Video & Audio
  Former Ambassadors
  An Extraordinary Decade of China in the New Era
  Xinjiang is a wonderful land
  Reading China
  2022 Beijing Winter Olympics & Paralympics
  Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Liberation Army
Embassy Information
  Embassy Events
  Tour the Embassy
  Office Hours and Address
Consulate-General in the UK


Chinese Embassy in UK WeChat

Chinese Embassy in UK
HOME > Ambassador's Events & Remarks
Ambassador Zheng Zeguang Attends the Fifth China-UK Economic and Trade Forum and Shares with the Audience the Significance of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
2022-11-03 08:37

On 2 November, Chinese Ambassador to the UK Zheng Zeguang attended the Fifth China-UK Economic and Trade Forum and delivered a keynote speech on the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China entitled “New Journey and New Opportunities: China and the World”. The Forum was hosted by the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK (CCCUK) and supported by organizations including the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), the 48 Group Club, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the City of London Corporation, the British Chamber of Commerce in China (BCCC), the Great Britain-China Centre (GBCC), and the Institute of Directors (IOD).

Mr Fang Wenjian, Chairman of CCCUK, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Chair of CBBC, and Mr Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club, along with over 300 representatives from British political, business, academic and other sectors were present at the Forum. About 20 media organisations covered Ambassador Zheng Zeguang’s speech and the Forum.

The full text of Ambassador Zheng Zeguang’s keynote speech is as follows:

Chairman Fang Wenjian,

Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles,

Mr Stephen Perry,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is my great pleasure to attend the Fifth China-UK Economic and Trade Forum. Thank you very much for your invitation. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, I wish to express our congratulations to the Forum.

I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK (CCCUK), the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), the 48 Group Club, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the City of London Corporation, the British Chamber of Commerce in China (BCCC), the Great Britain-China Centre (GBCC), the Institute of Directors (IOD) , as well as guests from various sectors who have worked hard to promote China-UK cooperation over the years.

The world has entered a period of turbulence and changes. The historical trends of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit is unstoppable. In the meantime, human society faces unprecedented challenges. How can we properly respond to changes in the world? This is an urgent question facing all countries.

Our host of the forum has asked me to talk about the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. I am more than happy to do it, as it will help you better understand the CPC, and grasp the trend of China’s future development.

The 20th CPC National Congress is indeed a very important meeting convened at a critical time as China embarks on a new journey to build a modern socialist country in all respects and advances towards the Second Centenary Goal.

It is a Congress of holding high the banner, pooling strength and forging ahead in unity. The most important achievement of the Congress is the election of a new central leadership with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. The election has carried forward and practiced democracy throughout its process, and its outcome reflects the consensus of the entire Party and the people of the whole country.

General Secretary Xi Jinping’s report to the Congress is a political declaration and a programme of action for the Party to rally all the Chinese people and lead them in achieving new success of building socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. It is also an important source for people from other countries to gain a correct understanding of China’s future development.

Today, I would like to highlight five key phrases which I think can best capture the essence of the Congress.

First, great transformation in the new era.

The Congress has given a comprehensive review of the Party’s work in the past five years and the great achievements in the past decade. It pointed out that in the five years since the 19th CPC National Congress, a period that has been truly momentous and extraordinary, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has pursued a strategy of national rejuvenation amid global changes of a magnitude not seen in a century. The CPC has led the people in solving a great number of problems that had long gone unsolved, secured many accomplishments that hold great significance for the future, and achieved impressive advances in the cause of the Party and the country.

It has been stressed at the Congress that the past 10 years marked three major events of profound historical significance: we embraced the centenary of the Party; we ushered in a new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and we eradicated absolute poverty and finished building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, thus completing the First Centenary Goal.

The Congress has also summarised 16 aspects of the great achievements in the past decade. These are historic feats of fundamental significance made on all fronts, feats that have brought tangible benefits to the Chinese people, and feats that have astonished the world.

Let me give you some examples:

We have lifted nearly 100 million rural residents out of poverty.

China’s GDP increased from 53.9 trillion yuan to 114.4 trillion yuan, and its share in the world economy rose from 11.3 percent to 18.5 percent. Its per capita GDP has expanded from 39,800 yuan to 81,000 yuan.

China ranks first in the world in terms of grain output and people’s life expectancy has reached 78.2 years. China is the world’s largest manufacturing country and biggest commodity trading country.

The Chinese people now enjoy skies that are bluer, waters that are clearer and lands that are cleaner.

The great transformation over the past 10 years of the new era marks a milestone in the history of the Party, of the People’s Republic of China, of reform and opening up, of the development of socialism, and of the development of the Chinese nation.

The CPC has tempered itself through revolution and grown stronger. The Chinese people are filled with a stronger sense of history and initiative. The rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is now on an irreversible historical course. And scientific socialism is brimming with renewed vitality in 21st-century China.

Second, the key to China’s success.

The whole Party and all the Chinese people have reached the common understanding that, at a fundamental level, we owe China’s great achievements in the new era to the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and to the sound guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

History fully shows that the success of a country and a political party needs a strong leadership core as well as the guidance of well-conceived theories.

General Secretary Xi Jinping has been the core of the Party Central Committee and the whole party. The election of Comrade Xi Jinping as the General Secretary of the new Central Committee at the first plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Committee once again reflects the common will and aspiration of the whole Party, the military, and the Chinese people.

Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is Marxism of contemporary China and of the 21st century. It embodies the best of Chinese culture and ethos of this era.

The report pointed out that we must integrate the basic tenets of Marxism with China’s specific realities and fine traditional culture. It laid out the important principles we must adhere to over the long term, that is: we must put the people first; we must maintain self-confidence and stand on our own feet; we must uphold fundamental principles and break new ground; we must adopt a problem-oriented approach; we must apply systems thinking; and we must maintain a global vision.

As we advance the cause of the Party and the country in the new era, the establishment of Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position in the leadership and of the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is of decisive significance.

Third, objectives for the future and Chinese modernisation.

The Congress has noted that, from this day forward, the central task of the Communist Party of China will be to lead all Chinese people in a concerted effort to realise the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects, and to advance national rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernisation.

To this end, we have adopted a two-step strategic plan:

- step one, to basically realise socialist modernization from 2020 through 2035; 

- step two, to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful from 2035 through the middle of this century.

The next five years will be crucial for getting our efforts to build a modern socialist country in all respects off to a good start. Major objectives and tasks for this period include the following:

- Make breakthroughs in promoting high-quality economic development;

- Make new strides in reform and opening up;

- Further enhance the institutions, standards, and procedures of whole-process people’s democracy;

- Enrich the intellectual and cultural lives of our people;

- Ensure personal income grows basically in step with economic growth;

- Substantially improve urban and rural living environments;

- Further consolidate national security;

- Further increase China’s international standing and influence; enable China to play a greater role in global governance.

The report has made it clear that China will follow a Chinese path to modernisation in realising the Second Centenary Goal. It points out that Chinese modernisation shares some similarities with other countries. In the meantime, it has distinctive features of its own. To better understand Chinese modernisation, one needs to understand the following essential points.

- First, China has a population of over 1.4 billion, a number that is larger than that of developed countries combined. It is not difficult to image just how arduous and complex it is to achieve the modernisation of such a huge population. For this reason, we must take steady and incremental steps in advancing China’s modernisation.

- Second, China strives to achieve common prosperity for all.  We will work to prevent polarization.

- Third, China pursues both material and cultural-ethical advancement. And cultural impoverishment is not socialism.

- Fourth, China promotes harmony between humanity and nature. We pursue green and sustainable development and will work to avoid ecological degradation.

- And fifth, China is committed to peaceful development. We will never tread the old path of war, colonisation and plunder taken by some developed countries for the purpose of modernisation.

There are 193 UN members, but only more than 30 are developed ones. How can developing countries achieve modernisation? This is a hugely important question of our times. China’s experience in practice has proven that every country must choose its own path based on its national realities. We cannot simply copy and paste. It won’t work.

By any standard, the Chinese path to modernisation is a great contribution to human progress and provides a new option for human modernisation. It will lead the way for the healthy development of economic globalization and have a far-reaching impact on world peace and development.

Fourth, high-quality development.

The Congress has made overall strategic plans for the work of the Party and the country on the new journey, covering among others, economic development, science and technology, education, human resources, whole-process people’s democracy, law-based governance on all fronts, cultural development, people’s wellbeing, ecological development, national security, defense and the military, national reunification, foreign policy and party building.

The Congress highlights that to build a modern socialist country in all respects, we must, first and foremost, pursue high-quality development. Development remains the Party’s top priority in governing and rejuvenating the country.

It is important that we fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, continue reforms to develop the socialist market economy, promote high-standard opening up, and accelerate efforts to foster a new pattern of development that is focused on the domestic economy and features positive interplay between domestic and international economic flows.

We will make sure that our implementation of the strategy to expand domestic demand is integrated with deepening supply-side structural reform. We will move faster to build a modernised economy, raise productivity, and make China’s industrial and supply chains more resilient and secure. We will promote integrated urban-rural development and coordinated regional development, so as to upgrade and expand China’s economic output.

The report reiterates that we must unswervingly consolidate and develop the public sector and unswervingly encourage, support, and guide the development of the non-public sector. We will see to it that the market plays the decisive role in resource allocation and that the government better plays its role. These principles have been highly stable and consistent.

Fifth, peace and cooperation.

The Congress has pointed the way forward for China’s foreign policy on the new journey, stressing that China will continue to follow the path of peaceful development and uphold openness and cooperation.

One of the major principles of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is that we must maintain a global vision.

The Communist Party of China is dedicated to pursuing happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. It is also dedicated to promoting human progress and world harmony.

This is what we have said and what we have been doing. Over the past 10 years, China has followed major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics on all fronts and played an unprecedented, positive role in upholding world peace and common development.

Here, I would like to share with you some examples:

--China has become a major trading partner for more than 140 countries and regions. It is a major destination for global investment and a leading country in outbound investment.

--China has sent more peacekeepers than any other permanent member of the UN Security Council.

--According to a latest World Bank report, between 2013 and 2021, China has contributed an average of 38.6% of global economic growth, more than that of the G7 countries combined.

--The Belt and Road Initiative has attracted the active participation of more than 180 countries and international organizations and brought great benefits to people along the routes.

--Since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, we have provided over 2.2 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations.

On the new journey, China will remain dedicated to peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit. We will continue to promote world peace and common development and build a human community with a shared future.

We will continue to follow an independent foreign policy of peace, uphold basic norms of international relations, and defend international fairness and justice.

We will continue to develop friendship and cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and broaden the convergence of interests with other countries.

We will continue to implement the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative and promote high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

We will continue to uphold humanity’s common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom and actively participate in the reform and development of the global governance system.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

What does the 20th National Congress mean for China’s relations with Europe and the UK? I would say: it means new opportunities and new energy.

Against the backdrop of global instability and uncertainty, China and Europe, as two major forces in the world, should uphold dialogue and cooperation and oppose division and confrontation. We should strive for mutual benefits and reject decoupling and disruption of industrial and supply chains. And we should champion multilateralism and resist unilateralism. There are upcoming high-level visits to Beijing by European leaders. I believe that by working together, China and Europe can provide more positive energy for the world.

The China-UK relationship is one of great importance. As a matter of act, this year, we are marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level.

Over the past 50 years, China and the UK have had close exchanges and cooperation in many areas and made a lot of achievements. Facts have proven these cooperation are mutually beneficial.

In spite of the surging pandemic and sluggish global economy, China-UK business ties have continued to grow. In the first half of this year, two-way commodity trade exceeded 50 billion US dollars; by last August, two-way investment stock reached 50.4 billion US dollars. This speaks volumes about the resilience and complimentarity of our relations. It also testifies to the strength and dynamism of Chinese and UK companies.

Going forward, there is a lot that can be done in practical cooperation between China and the UK. The two countries are well positioned to enhance exchanges and cooperation in trade, investment, new energy, finance, education, culture, climate response and many other areas.

China is the second largest economy with a huge market, and the most comprehensive industrial chain. More importantly, China has a strong leadership which provides predictable, consistent and credible policies. China’s development will provide enduring positive energy into world development.

In responding to Covid-19, China has put the people and their lives above all else. With a dynamic zero-Covid policy, we have made quick responses with targeted measures. We have protected the people’s health and safety to the greatest extent possible and maintained sustained and stable economic and social development. We are confident that the dawn of victory is just ahead of us.  

Last May, China launched a package of polices to stabilise the economy and put forward 33 measures on six fronts including in the financial sector. These policy measures have pushed China’s economy back on the normal course and kept its major economic indicators within the appropriate range.

The Chinese economy has great resilience, potential and latitude. Its strong fundamentals will not change, and it will remain on a positive trajectory over the long run.

China is committed to its fundamental policy of opening to the outside world and pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. We will promote high-standard opening up, steadily expand institutional opening up with regard to rules, regulations, management, and standards and work to create a market-oriented, world-class business environment governed by a sound legal framework.

Shortly after the closing of the Party Congress, China announced 15 policy measures to expand foreign capital and stabilise the FDI in the country and issued the 2022 version of the catalogue of encouraged foreign investment industries. China’s high-quality development and high-standard opening up will provide a sustained drive for global economic recovery.

China welcomes more quality products and services from the UK. We will continue to provide facilitation to British businesses in pursuing cooperation in China, and hope that the UK will follow the principle of free trade and WTO rules, and work to maintain a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese businesses in the UK.

For the UK, China represents the future and opportunities. To view China as a threat is to lose touch with the reality and to decouple from the future. The UK now has a new government. It is hoped that the UK side will work with the Chinese side in the same direction, uphold dialogue and cooperation, follow the principles of mutual respect, openness and inclusiveness, focus on cooperation, and properly manage differences. This is the right way to keep the China-UK relationship growing on the right track.

The business communities of both countries have been an important and reliable positive force in China-UK relations. I hope that you will take this forum as an opportunity to contribute your insight and strength to stronger practical cooperation in business and other areas between our two countries. Your contribution will go a long way to create more highlights of bilateral cooperation, and your efforts to promote the steady and sustained growth of China-UK relations will bring greater benefits to the two peoples.

To conclude, I wish this forum a full success!

Thank you.

Suggest to a Friend
Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland All Rights Reserved