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Remarks at the 5th Annual Israel-China Conference By Amb.Zhan Yongxin

(From Chinese Embassy in Israel)


On November 13th,2019, Ambassador Zhan Yongxin attended the 5th Annual Israel-China Conference held by Institute for National Security Studies of Israel and delivered a remarks. The full text is as follows:

Brigadier General Udi Dekel, Managing Director of INSS,
Ambassador Yang Yanyi, member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference,
Mr. Gilad Cohen, DDG for Asia and the Pacific, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Boker tov! (Good morning!)

I am delighted to attend the 5th Annual Israel-China Conference. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Israel, let me extend our gratitude to INSS for the invitation and thoughtful arrangements.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. In the last seven decades, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, China has achieved a tremendous transformation from standing up, growing rich to becoming strong. Some friends may ask what China's development brings to the world? Opportunities or challenges? Stability or turbulence? Peace or conflict? Here I wish to share some of my observations.

First, China brings opportunity. According to the IMF, China contributed as much as 34 percent to global GDP growth between 2009 and 2018. As the 1.4 billion Chinese people moving up the income ladder, the world will see more opportunities in China's market, investment and cooperation. In the next 15 years, China will import 30 trillion US dollars of goods and 10 trillion US dollars of services. We want everyone to have a share in this cake of 40-trillion-US-dollars.

Second, China brings stability. Providing peace, security and a happy life for all the Chinese people, or one fifths of the world's population, is in itself a major contribution by China to world peace and stability. During the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the international financial crisis in 2008, China played a pivotal role in helping prevent another Great Depression. Estimates show that without China, the fluctuation intensity of world economy would have increased by 5.2 percent.

Today, as the world economy is beset by uncertainties and downward pressure, the Chinese economy continues to enjoy overall stability with good progress. In the first three quarters of this year, it has sustained a growth rate of 6.2 percent, leading most of the world's major economies. Indeed, China's development has been a source of certainty and stability in a changing world.

Third, China brings peace. For the past 70 years after the founding of the People's Republic, China has been committed to the path of peaceful development. We have never provoked a war, or taken an inch of others' land. Since reform and opening up in 1978, China has cut its armed forces by over 4 million. China has been an active participant of international arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation, and has become the largest peace-keeping personnel contributor among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Last year, China enshrined in its Constitution "adherence to the path of peaceful development", which shows its determination to preserve world peace.

President Xi Jinping has made it clear once and again that China will adhere to it's fundamental state policy of reform and opening-up. China's door will never be closed. It will only open still wider. Two weeks ago, the fourth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of CPC was concluded, declaring China will make greater efforts to modernize it's system and capacity for governance.

Looking forward, I have faith in the bright prospects of China's development, which will bring more benefits to all mankind.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Admittedly, we are not living in the Garden of Eden. There are both cooperation and competition among different countries. But we believe, win-win cooperation bring more benefits to all, zero-sum game makes no winner. In response to the current situation, I would like to stress three points as follows:

First, we should not regard competition as a threat. Competition between countries is normal and should be allowed. We Chinese never think competition is a bad thing. Competition and cooperation are like "Yin" and "Yang" in Chinese tradition. They are the two aspects of one thing, interdependent and inter-convertible under certain conditions.

Nowadays, China is also faced with competition. Some jobs are leaving China to other countries for cheaper labor force. However, we never regard these countries as threats, instead we focus on upgrading our own development.

It's like in a racing game. When other racers are catching up, what you need to do is running faster, not to elbow out your fellow competitors. Those who treat peaceful competition as a threat and use unfair means to contain others will be despised by the international community.

Dear friends, today, China's economy is deeply integrated with the world. It is both unrealistic and harmful to regard China's growth as a "threat" or "challenge", and try to "detach" China from the world economy, or even squeeze China out of the global industrial chain.

Second, we should not have prejudices against others. Today, certain people are sparing no efforts to smear China's image around the world.

They hype up "China collapse theories", disregarding the fact that foreign investors have established nearly one million businesses in China and gained immeasurable profits.

They slander China's system, disregarding the fact that polls by multiple foreign institutions show that China's system enjoys the highest domestic support rate among all the countries surveyed.

They fabricate that China's investment overseas brings security risk, disregarding the fact that Chinese companies are doing business in accordance with market principles and bringing jobs and tangible benefits to local people.

These fallacies and rumors, invented and spread by certain people, are all out of prejudices against China's system, culture and race. They are nothing but a contemporary version of "Yellow Peril".

Dear friends, the world is beautiful because of its diversity. And there is no such thing as "the end of history". Prejudice will only give rise to bias and discrimination. I believe that Israeli friends can feel our feeling well and are wise enough to tell right from wrong.

Third, it is not China's logic that "a strong country is bound to seek hegemony" . It is true that in the past, some countries that grew strong have sought hegemony, but this is not a historical law. In Chinese language, the word "Baquan", which means hegemony, is a derogatory word.

For the past 4000 years, China used to be one of the strongest countries for a long time, but has never established any colony overseas. In the early 15th century, Zheng He, the famous Chinese navigator of the Ming Dynasty, led the biggest fleet in the world to the Pacific and west Indian Oceans on seven expeditions, reaching as far as Africa, but did not occupy a single inch of land of other countries.

For the past 70 years, China's successes have been achieved through hard work, wisdom, courage and even sacrifice, rather than colonization, or pillage. Through its own development, China aims to win dignity, security and a better life for its people, rather than seek hegemony.

Dear friends, both Chinese and Jewish people have a long history, and witnessed rise and fall of superpowers. The lesson we can draw from the history is that, power politics can neither sustained hegemony nor guarantee absolute advantages of one country. Only if you give consideration to the interests of other countries while pursuing your own, can you achieve sustainable development.

With these three points, I believe all people without bias will come to the conclusion that, China means opportunities, not challenges.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China attaches importance to the Middle East. We will continue to be the force of peace, development, and friendship. Israel is an important country in the region. We stand ready to work with Israeli friends to deepen our cooperation and promote the Innovative Comprehensive Partnership for more progress.

In conclusion, I wish the Conference a great success and contributes more wisdom to our bilateral relations as well as the relations between China and the world.

Thank you!

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