Remarks by Chinese Ambassador H.E. Mr. Wang Xuefeng at the Online Reception in Celebration of the 72nd Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
2021-09-21 16:01

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Afternoon and Dumelang!

Today, we meet online to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to express my warm welcome and sincere thanks to all our distinguished guests for joining this special online National Day reception. Today is also the traditional Chinese Mid-autumn festival celebrating reunion of family members and friends, thus adding more meaning to this reception. Furthermore, in just a few days, Botswana will celebrate her 55th Independence Day. So it seems that we can take the opportunity of today's occasion to share the "multiple happiness" between China and Botswana together.

This is the first online National Day reception that I have ever hosted in my diplomatic career due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I do hope this will be the last online National Day reception as I sincerely look forward to the earliest possible day when life could get back to normal and we could meet in person.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2021 is a year of epoch-making significance for China, as it marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China. When the CPC was founded 100 years ago, China was in decline and withering, with her people subjected to great pain, and the Chinese civilization plunged into darkness. The CPC, since day one, has been seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. On the ceremony marking the CPC's centenary on July 1st, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and President Xi Jinping declared that through the continued efforts of the whole Party and the entire nation, we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and we are now marching toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects by 2049.

This year marks the first year of China's 14th Five-Year Plan, which sets goals and provides guidelines for the country's development from 2021 to 2025. Faced with the new normal brought by the pandemic, China has adopted the "dual circulation" development paradigm, in which domestic and overseas markets reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay. In the first half of 2021, China's GDP reached about US$8.2 trillion, registering a growth rate of 12.7%. Its foreign trade volume totaled US$2.8 trillion, up by 27%. With its domestic economic recovery, China will continue to drive global economic rebound, and we have full confidence in holding a safe, green and splendid Winter Olympics in Beijing in February 2022. Here, I'd like to congratulate the Botswana team on its historic breakthrough in the 2020 Summer Olympics, and we welcome Botswana's participation in the Beijing Winter Olympics next year.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

During his speech at the ceremony marking the centenary of the CPC, General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that the Party cares about the future of humanity, and wishes to move forward in tandem with all progressive forces around the world. It will continue to work with all peace-loving countries and peoples to promote the shared human values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom, and to jointly build a human community with a shared future. Under the strong leadership of the CPC, China has always worked to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and preserve international order.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China's lawful seat at the United Nations. We never forget our African bothers' support in this process. Over the decades, China have always safeguarded the UN-centered international system and practiced real multilateralism, meeting global challenges in partnership with others. China has sent over 50,000 peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping missions, provided more than one billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to over 100 countries, supported international cooperation on climate change by announcing new targets for carbon peak and neutrality, and initiated an open debate at the UN Security Council on "Peace and Security in Africa" to rally international support for Africa. Next month, China will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) to draw a new blueprint for global biodiversity conservation in the next decade.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the WTO. With continued reform and opening-up, China has grown into the world's second largest economy, No. 1 trader in goods and the largest destination for foreign investment, contributing an average of nearly 30% to global growth annually. Committed to the right direction of economic globalization, China has shared development opportunities with the rest of the world and firmly opposed unilateralism and protectionism. China started holding the China International Import Expo (CIIE) from 2018 to actively open the Chinese market to the world and give firm support to free trade. Earlier this month, the 2021 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) successfully concluded in Beijing, with online and offline participation of over 10,000 companies from 116 countries. Next week, the 2nd China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo will be held in China's Hunan province to deepen China-Africa economic ties.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi remarked at UN Security Council Open Debate on "Peace and Security in Africa", "China never steps away from anything as long as it is good for African countries, and China never hesitates to undertake anything as long as it is good for the African people." Last year, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC. Over the past two decades, we have formulated and implemented ten cooperation plans and eight major initiatives to promote China-Africa cooperation. Our two-way trade has increased 20 times, and China's direct investment in Africa has grown 100 times. At the current stage, to help African countries fight the pandemic, China has sent emergency supplies, vaccines and medical teams to Africa to the best of its abilities. The construction of the Africa CDC Headquarters has started, and cooperation between paired Chinese and African hospitals is well underway. The FOCAC meeting to be held within the year in Senegal will serve as another opportunity for advancing our cooperation across the board. China will continue to support Africa's efforts to defeat the virus, bring the economy back on track and accelerate industrialization and digitization, so as to jointly build an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.

China and Botswana have enjoyed time-tested friendship and fruitful cooperation. China highly appreciates Botswana's firm stand on the one-China policy, and commends our close coordination in multilateral affairs. Earlier this year, Botswana became the 46th partner country in Africa in Belt and Road Initiative cooperation during Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's successful visit to Botswana. It is a beautiful symbol because this year coincides with the 46th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. Amid the pandemic, the multiple batches of medical supplies, the 800,000-plus doses of Sinovac vaccine, and the 16th Chinese medical team all speak volumes about a friend in need is a friend indeed. Meanwhile, we overcame the difficulties of the pandemic and carried out practical cooperation projects in an orderly manner. The China-aid Mmopane Primary School has been completed and put into use. Procedures of Botswana's beef export to China are being facilitated. The Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation as well as the Extradition Treaty between China and Botswana have been signed, reflecting our comprehensive cooperation at a whole new level. These results could not be achieved without the efforts by all our Botswana friends. Let me take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks for your continued support to the profound relationship between China and Botswana.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace dramatically. China and Africa are good friends, good partners and good brothers. We are also important forces promoting world peace and development. Therefore, we must continue to develop our relations with solidarity and cooperation. Looking forward, guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, China will continue to deepen China-Botswana practical cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and FOCAC, so as to achieve more outcomes and bring greater benefits for our two peoples in the years to come.

To conclude my speech, I would like to ask you to join me to propose a toast

To the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China,

To the 55th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Botswana,

To the prosperity and progress of China-Botswana relations,

To the growing friendship between our two peoples,

To the well-being and health of the distinguished guests and your families.

Thank you and PULA!

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