27 May 2016
Dear friends from the media,
One of the important missions of China's diplomacy is to serve domestic development. To do this, we need to help various provinces, regions and municipalities in China to open up and reach out for mutually beneficial cooperation. This is why the Foreign Ministry has designed this new platform to present Chinese provinces, regions and municipalities to the world. This particular platform enables diplomatic envoys posted in China from around the world to directly engage and have face-to-face exchange with different parts of the country without having to leave Beijing.
Our first event featured Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. That day was like the Day of Ningxia when it impressed all of us with its awe-inspiring scenery, rich history, significant development and promising future. Two months after that event, the various cooperation programs agreed upon then are all being followed upon smoothly. Today, we are presenting to you Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China's southwest border area. We are delighted to have with us Mr. Peng Qinghua, Secretary of the CPC Guangxi Committee, and Mr. Chen Wu, Governor of Guangxi. Let's give them a big hand. Guangxi is highly committed to this event as it has sent senior officials from all departments of its provincial government and 14 mayors. Also, on behalf of the Foreign Ministry, I take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to the diplomatic envoys and distinguished guests for your presence.
In its journey of reform and opening-up, China has been developing itself through integration into the world while contributing to shared prosperity with all countries with its own development. This is epitomized by the success of Guangxi.
Thirty years ago, what the name Guangxi immediately evokes was the breathtaking mountains and rivers in Guilin. The saying that Guilin scenery is peerless in the world was widely known. And many got to know about Guangxi through Guilin. But in those days, poor transportation and lack of development in China made visiting Guilin a luxury.
Over a decade ago, the name Guangxi conjures the image of China-ASEAN Expo. In 2002, China and ASEAN officially started building the free trade area based on the fist FTA agreement China has ever signed. In 2010, China-ASEAN Free Trade Area materialized. Seizing such an important opportunity, Guangxi launched the China-ASEAN Expo and from there started to open up at a faster pace. It established close cooperative relations with Southeast Asian nations for mutual benefit and extended its reach to all corners of the world. Now, Guangxi enjoys friendly exchanges and business ties with over 150 countries, making it an important window for opening up in China's southeast border areas.
Today in 2016, the name Guangxi immediately reminds people of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, an important initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping during his visit to Southeast Asia three years ago. As early as 2,000 years ago, Guangxi was already serving as one of China's oldest ports and points of departure of the ancient maritime silk road. Today if you look at the map, you can see Guangxi remains one of the important departure points and indispensable part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. To the west, the modern maritime silk road connects Guangxi with distant destinations; to the south, railways and roads brings Guangxi and Indo-China Peninsula together into one big corridor running through the peninsula; to the north, land routes stretching across western China extends Guangxi's reach all the way to the heartland of the Eurasian Continent and even Europe.
President Xi Jinping has called for Guangxi to build itself into an international passage to ASEAN, a strategic pivot for the opening-up and development of southwest, central and southern China and a crucial window connecting the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. We are confident that with the concerted efforts of the people of various ethnicities, Guangxi, as President Xi envisioned, will take off on the two strong wings of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and soar high in the new century. At the same time, Guangxi will have more robust cooperation with countries within and beyond the region and contribute more to the common development and prosperity of all countries.
Today we are here celebrating Guangxi. The Lanting Forum provides the stage, and Guangxi is the real star. This stage belongs to Guangxi. Through this event, I hope all the diplomatic envoys and distinguished guests present here will turn your eyes to and support Guangxi. I also encourage you to develop closer relations and explore broader cooperation with Guangxi. With that, let me give the floor to Mr. Peng Qinghua, Secretary of CPC Guangxi Committee.