Speech by H.E. Ambassador Li Chao on the occasion of the 72nd Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the centenary of the Communist Party of China(CPC). Over the past 72 years since the founding of the PRC, under the strong leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people of all ethnic groups across the country have united and worked hard and China has achieved a historical leap from a poor country starting from scratch to the world's second largest economy and the largest trading nation. Its per capita GDP has increased from tens of US dollars at the beginning to more than 10,000 US dollars today. More than 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty. This year, we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. It means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, attaining the poverty reduction target under the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ten years ahead of schedule.

Remarkable achievements were made in other areas as well. New economy and new technology have developed rapidly. The scale of China's digital economy has reached US$6.1 trillion in 2020, ranking the second around the globe and taking up 38.6 percent of its GDP. Digital economy has become a key driving force for stabilizing China's economic growth. The largest 5G independent network and fiber optical network around the world have been built with 5G mobile communication technology taking the lead in achieving large-scale applications. At present, the total number of 5G base stations in China has exceeded one million, accounting for more than 70% of the world. China's manned spaceflight mission has continued to make strides. The rover named Zhurong has landed on Mars and successfully completed its mission. The space station core module "Tianhe" has been successfully launched and smoothly conducted an autonomous rendezvous and docking with the Tianzhou-3 cargo spacecraft. Three Chinese astronauts returned to earth safely after travelling more than 90 days in outer space. China's innovation capabilities continue to improve. China filed 68,720 PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications in 2020, continuing to lead the world in this field. According to the 2021 Global Innovation Index issued by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China rose to the 12th this year from 14th last year.

On March 11 this year, "the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for national economic and social development and the long-range objectives through the year 2035" has been approved by the Fourth Session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), which makes a systematic plan and strategic deployment for the economic and social development for the 5 and 15 years to come. The Plan highlights the "three news": embarking on a new journey to fully build a modern socialist China, implementing the new concepts of innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development, and fostering a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. China is now marching towards the second centenary goal of developing China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.

In the past 72 years, no matter how the international landscape may change, China has remained committed to pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace, unswervingly followed the path of peaceful development, firmly upheld the basic norms governing international relations, safeguarded international fairness and justice, and cooperated with other countries in the world on the basis of mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation, injecting strong positive energy into the cause of world peace and development and human progress. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Estonia's restoration of independence and the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Estonia. Over the past 30 years, China and Estonia have gone hand in hand to promote the steady development of bilateral relations, and pragmatic cooperation has yielded fruitful results. We hope that the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Estonia will be taken as an opportunity, on the basis of mutual respect and win-win cooperation, to deepen the exchanges and pragmatic cooperation in various fields such as politics, economy, trade and culture so as to better benefit the two peoples and create a better future for bilateral relations.

China-Estonia relations and China-EU relations are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Since the beginning of this year, the China-EU relations has made new progress despite the challenges caused by the pandemic. China has become EU's largest trading partner. The experience of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and EU over the last 40 years has shown that the common interests of both sides far outweigh their differences. China and EU are partners and opportunities for each other rather than rivals and challenges. The China-CEEC cooperation, which focus on pragmatic cooperation, is an important part of the overall cooperation between China and Europe. It is conducive to achieving the balanced development of Europe as a whole and promoting European integration. China stands ready to work with Estonia and EU to strengthen cooperation along the right track of deepening China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership so as to jointly realize the development and rejuvenation of China and Europe as the two major forces around the world.

At present, with the pandemic still raging, the global economic recovery is hindered and difficult, and the world is at a new historical crossroads. The international community more than ever needs mutual respect and close collaboration, rather than suspicion, antagonism or zero-sum game. The virus knows no boundaries of regions and countries. Facing the pandemic, the interests and destinies of all countries are closely linked. The mankind is a community of shared future. Only by upholding the vision of building a global community of health for all and the global awareness, strengthening international exchanges and cooperation in pandemic prevention and control, vaccine research and development, and gathering the strength of all countries, can the people's lives be protected to the greatest extent. On September 21, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. He put forward the Global Development Initiative with advancing development as a priority, a people-centered approach, benefits for all, innovation-driven development, harmony between man and nature and results-oriented actions as its core principles. President Xi Jinping called for all parties to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, promote stronger, greener, and healthier global development, build a community with a shared future for global development so as to jointly advance the global development to a new stage of balance, coordination and inclusiveness. This important initiative provides an action guide for all countries to focus on development, unity and common development, and will surely play a positive and important role in the cause of global development.

As a responsible major country, China has been actively providing global public goods within its capability. President Xi Jinping stressed the need to make vaccines a global public good to ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries. Of pressing priority is to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines globally. China will strive to provide a total of two billion doses of vaccines to the world by the end of this year. In addition to donating 100 million US dollars to COVAX, China will donate another 100 million doses of vaccines to other developing countries within this year. China has announced that it will provide another US$3 billion in international aid in the next three years to support developing countries in fighting the pandemic and recovering economic and social development. China is willing to work with other countries around the world to fight the COVID-19 until victory, promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and jointly build a better world!

On the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, I would like to express our sincere appreciation and thanks to all the people who have been long time devoted to the development of China and the China-Estonia relations. I wish our two countries and two peoples prosperity and well-being!

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