Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Chen Xu at the Reception Celebrating the 74th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China
2023-09-30 04:56

Excellencies,Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Good evening! On behalf of Ambassador Li Chenggang to WTO, and Ambassador Shen Jian to the Conference of Disarmament, and in my own name, I wish to welcome you all to this reception celebrating the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Ambassador Shen has newly arrived, so a big welcome to him.

It’s such a happy coincidence that today is the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival in China. It is a time for family reunion, to cherish best wishes to friends and family members. Almost one thousand years ago exactly the same day in Song Dynasty, a famous poem was written by one of the greatest Chinese scholar, in which he raised his glass, asking the heaven what is the season there tonight. He wished to go up there for a peaceful life, but was afraid it will be too cold and lonely. So eventually he preferred to stay on earth. At this moment today, instead of asking up above, I believe it’s more relevant for us to ask ourselves seriously: what happened to this world on Planet Earth, where we are and where to go? I still have vivid memory when the 40th anniversary of the United Nation was commemorated in 1985, with the theme “United for a better world”. Now after almost 40 years, have we become more united as we should? Is this world a better place as expected? If not, why and what are the root causes behind?

It is true that tremendous efforts have been made over the years to create a better world envisaged by the founding fathers of UN. Yet to be honest, the balance sheet is very much mixed. We have to admit that challenges and uncertainties remain, both traditional and non-traditional, specific and thematic. The world economy has yet to be recovered in a better shape, and the development gap has yet to be further closed. We still have a long way to go to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Issues of common concern needs to be addressed, such as climate change, artificial intelligence, pandemic diseases, natural disasters, etc., just name a few. Needless to say, the world today calls for stability, growth, and multilateralism more than ever before. In this context, it’s time to recommit ourselves the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and make concerted efforts to uphold an international order based on international law, and safeguard the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core.

74 years is such a short glimpse in history, but it means a lot to China, to this world, and to the relationship between China and the outside world. Over the years, especially since we adopted the policy of reform and opening-up, great changes have taken place. China is now the second largest economy. It has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and emerged from the impact of COVID-19. China’s economy is gradually coming back in a steady manner. As observed by foreign experts, “China’s economic crisis” is apparently an exaggeration. WIPO just released its Global Innovation Index 2023, and China ranks 12th among 132 economies, and has the greatest number of science and technology clusters. It is an important indication that our economy remains strong, dynamic and resilient.

Over the years, China has engaged broadly in global governance. We are members to almost all inter-governmental organizations, and party to over 600 international conventions. We have sent over 50 thousand UN peacekeepers. We are determined to meet its carbon peaking and neutrality goals. The Asian Game is now in full play in Hangzhou. The Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be hosted in Beijing next month to promote high-quality development. In recent years, China put forward the Global Initiatives on Development, Security and Civilization respectively. Earlier this week, a white paper on “building a global community with a shared future: China’s proposals and actions” was issued. All these endeavor represent China’s willingness and readiness to make joint efforts to promote lasting peace, common prosperity for a better world.

As an old Chinese saying goes: Trees may prefer to enjoy calm in peace, but the wind will never stop. Indeed, big trees carry more wind. As China grows up further, it draws more attention. In the days to come, we will continue to brave all kinds of difficuties to take good care of our own business and commit ourselves to the new journey of Chinese modernization. Meanwhile, we are ready to render a helping hand whenever there is a need. In this respect, we will continue to actively participate in all international agencies here in Geneva, including the Human Right Council which is still in session, and look forward to working together with you all in the spirit of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, so as to achieving a win-win situation through cooperation.

In closing, at this moment of the full moon, I wish to share with you the last two lines from the poem I mentioned earlier. “May health, longevity and peace be always with us all, so we can enjoy the same fair moon even thousands of miles apart.”

Now I wish to propose a toast: to the 74th Anniversary, to a better world belongs to all, and to the health and happiness of you all. Cheers.

Thank you very much for your attention.