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Speech by Ambassador Chen Xu On the Occasion of "Celebrating Spring Festival in the OPCW"

(OPCW Headquarters, The Hague, February 12, 2016)

Distinguished Acting Director-General Mr. Rao,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to be with you at the exclusive performance to be given by the Jiangsu Acrobatic Troupe from China. This event is meant to celebrate the traditional Chinese Spring Festival, which ushers in the Bingshen year, featuring the Monkey, on the Chinese lunar calendar. Monkey means a lot in the Chinese culture, as it represents wisdom, agility and good fortune. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese Permanent Representation to the OPCW, I would like to extend my sincere greetings and best wishes to all the distinguished

guests and friends here today. And I also wish you and your families good health, happiness and prosperity in the year of the Monkey.

As a Chinese saying goes, “state-to-state ties hinge on the amity between peoples; and such amity depends on heart-to-heart understandings”. Culture serves not only as a bridge of communication between minds and feelings, but also as an important vehicle for promoting our mutual understandings and trust. Today’s performance will be staged by a troupe from Jiangsu province of China. As a major province in the country, Jiangsu ranks the first among all the provinces in per capita GDP, and in the regional development and people’s livelihood index, comparable to that of the medium-to-fairly developed nations in the world. Indeed, Jiangsu is quite advanced in both educational and cultural undertakings and in economic development. In addition, it is one of the provinces in China which have received the most OPCW industry inspections. In a few moments, the acrobatic artists from Jiangsu will present their fine show for you, and for giving expression to the Chinese people’s friendly feelings for the OPCW as well. I am sure all of us will be deeply impressed. Please allow me to take this opportunity to express my special thanks to the cast and crew of the troupe for their efforts. My thanks also goes to the Staff Council of the OPCW Secretariat for its contributions and support.

2015 was a quite remarkable year. The world was far from tranquil, yet peace and development remained our shared aspirations. We are glad to see that, over the past year, the OPCW continued to play an important role in overseeing the destruction of Chemical Weapons and safeguarding world peace and security. A Delegation from the Executive Council paid a second visit to a destruction site of the Japanese Abandoned Chemical Weapons. And it is encouraging to see the ever growing cooperation between China and the OPCW.

In 2015, China pressed ahead in its all-round and in-depth reforms and building a well-off society. As a result, major achievements were made. In spite of the fact the global economy were in doldrums, China managed to overcome increased economic downward pressure and handled some new circumstances and new problems in an appropriate manner, and recorded an economic growth rate of 6.9%, and its GDP reached the 10-trillion-dollar. And the contribution of the Chinese economy to the global economic growth stood at the rate of over 25%, remaining to be a significant driving force for global economic development.

In 2015, while focusing on the two major themes of peace and development, China continued to pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, actively worked to develop friendly and cooperative relations featuring mutual benefit and win-win with other countries, pushed forward “One Belt and One Road” initiative, and established the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Meanwhile, China actively engaged in multilateral affairs, devoted itself to the resolutions of major international issues such as the Iranian nuclear negotiation and the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and faithfully implemented the Chemical Weapons Convention, supported the work of the OPCW, and made its due contribution to the realization of a world free from Chemical Weapons.

2016 marks the first year of what we in China call our “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan”. We will uphold a development concept centered upon innovation, coordination, green growth, openness and sharing. We have the confidence and abilities to maintain a sustained and healthy economic growth, which might come in turn to bring more opportunities and benefits to the international community. And we will further deepen our cooperation and exchanges with the OPCW, continue to actively and pragmatically engage in international affairs, and make unremitting efforts with a view to building a far better world.

At the start of a new year, all things appear fresh again. Distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen, let us, in the new year, stand together no matter what, and join hands in charting a new course to advance development, mutual benefit and win-win.

In closing, I wish in advance the activity here today a full success, and please enjoy yourselves.

Thank you all.

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