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Speech by H.E Ambassador Ma Keqing at the Reception of the 67th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

2016/10/05

H.E. chairman of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Mr. Hamacek,

Ministers, Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen: Dámy a pánové, dobrý večer!

Warmly welcome you all to join us in celebrating the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

In the past 67 years, especially since 1978, when we embarked on reform and opening-up, tremendous progress has been achieved in China. We have pursued economic development as the top priority and succeeded in turning China into the world’s second biggest economy, the biggest trader of goods and the third largest direct overseas investor. Thanks to the reform and opening-up endeavor, China has lifted over 700 million people out of poverty and significantly made life better for its 1.3 billion people. In pursuing development, we have accomplished just in a few decades what has taken other countries several hundred years to achieve. This is a proof, that modernizing such a big country like China, unprecedented in the history of mankind, we must pursue our own path of development with Chinese distinctions.

Now China has reached a historical starting point. We will deepen reform across the board and will open up wider to the world. We have the confidence and ability to maintain medium-high rate of growth and achieve more development. The Belt and Road Initiative is to share China’s development opportunities with countries along the Belt and Road and achieve mutual benefit and win-win outcomes. It is an endeavor for China’s own development as well as China’s contribution to the development of the world at large.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2016 is a year of historic significance for China-Czech relations. The visit by President Xi Jinping in March, the ever first head of State visit from China to the Czech Republic, has crowned our bilateral relationship to the strategic height. Currently, the all-round cooperation is unfolded in various fields and yielded some landmark results. Three direct flights from Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu respectively to Prague have greatly facilitated trade, economic activities and people-to-people exchange between us. Rapidly increasing Chinese tourists have contributed to the flourishing of the Czech tourism industry and its related sectors. With pleasure and satisfaction, we have witnessed the growing interests of companies from both countries to accelerate mutual investments. Already China is the most important foreign market for SKODA with a share of 28%, and the Chinese customers make 41% out of the total number for Home Credit. Chinese investments in the Czech Republic have accumulated to 1.6 billion USD. In a few days time, hundred-plus Chinese companies will participate the “Brno International Engineering Fair”, which will certainly give a push to the growth of mutual investments.

Last but not least, cultural events and exchange in science, technology and education and between regions and provinces have been conducted one after another, bridging the gap of mutual understanding between our two countries and peoples.

There is a famous poem from Tang Dynasty saying, “Distance cannot separate true friends who feel so close even when they are thousands of miles apart.” We cherish the traditional friendship between our two countries. The encouraging outcomes of our cooperation have taught us time and again, that we do have shared interests to advance our relations on a long-term and healthy basis.

We remain ready to enhance the political mutual trust, trade and investment cooperation and people to people exchange with the Czech Republic within the framework of the strategic partnership, the 16+1 and “the Belt and Road Initiative to the benefit of both sides.

With these words, I propose a toast,

to the prosperity of the People’s Republic of China and the Czech Republic,

to the bright future of China-Czech bilateral relationship,

and to the health of each and everyone present today,

cheers! Na zdraví!



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