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Speech by Chargé d'Affaires Yang Xiaoguang at the Reception in Celebration of the 74th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
2023-09-26 14:47

On 25 September 2023, the Chinese Embassy in the UK held a reception in celebration of the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Chargé d’Affaires Yang Xiaoguang of the Embassy delivered a speech. The full text of the speech is as follows:

Lord Johnson,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,


Thank you for joining us at tonight’s reception in celebration of the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. On behalf of Ambassador Zheng Zeguang and all my colleagues at the Embassy, I would like to extend a warm welcome to you all, and express our heartfelt thanks to friends from all walks of life who have long cared for and supported the development of China-UK relations.

The past 74 years was just a blink of an eye in history, yet these years was of extraordinary significance for China and the world.

In the past 74 years, China transformed itself from a poor agricultural country into the world's second largest economy, biggest manufacturing country, and top trader of goods.

The average life expectancy in China increased from 35 years to 78.2 years. China has put in place the world's largest medical, education, and social security systems, and is home to the largest number of Internet and mobile phone users in the world.

Scientific and technological progress, as shown in the Quantum Science Experimental Satellite "MoZi", the Tianwen-1 Martian probe, the Tiangong space station, and the new generation of “artificial sun”, testifies to China's self-reliance and strength in science and technology. It has also demonstrated the ability of a growing China to make greater contributions to human civilisation.

In October 2022, the Communist Party of China (CPC) successfully held its 20th National Congress, which set the central task of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernisation.

A grand blueprint for China's future development has been drawn: 

We will solidly promote high-quality development with a people-centered approach.

The Chinese government is committed to implementing the new development philosophy, which emphasises innovative, coordinated, green and open development for all in pursuing high-quality development.

Since the beginning of this year, China's economy has been on an upward trajectory, with strong momentum in innovative and green development, and higher quality and sustainability in growth.

In the first half of this year, in spite of the sluggish global economy and turbulent international situation, China's GDP grew by 5.5% year-on-year, with growth in the second quarter reaching 6.3%. China’s economic performance remains one of the best among the world's major economies.

Despite the overall anemic cross-border investment globally, investment in China from France, the UK, Japan and Germany rose by 173.3%, 135.3%, 53% and 14.2% respectively.

China's total retail sales of consumer goods in August was nearly 3.8 trillion yuan, with a year-on-year growth of 4.6%.

Several authoritative international organisations predict that China's economic growth will exceed 5% this year, and it will contribute one-third of global growth.

China is making 320 million US dollars of direct investment overseas each day and attracting over 3,000 foreign businesses to the country every month.

China enjoys strong momentum for innovative development, a complete industrial and infrastructure system, and evident advantages in new energy vehicles, 5G, photovoltaic power and other industries boasting great tenacity. 

Thanks to all these, the fundamentals of the Chinese economy, characterised by strong resilience, enormous potential and long-term sustainability, remain unchanged. And we have full confidence and ability to achieve steady growth through high-quality development in a long time to come.

We will share new development opportunities with the world through high-level opening up.  

This year marks the 45th anniversary of reform and opening up in China, and our door to the world will only open wider.

A system of "pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list" has been fully established. The manufacturing sector is now fully open. The services sector is being opened in an orderly manner. The number of items in the nationwide negative list for foreign investment has been further reduced.

Earlier this month, President Xi Jinping stated at the Global Trade in Services Summit of 2023 CIFTIS that China will further relax market access in the services sector, open areas such as telecommunications, tourism, legal services, and professional examination wider to the world and steadily expand institutional opening up. This sends a strong signal that China is determined to expand opening-up. 

It is worth mentioning that this year marks the tenth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Over the past ten years, the BRI has achieved all-round and pioneering results and become a vivid example in building a human community with a shared future. 

Belt and Road cooperation has galvanised nearly 1 trillion US dollars of investment globally and created more than 3,000 cooperation projects and 420,000 jobs for partner countries. Nearly 40 million people have been lifted out of poverty thanks to the initiative. It is estimated that by 2030, the BRI will generate 1.6 trillion US dollars in revenue for the world each year. 

Next month, China will hold the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. We welcome active participation of all parties in the forum.

We will contribute Chinese wisdom to the cause of peace and development of mankind with abiding commitment to peaceful development.

China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order.

In the face of multiple crises and challenges around the world, President Xi Jinping has proposed the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilisation Initiative. These initiatives have resonated well with the international community.

On the Ukraine issue, we are committed to promoting peace talks and have actively worked for a political settlement of the crisis.

In the Middle East, under China's mediation, Saudi Arabia and Iran achieved historic reconciliation through dialogue and restored diplomatic relations, ushering in a wave of rapprochement in the region and injecting hard-won, fresh stability into a turbulent world.

Ladies and gentlemen,


Since the beginning of this year, exchanges between China and the UK at various levels have gradually resumed. In May, Vice President Han Zheng, special representative of President Xi Jinping, was invited to attend the coronation ceremony of King Charles III. Not long ago, Premier Li Qiang met with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly paid a successful visit to China. 

A number of Chinese local delegations have come to the UK, and many senior British officials and business delegations have visited China. All in all, exchanges between the two sides have become closer. 

We hope that the UK will work with China in the same direction, to strengthen dialogue and communication, expand mutually beneficial cooperation, properly handle disagreements and differences, and move China-UK relations forward on the right track. To this end, efforts need to be made on the following fronts: 

First, China and the UK should have a correct understanding of each other's development. 

China is not a challenge to the UK, let alone a threat. China's development aims to bring the Chinese people a better life. It is not targeted against anyone, nor does it threaten anyone. Instead, it will only bring opportunities for common development to all countries.

Due to differences in history, national condition and system, it is normal for China and the UK to have different views on some issues. The key is to respect each other, not interfere in each other's internal affairs, and address differences in a constructive manner. I would like to emphasise that issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong are China's internal affairs, and allow no interference from external forces. 

Second, China and the UK should be committed to expanding mutually beneficial cooperation. 

The economies of China and the UK are highly complementary, with great potentials and broad prospects for cooperation. Bilateral trade exceeded 100 billion US dollars for two consecutive years, and the UK’s exports of goods to China increased by 58.7% in 2022.

Since the Covid situation improved, communication, cooperation and personnel exchanges in various fields between the two countries have been resuming at a faster pace. There are currently more than 90 direct flights per week between China and the UK, effectively ensuring personnel exchanges between the two sides. There are more than 200,000 Chinese students studying in the UK, making them the largest group of international students here.

The two sides need to follow the principle of mutual benefit, expand practical cooperation in trade, investment, finance, infrastructure, clean energy, green development and other areas, and deepen friendly exchanges in education, culture, sports, tourism among other fields, so as to bring more benefits to the people of the two countries.

And third, China and the UK should be committed to jointly addressing global challenges. 

We need to enhance communication and coordination on major issues such as world economic recovery, climate change, international public health, and artificial intelligence, and give full play to our respective advantages to help developing countries better cope with diseases, poverty, environmental degradation and other challenges, and better safeguard world peace and promote common development 

Ladies and gentlemen,


As a Chinese saying goes, the flame runs high when everyone adds wood to the fire. The development of China-UK relations will not be possible without the strong support and care from people of insight from all walks of life in both countries.

I hope that all of you here will continue to follow, support and actively participate in China-UK exchanges and cooperation, and contribute to mutual understanding between the two peoples, cooperation between the two countries, and the sound and steady development of China-UK relations.

With that, may I invite you all to join me in a toast,

to the prosperity of the People's Republic of China,

and to the happiness and well-being of people in China and the UK.


Thank you.

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