Remarks at Reception Marking 67th Anniversary of Founding of PRC
by Consul General Ma Zhanwu
(Taj Bengal Hotel, Kolkata, India, 23 September 2016)
Honorable Sri Krishna Gupta, Principal Secretary of Commerce and Industries of the State Government of West Bengal,
Honorable Sri Subrata Mukherjee, Minister of Public Health Engineering and Minister of Panchayat and Rural Development of the State Government of West Bengal,
Honorable Sri Sadhan Pande, Minister of Consumer Affairs and Minister of Self Help Group and Self Employment of the State Government of West Bengal,
Honorable Sri Dinesh Trivedi, Member of the Indian Parliament and Chairman of the Railway Committee of the Parliament,
Respected Colleagues from the Consular Corps,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Namaste! Good evening!
It is so very nice to see so many distinguished guests and friends old and new here tonight. We are gathered here to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Kolkata, I would like to extend warm welcome and heartfelt thanks to all the distinguished guests and friends present today.
The founding of PRC on 1 October 1949 was a big historic event, not only for the Chinese people, but also for the whole mankind. China has witnessed tremendous changes over the past 67 years since the founding of the PRC, particularly over the past 38 years since China’s reform and opening-up was initiated in 1978. A poor, backward and weak China has been transformed into a prosperous, industrialized and strong nation. For example, China's high-speed rail track has exceeded 20,000 kilometers, accounting for over 60% of the world’s total high speed rail in operation. Last week, China launched Tiangong-2 space laboratory, uplifting China's manned spaceflight program to a new phase. One of the greatest achievements is the increasing confidence of the Chinese people in their path of development, their guiding theory, their system, and the Chinese culture. That is what we call the four aspects of confidence.
Embarked on a path of peaceful development and relying on the hard work of the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC.), China has also contributed enormously to the world’s peace and development. As a staunch force for safeguarding world peace, it is one of the countries that have sent the most troops to take part in the UN peace-keeping operations. It has also become a major engine driving the world economic growth, contributing around 25% of the world’s economic growth every year. With a growth rate of 6.7 % in the first half of this year, China remains a powerhouse for the global economy.
Moreover, its economic structure is improving continuously, with innovation playing a bigger role in the growth and the de-capacity applied to production of iron, steel, and coal. China is fully capable of achieving 6.5 to 7 percent growth target this year.
China has also scored great achievements in its relations with other countries. It has expanded exchanges and cooperation with almost all countries in the world, including the major countries, the BRICS nations, and the developing world. Its Belt and Road Initiative is endorsed by over 100 countries and international organizations, and its call for building “a community of common destiny for the whole mankind” has also won much support. Earlier this month, the G20 Summit chaired by President Xi Jinping was successfully held in Hangzhou, China. With the theme of "Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy", it has charted the course for world economic growth in the near future, and has boosted optimism of people all over the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This past year has also witnessed tangible progress in China-India relations. President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister Modi have already met twice and will soon meet for the third time in Goa on the occasion of the BRICS summit. India’s President visited China in late May and his trip yielded fruitful results. Just a week ago, China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi visited India and had successful meetings in New Delhi.
In particular, the numbers of Chinese visiting India and Indians visiting China have increased rapidly, at the rage of over 20% so far this year. What is more, China’s investment in India has surged by over 1400% in the first half of the year and is continuing to grow.
China and India have huge shared interests, which far outweigh their differences, and the potentials for the development of the bilateral ties are tremendous. We are happy to see that more and more people from both sides are coming to work together to bring the relationship to a new high. We are grateful to all of those who have contributed to the relationship.
Against the backdrop of the rapid development of China-India relations, the Chinese Consulate General in Kolkata has been committed to promoting the exchanges and cooperation between East India and relevant areas in China in the fields of economy, culture, education and so on, and to facilitating the friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides.
Following Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao’s visit to Kolkata last November, Mr. Raman Singh, the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and several MPs and other delegations have visited China. Tonight, in a few hours’ time, a film delegation headed by the Principal Secretary of the Information and Cultural Affairs (I&CA) Department of Bengal, will depart for China and hold Tollywood film festivals in Beijing and Shanghai.
From the Chinese side, top officials from provinces of Shanxi, Yunnan, Jiangsu, Hubei and Shaanxi have visited or will visit Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Bihar respectively.
Besides, the Chinese Consulate also held or sponsored various cultural programs such as the Conference on “Tagore and China”, the Chinese acrobatic show, the Chinese singing and dancing performances, the Chinese Language Competition and the Chinese Film Festival, the exchange program between Chinese and Indian Acupuncture experts, and so on. There will also be a seminar on “Xuan Zang and China-India Friendly Interactions” on 7 November 2016 and a “Higher Education in China” Expo later in November 2016 in Kolkata.
I want to tell you also that a Taiji master will come next week to Kolkata to do some teaching. And I have learned that more than 200 Indian friends have signed up to learn it.
All of this is contributing to closer ties between the two peoples of China and India.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your assistance and support to us at the Consulate.
I must wish all of you a Happy Durga Puja, which will start very soon, and I am delighted to share with you that the Consulate will sponsor one of the Best Pandals competitions. The winners will get a free one-week tour in China
Before I conclude, let me reiterate my belief that China-India relationship will become one of the most important, and one of the best bilateral relationships in the world with our joint efforts to expand our exchanges and cooperation and to resolve or handle properly the differences.
The future for China-India relations is bright, and we have the will, the wisdom, and the strengths to surmount the difficulties. In five or ten years’ time, our bilateral ties will be even closer, and our friendship will be further strengthened, and our two nations will see further development and prosperity.
Now, may I propose a toast,
To the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China,
To the further growth of China-India relations and the friendship of the two peoples, and
To the health and happiness of all present tonight!
Cheers! Thank you!