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Keynote Speech by H.E. Ambassador Zhao Yongchen at the Symposium: China in the Modern World
2019/06/27

China, champion of multilateralism and world order

June 19th, 2019

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Good Morning!

I’m very happy to be invited to today’s symposium. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Grenada, I’d like to express my warmest congratulations on the convening of the symposium and express my sincere thanks to the host, the Grenada China Friendship Association, for its efforts in preparing this event. My special thanks also goes to Mr. Garvey Louison, President of the Association, for his wonderful job during the past years.

As a diplomat, I am often asked the question: “What is the world like today in your eyes”? My answer is always like this: Today’s world is complex and changeable. We are witnessing major changes unfolding in our world, something unseen in a century. Unilateralism, protectionism and populism are rising, while multilateralism and globalization are facing unprecedented impact.

Since it took office in 2017, the current US administration has trumpeted “America First” rhetoric and threatened additional tariffs and other measures and provoked economic and trade friction with China, by disregarding international responsibility, obligations, multilateral trade rules. Facing this, the Chinese government has to take counter measures to defend its national dignity and people’s interests. As the world's largest and second largest economies, the United States and China should have worked together to lead the global economic recovery and development as parallel trains. The United States, however, suddenly was headed off on the wrong track, triggering global panic and economic turmoil. China does not want a trade war, but it is not afraid of one and will fight one if necessary. We hope that the US could give up its attacks, slanders and pressure on China, abandon its policies and strategies that hinder China's development as soon as possible, and cooperate with China to jointly establish a new model of major-country relationship that features no conflict or confrontation and win-win cooperation.

Since its reform and opening up 40 years ago, China has developed from a poor and underdeveloped country to the second largest economy in the world, creating a unique development miracle in the history of human civilization. China's GDP has grown from 364.5 billion yuan in 1978 to 90.03 trillion yuan in 2018, and its GDP per capita has increased from 385 yuan to 64,600 yuan during the same period. Now China is the world's largest trader in goods, largest exporter and importer, and also the largest trading partner for most G20 members. China's economy will shift to high-quality development in the foreseeable next decade. As the world's largest industrial country, China can produce any industrial category listed by the United Nations.

China is the largest emerging power in the world. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China 70 years ago, China has achieved economic and social development, starting from the prosperity in eastern coastal areas to the steady development in the central and western regions. China has 34 provincial-level administrative areas (including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao), more than 660 cities, 2300 counties, dozens of large cities and multiple urban agglomerations. 120 Chinese companies are on the list of the latest Fortune Global 500 list. More than 800 million of the Chinese population have been lifted out of absolute poverty, which accounts for over 70% of the global total in the same period. A basic medical insurance system has been set up to cover the 1.35 billion Chinese people, and a social pension network accessible to over 900 million people is now fully instituted. China has built some 25,000 kilometers of high-speed railway. This accounts for two thirds of the global total and helps elevate global infrastructure construction.

China has also scored great progress in science and technology. Almost all contemporary high-tech projects are available in China, and some of them, such as quantum technology, robotics technology and shipbuilding technology, stand at the forefront of the world. In 2017, China spent 1.76 trillion yuan in R&D, second only to the US. The number of invention patents ranks the highest in the world every year. The number of patent applications reached 1.382 million, ranking No. 1 in the world for the seventh consecutive year. China's science and technology innovation has become a great driving force for China's development. This kind of achievement is not from China’s theft, nor is it from forcing foreign companies to transfer technology, but the result of self-reliance and hard work by thousands of Chinese scientists. The fallacy that slanders China’s theft of intellectual property is totally groundless.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Some countries are very uneasy with a rising China and even terrified at the rapid development of China's science and technology. They take further moves to suppress and contain China's development so as to maintain their hegemonic status. Some extreme anti-China forces have set off rounds of attacks against China, fabricating strange rhetoric that China and the United States are engaged in the "new cold war." I can tell you clearly that the new cold war will not come.

First, peaceful development and win-win cooperation is the mainstream of today’s world. It is also the global trend for peaceful development and cooperation rather than war and confrontation. Any retrogression against the history tendency is doomed to fail.

Second, the world today does not embody the general conditions for a new cold war. When the Cold War occurred in the last century, the two superpowers, United States and the Soviet Union, had independent political and economic systems, and there were no interdependence on each other. The ideology of the two camps are severely departed. They competed for scale of influence for ruling position, constantly creating hot issues and undermining international peace and stability. Today, the Chinese and US economy are highly interdependent and share a wide range of common interests. The interests of the two countries are intertwined, which cannot be separated. China is not willing to engage in confrontation with the United States, let alone engage in an arms race. Since its founding in 1949, China has never taken the initiative to launch wars and invade other countries. A palm cannot slap, so the absurd theory of the China-US Cold War is simply untenable.

Third, China is firmly opposed of the new cold war. China has been repeatedly advocating building a new type of relationship between major powers. History and reality have proved that the times have changed and normal relations with China are in the interest of the US people. I believe that the US people will not fall in the trap of US-China new cold war. Most of the US allies and friends are also China's trading partners, and they will not tie themselves to the new cold war chariot. Faced with the unilateral provocation of the United States, China’s standpoint remains consistent that cooperation is the only correct choice for China-US relations. We insist on non-confrontation, non-conflict, mutual respect, cooperation and mutual benefit, and always leave the door to negotiations open. China is well aware that the new cold war must be a worldwide disaster. We will not let the world fall into the "new cold war" turmoil.

Hereby, I would like to draw your kind attention to the following three points.

China has always been a promoter of world peace. In the new era, China has been unswervingly following the path of peaceful development and safeguarding the international and regional security. China resolutely opposes wars, nor use of force or threat to use it to settle international disputes and hotspot issues. China resolutely opposes hegemony, colonialism, racism, and safeguards the basic human rights and values of each country, such as the rights to survival, development and equality. China resolutely opposes terrorism, extremism, and safeguards the civilization of human beings. China advocates the equality, diversity and mutual tolerance of all civilizations, and opposes conflicts between civilizations. China champions a new vision of security featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, so as to address traditional and non-traditional security threats in a coordinated manner, in order to ensure that security is upheld and shared by all. Committed to a political settlement of regional and international hotspot issues, China is playing a constructive role in bridging differences and promoting dialogues for peace. Whether it is the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula or the Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria issues, China has always advocated that all parties resolve their differences through peaceful means.

China has always been a contributor to global development. With a population of 1.4 billion, China has maintained rapid economic development for a long time and become an important engine for the world economy. China's development brings development and prosperity to the world. China is the largest import and export trading partner of more than 130 countries as well as the largest market in the world. More than 100 countries and international organizations have actively supported and taken part in the Belt and Road Initiative which was put forth 6 years ago, and a great number of flagship projects have been launched. The “Belt and Road” has gradually become an open and inclusive platform for international cooperation and public goods for the global community. China's development aid and South-South cooperation have provided tremendous assistance and support to the development of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean, which greatly promoted the economic and social progress of developing countries.

China is an upholder of international order. We believe that multilateralism is an effective way to maintain world peace and promote global development. China firmly upholds the international multilateral system with the UN at its core, firmly sticks to the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, safeguards the new international political and economic order, and promotes the development of the international system in a more just and rational direction. China follows the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in engaging in global governance. China actively promotes economic globalization, opposes trade protectionism and unilateralism, insists on resolving trade disputes through discussion and negotiation, and opposes trade bullying and the use of extreme pressures like imposing tariffs to resolve trade disputes.

At present, the international community has come to a new crossroad: cooperation or opposition, openness or closure, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation or beggaring the neighbor. The options that lead to completely different destinations are right at our feet. The answer is obvious: Opposition and closure are dead ends with no way out. Only openness and cooperation can enable different countries to benefit each other, achieve common prosperity and sustainable development. We believe that competitions among countries should abide by the general principles and rules of international law, abide by fairness and justice, abide by equality and mutual benefit. As a major and responsible country, China is always willing to follow the tide of history, work with the international community to address global challenges, safeguard multilateralism, adhere to free trade, and promote building an open world economy.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

With the joint efforts of China and Grenada, the past years have witnessed continuous improvement of the level of mutual political trust, fruitful results of mutually beneficial cooperation, the increasing people-to-people exchanges and closer cooperation on major international and regional issues between our two governments and peoples. The China-Grenada relationship has come to its best period of history. We have signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the framework of "Belt&Road". The two sides jointly held the China-Caribbean Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Cooperation Conference and made great contributions to promoting the fight against corruption in China and the Caribbean countries. In terms of economic cooperation, the second phase of China aided low-income housing has fully started, and maintenance job for Phase I has been launched. Agricultural project experts have spared no effort to promote planting technology. The successful visit by the “Ark Peace ” Hospital Ship brought health, peace and friendship to the tri-island. China has so far provided scholarships and free human resources training to nearly one percent of the population of Grenada, making a positive contribution to the social development of the country. Similar dreams and shared destiny have brought the Chinese and Grenadian people together. It is thus our shared mission to join hands and bring our mutually beneficial cooperation to greater fruition as well as to jointly promote trade facilitation, economic globalization, as well as to promote the building of a shared community for mankind. By doing so, we believe we will surely make due contribution in promoting continues prosperity and development in Latin America and the Caribbean region.

Finally, I wish this Symposium a complete success.

Thank you!

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