(28 September 2017, Chinese Embassy)
Ladies and Gentlemen, Compatriots and Friends,
Welcome you all to be present at the reception today, together with us to celebrate the 68th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China. Firstly, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to express my warm welcome to friends from all walks of life and members of diplomatic corps in the Netherlands, and to forward my best regards and good wishes to overseas Chinese in the Netherlands.
Over the past 68 years, China has gone through a dramatic change and made tremendous progress. During last 68 years, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China(CPC) and with the joint efforts of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, China has succeeded in finding the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics which suits our national conditions. China has become the second largest economy and the largest trading nation in the world. Especially during the past five years since the 18th Congress of the CPC, standing at a new historical starting point, with all Chinese people heading for realizing the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of Chinese nation with sheer endeavor, China's development has made remarkable achievements. The past five years have been a quite extraordinary period in the development process of the country.
The past five years have witnessed China's economy from new normal to transformation and upgrade. Against the backdrop of the sluggish recovery of global economy and the development of China's economy into new normal, China resolutely implements the "five development concepts" highlighted by President Xi Jinping and concentrates on optimizing and upgrading the economic structure. In last 5 years, China has maintained an annual growth rate of 7.2% and contributed over 30% to the world economic growth. The IMF report of 2017 shows that China is still the major driving force in global economic development.
The past five years have witnessed numerous record-breaking achievements of China highly praised by the world. China's foreign trade volume reached the top of the world in 2013. Since 2015 China has become the biggest e-commerce market in the world. During last 5 years, China has contributed over 70% to the poverty alleviation cause of the world. And so far, China has the world's longest high-speed railway network.
The past five years have witnessed China's diplomacy from the Chinese Dream to the World Dream. Chinese people are pursuing the Chinese Dream, while actively making contribution to the peace and development of the world. China's diplomatic concept of building a community of shared future of mankind has brought Chinese wisdom and Chinese proposal to the world. In the context of the rising trade protectionism, President Xi Jinping clearly called for further promotion of the economic globalization and free trade when attending the World Economic Forum in Davos early this year, which was widely praised by the international community. By the Belt and Road Initiative and the establishment of the AIIB, China has provided high-quality public products to the world. What's more, China has actively participated in and played a leading role in global governance including the conclusion of the Paris Agreement. During last 5 years, China successfully hosted the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting, the G20 Hangzhou Summit, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the BRICS Xiamen Summit, all of which played an important role in the reform and perfection of the global governance system.
Meanwhile, we are pleased to see that during the past five years, the China-Netherlands relationship has made a historic leap. President Xi Jinping and King Willem-Alexander had realized exchange visits to lift our bilateral relationship onto an unprecedented high level. Premier Li Keqiang met with Prime Minister Rutte for several times, which set a solid foundation for deepening our pragmatic cooperation. Although having suffered the European debt crisis, the Netherlands remains as the third largest trade partner of China in the EU and China is still the second largest trade partner of the Netherlands outside the EU. The Netherlands responded positively to the Belt and Road Initiative and has successfully become one of the founding members of the AIIB. The people-to-people exchange between our two countries is also active. The two giant pandas, Wu Wen and Xing Ya, with the profound goodwill of the Chinese people, finally arrived in the Netherlands. The Chinese Cultural Center has established successfully in the Hague. The amount of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classes in the Netherlands have reached 3 and 13 respectively. Each year there is about 300 thousand Chinese tourists travelling to the Netherlands, who become one of the biggest consumption groups here. This year marks the 45th anniversary of China-Netherlands Ambassadorial-level Diplomatic Relationship, upon which I celebrated with many friends from both sides 4 months ago right here. Reviewing the past and looking forward to the future, both of our two sides are quite satisfied with the present high level of our bilateral relationship and fully confident in its prospect.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The 19th National Congress of the CPC will be held 20 days later which will guide China's next step of development. Meanwhile in the Netherlands, the new Dutch Government will be formed soon. The China-Netherlands relations are facing new historic opportunities. I believe that, under warm attention from the leaders of our two countries and with the great efforts of all the friends from both sides, the future of the China-Netherlands relations will be even better.
In conclusion, I wish to propose a toast:
To the 68th anniversary of the People's Republic of China,
To the brighter future of the China-Netherlands relations,
To the health of all guests present,