|Remarks at the Reception Celebrating the 69th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China|
by Mr. Tan Banglin, Consul General of China in Jeddah
Your Excellency Ambassador Jamal Bakr Balkhoyor, Director General of Saudi Foreign Ministry (Makkah Region Branch),
Colleagues from the Consular Mission,
My Fellow Citizens,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Tonight we gather together to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. First of all, on behalf of the Consulate General of P. R. China in Jeddah and in my own name, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests present and express my festive greetings to all Chinese compatriots in our consular district!
The founding of the People's Republic of China was proclaimed on Oct 1st 1949. During the past 69 years, under the wise leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese people have achieved tremendous accomplishments through painstaking efforts and China has undergone earthshaking changes. When P. R. China was just established, the GDP in 1952 was only 30 billion US dollars, whereas by 2017, China's GDP reached 12.24 trillion US dollars, growing by 408 times.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. Over the past 40 years, the Chinese people have worked hard and relentlessly, with social productive forces greatly liberated and released , the GDP has achieved an average annual growth rate of 9.5%, which decisively leads to China's rapid development. Today, China has become the world's largest industrial country, the largest trading nation of goods, and the country with the largest amount of foreign exchange reserves. The Chinese people's lives have moved from shortage to abundance and from poverty to well-off. More than 700 million poor people delimited by the current UN standards have successfully lifted out of poverty, accounting for more than 70% of the global poverty reduction population at the same period. With the contribution of over 30% to world economic growth for many years, China has become the main stabilizer and driving force for world economic growth, and made great contributions to the lofty cause of peace and development of mankind.
China is now the second largest economy in the world, and it has been at the forefront in the fields of quantum communication, high-speed rail, e-commerce, mobile payment, and sharing economy, and so on. We are willing to share our experiences and gains on development with friends all over the world.
Five years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the "Belt and Road" Initiative. The initiative was originated from China, but the opportunities and achievements belong to the whole world. In the past five years, various kinds of measures related to "Belt and Road" Initiative, under the principle of seeking shared benefits through consultation and collaboration, has brought tangible profits to the participating countries. Hence the initiative has received more and more positive responses and supports from the international community.
China has so far signed cooperative documents on "Belt and Road" co-operations with 130 countries and international organizations including KSA. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank now has 86 member states, becoming the world's second largest multilateral development organization only second to the World Bank .
China has continued to expand its trade and investment cooperation with countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt, which leads to mutual benefit and win-win result. In the first half of this year, China's total trade volume in goods with countries along the route reached US$605 billion, an increase of 18.8%. While China's direct investment in the non-financial sectors of these countries registered US$7.4 billion, increasing by 12%. China has established more than 80 economic and trade cooperation zones in 43 countries and attracted nearly 3,500 enterprises to get registered in the zones, which created of US$2.2 billion in tax revenue, and 244,000 jobs for the host countries.
Till now, the China-Europe freight rail service has made over 10,000 trips, and send nearly 800,000 TEUs of goods from 48 Chinese cities to 43 cities in 15 European countries, boosting economic and trade exchanges between China and Europe.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As an old Chinese saying goes, "Nothing, not even mountains and oceans, can separate people with shared goals and vision." The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia holds an important position at the "Belt and Road" Initiative. China and Saudi Arabia share strong complementarities and enjoy great potentials and broad prospects in mutually beneficial cooperation.
The friendly and cooperative relations between China and Saudi Arabia have developed rapidly since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries in 1990. Over the past 15 years, Saudi Arabia has been China's largest trading partner in West Asia and North Africa Region.
Chinese people will never forget the kingdom of Saudi Arabia rendered generous humanitarian assistance to the people in the disaster areas after the devastating earthquake in Wenchuan County of China 10 years ago.
China and Saudi Arabia established a comprehensive strategic partnership in January 2016 and established China-Saudi Arabia high-level joint committee. The pragmatic cooperation between the two countries in various fields has yielded fruitful results.
China supports Saudi "Vision 2030" and is willing to link the Belt and Road Initiative with the "Vision 2030" so as to provide more opportunities for the two sides to expand and deepen the friendly cooperation. In July this year, the Foreign Ministers of China and Saudi Arabia hosted the 8th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing, which has drawn a road map for the development of China-Arab relationship in the coming period. We believe that China-Arab and China-Saudi Arabia cooperation will get more and more fruitful results and benefit the people of both sides with the continuous implementation of the outcome of the meeting.
As an important gateway and a vibrant city, Jeddah has witnessed the people-to-people exchanges between China and Saudi Arabia in history. Today, Jeddah plays an increasingly important role in promoting the deepening of cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
The Consulate General of China in Jeddah and I myself are willing to provide high-quality consular services for enhancing personnel ex-changes between the two sides and for Chinese companies and overseas Chinese nationals in the consular district, and to make new and greater contribution to promote the development of bilateral friendly cooperative relations.
Thank you all.