osaka in June this year sent a strong signal in support of multilateralism. China will continue to firmly uphold the UN-centered international system based on international law and the rule-based multilateral trading system with WTO as its core. From January next year, Estonia will be the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. China is looking forward to further strengthening the exchange and cooperation with the Estonian side in the Security Council.

As the Chinese saying goes, “All flowers in full blossom make a beautiful spring. A single wild goose cannot make a formation”. Only by abandoning the law of the jungle and the zero-sum game, can human beings in a win-win situation and share the benefit. Multilateralism is consistent with the concept of the community with shared future for mankind advocated by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which is conducive to promoting the establishment of new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, cooperation and win-win situation. The “Belt and Road” Initiative proposed by President Xi in 2013 has been a concrete practice for building the community with shared future for mankind. By the end of July 2019, 195 “Belt and Road” Cooperation documents have been signed between China and 136 countries and 30 international organizations. By the end of June 2019, the China-Europe Railway Express has made nearly 17,000 trips. Till the end of March 2019, 82 overseas industrial parks jointly built by China and the “Belt and Road” countries have turned in the value of more than 2 billion U.S. dollars to the host country and created nearly 300,000 jobs for the locals. The “Belt and Road” Initiative proposed by China while the opportunities and achievements belong to the world.

With beautiful natural environment, the featured geographical advantages, leading digitization and happy people, Estonia is an important partner of China in the Baltic region as well as in Europe as a whole. China and Estonia are traditional friendly countries. We have no historical burdens and fundamental conflicts of interests. We both firmly support multilateralism and free trade and have made tremendous achievements in economic and social development. In September last year, Madame President Mrs. Kersti Kaljulaid visited China and held talks with President Xi Jinping, opening a new phase of rapid development of our bilateral relations. Last April, Prime Minister Mr. Ratas participated in the China-Central and Eastern European countries (China-CEEC) summit for the third time in a row. Mr. Ratas held bilateral talks with our Premier Mr. Li Keqiang and reached a consensus on further strengthening China-Estonia practical cooperation. Next year, China will host the China-CEEC Summit which is believed to further promote the pragmatic cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries. Two years ago, China and Estonia signed three memorandums of cooperation on the “Belt and Road” construction, e-commerce and digital silk roads cooperation, standing Estonia for the family member of the “Belt and Road” Initiative. Since then, high-level officials from our Ministry of Commerce, China Customs, Ministry of Agriculture and other government entities have visited Estonia. The delegations of China Civil Aviation will also visit Estonia in the near future to discuss the direct flight between China and Estonia.

China is Estonia's largest export market in Asia. In the first half of this year, Estonia's exports to China increased by 22% year on year. In order to further develop the great potential of China-Estonia pragmatic cooperation, on 12th September, our Embassy together with the Enterprise Estonia held the "Doing Business in China 2.0" Forum. Experts and scholars from China explained China's investment policies, business environment and customs clearance policies. Estonian entrepreneurs having successfully entered the Chinese market were invited to introduce their experiences in China. With the deepening of China-Estonia mutual friendly trust and practical cooperation, the people to people exchanges between our two countries have been continuously growing. In July last year, the Shanghai Opera House, as a guest of honor, presented three wonderful performances in Saaremaa Opera Festival. It was well received by people from all walks of life in Estonia. The Estonian male choir, boy choir, ballet troupe and other art groups have also visited China and won warm praise in China. Several days ago, our embassy and the Estonian Sports and Traditional Wushu Federation, co-organized the Estonian-Chinese Open Friendship Championships in Wushu Kungfu. The contestants made friends and learned from each other through the competition. In the past five years, Chinese tourists to Estonia have tripled in numbers. In the first half of this year, the number of Chinese tourists has been doubled than the same time last year. Next month, the Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism will visit Estonia. I believe that this will further promote the cultural exchanges between China and Estonia. The above achievements can’t be made without our joint efforts. We should cherish the friendly relations between China-Estonia and the broad prospects for our cooperation. I believe that further developing friendly cooperative relations and practical cooperation in various fields between our two countries would definitely conform to the fundamental interests and the common aspiration of our two peoples.

In November last year, the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai was unprecedented. Representatives from 172 countries, regional and international organizations and more than 3,600 foreign companies participated in the Expo, totaling a contract value of more than 57.8 billion US dollars. Four Estonian companies joined the exhibition. In November this year, Shanghai will host the 2nd Expo. By now, more than a dozen Estonian companies have registered to participate in the exhibition. More cooperation achievements are expected to be seen this year. China has solemnly promised to the world many times that China’s door of opening up will not stop but even wider. On 15th March this year, the National People's Congress of China voted to pass the Foreign Investment Law of the People's Republic of China, which will be implemented by January 1, 2020. This law will further strengthen the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investment in China. In the future, we will continue to bring down its tariff rates, shorten the negative lists, expand market access and make market rules more transparent. Looking far to the future, an open, inclusive, self-confident and self-reliant China will continue to make a new world miracle in the process of deepening reform and opening up. Hand in hand, let’s set out together to create a better future!

Now may I invite you to a toast:

To the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China,

To the prosperity of the Republic of Estonia,

To the prosperous future of China-Estonia relations,

To the health and happiness of all guests,

Cheers!

Thank you!

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