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The Chinese Embassy in the UK Holds Online Reception Celebrating the 73rd Anniversary of the People's Republic of China
2022-09-28 19:54

On September 27, 2022, the Chinese Embassy in the UK held an online reception to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Chinese Ambassador to the UK Zheng Zeguang delivered a speech entitled "Charge Ahead to Open a New Chapter", and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Gillian Keegan delivered a video message.

Nearly 600 guests attended the event online, including a number of members from both Houses of Parliament, officials of the British government and heads of several local governments, heads of friendship associations in the UK, heads of British business communities and companies, heads of leading UK universities and some educational and cultural institutions, heads of mainstream media, representatives of international organizations in the UK, members of the London diplomatic corps, representatives of overseas Chinese communities, Chinese organizations and Chinese students in the UK, the Chinese Consul-General in Manchester Zheng Xiyuan, the Chinese Consul-General in Belfast Zhang Meifang, the Acting Chinese Consul-General in Edinburgh Hou Danna, and the Director-General of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London Law Sun-on.

The reception started with the majestic melody of the Chinese National Anthem “March of the Volunteers”. Ambassador Zheng opened his speech by pointing out that since the founding of the People’s Republic of China 73 years ago, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people, through their strenuous efforts, have completely changed the poverty and backwardness of old China which was also subjected to foreign aggression. The country has achieved two miracles rarely seen in world history, namely, rapid economic development and long-term social stability. It is making a historic leap from standing up and growing rich to becoming strong. In the past 10 years, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core has led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to overcome difficulties and forge ahead. Historic achievements and transformation have been made in the cause of the Party and the country. China has attained the first Centenary Goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all dimensions, and is striving towards the second Centenary Goal of building a great modern socialist country in all respects.

Ambassador Zheng said that China follows a people-centered development philosophy. The country has eradicated absolute poverty, achieved a comprehensive victory in poverty alleviation and realized a comprehensive improvement in people’s lives. China is fully committed to innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development. It has achieved remarkable results in promoting high-quality growth and building a new development paradigm. China has witnessed rapidly growing composite strength in scientific and technological innovation, with over 12% average annual growth rate in R&D funding, the highest number of international patent applications in the world, and breakthroughs in a large number of core technologies. China has taken solid steps towards carbon peaking before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060, making earnest efforts to tackle climate change and protect biodiversity. It has become the world’s largest renewable energy market and equipment manufacturer, and accounts for a quarter of the world’s afforestation. “China is committed to expanding its opening to the outside world. We have become a major trading partner of more than 130 countries and regions. Our contribution to world economic growth has remained at around 30% for many years. We will open even wider to the outside world,” added the Ambassador.

Ambassador Zheng noted that since the beginning of this year, China has made parallel progress in COVID-19 prevention & control, and economic & social development, maintaining the world’s lowest infection rate and fatality rate, and effectively safeguarding the health and safety of more than 1.4 billion Chinese people. Facing the increasing risk of stagflation and volatility in several major economies, China’s economy grew in the first half of this year by 2.5% year-on-year, with the consumer price index at only 1.7% and the actual use of foreign capital up by 17.4%. The long-term positive growth trend of China’s economy remains unchanged.

Ambassador Zheng also mentioned that China is committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind. The country has all along upheld peace, development, openness, cooperation, solidarity and equity, and opposed war, poverty, exclusion, confrontation, division, and bullying. China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order, a provider of public goods, and a mediator on hot-spot issues. China’s Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping have been widely welcomed and supported by the international community.

Ambassador Zheng emphasized that China has always championed that state-to-state relations must be based on the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, equality and mutual benefit, and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. There is but one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory. The Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. The one-China principle is the political foundation and important prerequisite for any country in establishing and developing diplomatic relations with China. This principle must be earnestly followed. China will continue to endeavor to achieve peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity and efforts. But China will combat “Taiwan independence” separatist activities with resolve and do whatever it takes to repulse any external interference. “Issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong are, in essence, nothing about democracy or freedom, but everything about China’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. While respecting the internal affairs of other countries, we will never accept any meddling in China’s internal affairs from outside forces,” said Ambassador Zheng.

Ambassador Zheng said this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level between China and the UK. China-UK cooperation serves the fundamental interests of both peoples and is conducive to world peace, stability and development; at the same time, only by adhering to the principles of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, can China-UK relations continue to make healthy and steady progress. As China-UK relations stand at a critical juncture, Ambassador Zheng expressed his hope that the British side will work with the Chinese side in the same direction, stay committed to dialogue and cooperation, and remove disturbances and obstacles, so as to promote a long-term stability of the bilateral relationship.

To close his speech, Ambassador Zheng pointed out that the 20th National Congress of the CPC will be convened in Beijing next month. Fully embodying the aspirations of the Chinese people, this Congress will make plans and establish the goals for China’s development in the coming five years and beyond. China will set out to realize the great rejuvenation of the nation through modernization with Chinese characteristics, and it will bring new opportunities for the world through its new development. Standing at this new historic starting point, China in the new era is embracing a bright future. China is ready to work with people of vision in the UK to strengthen the bridge of bilateral exchanges and preserve the foundation of cooperation, so that more benefits can be created for the peoples of both countries.

On behalf of the British government, Gillian Keegan congratulated on the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and thanked President Xi Jinping for his condolence message on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the visit by Vice President Wang Qishan as President Xi's special representative to attend the State Funeral. She said that as two permanent members of the UN Security Council with global reach, both the UK and China have special responsibilities as stewards of the international system. In the 50 years since the two countries exchanged ambassadors in 1972, the relationship has grown steadily, not least with the development of education, people-to-people and cultural ties. The UK side looks forward to continuing to communicate frankly and constructively with China and work together to overcome the shared challenges in areas including climate change, the environment and global health.

Guests at the reception sent their best wishes for the 73rd birthday of the People’s Republic of China, spoke highly of its great achievements under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, wished the country even greater success in the new era, and looked forward to continuing to enhance China-UK friendship and promoting exchanges and cooperation in various fields.

At the reception, videos of “The Highlights of Chinese Cities”and “Remarkable Achievements of China’s Development and China-Europe Cooperation in 2022” were played, showing the unique scenery and charm of Chinese cities, the great achievements of China’s economic and social development and the fruitful results of the practical cooperation between China and Europe. Chinese and British artists put on performances of “Tambourin Chinois”, “The Impression of Tang Dynasty” , “Xinjiang Fantasy” and “China, My Love”, to the great delight of the guests. The reception came to a successful end with the sincere and warm blessings from the representatives of overseas Chinese communities, Chinese students, Chinese institutions in the UK and Chinese language students.

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