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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Reception in Celebration of the Chinese New Year: Build a Big Global Family Together

(From Chinese Embassy in UK)

2020/01/18

(Chinese Embassy in the UK, 17 January 2020)

My Lords,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends:

Good evening, and welcome to the Chinese Embassy!

Today is the 23rd day of the last month of the Year of the Pig. According to tradition, today is known as "Xiao Nian", or "Minor Chinese New Year". This is the day to start all the Chinese New Year preparations.

It is a real delight to have you, my British friends from all walks of life, with us on this auspicious day to say goodbye to the Year of the Pig and celebrate the Year of the Rat.

As the first of the 12 zodiac animals, rat symbolises tenacity, shrewdness, cleverness and vitality. With these auspicious promises, I wish all the friends present today a happy and prosperous Year of the Rat!

The year 2019 was a fruitful year and a year of greater sense of gains, happiness and security for the Chinese people. More than 2,000 years ago, a Chinese sage taught us, "The root of the world is in the state, and the root of the state is in the family. So a happy family brings prosperity." Better life for tens of thousands of Chinese families has been the persistent pursuit of the Chinese Government. In 2019, great success has been achieved in this aspect.

First, high-quality economic growth provided Chinese families with a greater sense of gains.

As socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era, China's economy is shifting from high-speed growth to high-quality growth. In the past year, China

remained committed to the new development concept,

deepened supply-side structural reform,

promoted industrial transformation and upgrading,

advanced industrialisation, IT application, urbanisation and agricultural modernisation,

pursued innovation-driven development,

and built an open economy at a higher level.

In 2019, China's GDP exceeded $14 trillion, and per capita GDP is expected to reach a new high of $10,000. More than 13 million jobs were created. These have helped meet people's growing needs for a better life.

Second, higher living standard gave Chinese families a greater sense of happiness.

China has persistently pursued greater development in order to safeguard and improve the life of its people.

Babies are given the best care.

Children have good education.

Hard work gets paid.

Sickness gets treated.

The elderly are looked after.

Everyone has a roof over his head.

And the vulnerable get the help they need.

In 2019,

China lifted more than 10 million people out of poverty. This is a critical step towards achieving the goal of eliminating poverty in 2020.

We have made positive progress in preserving the blue sky, clear water, clean land and better quality of the air.

We have established the world's largest social security system, providing old-age pension, health care, basic allowances and welfare housing, and covering more than 93% of the population.

We also made remarkable progress in education. Here in the UK alone, there are close to 200,000 Chinese students.

In a word, in improving people's life, the measures are effective, the progress is remarkable, and the reform has been deepening. The Chinese people now have a higher sense of happiness.

Third, strengthened social governance provided Chinese families with a greater sense of security.

Improving social governance is a common challenge to all countries in the world.

In recent years, China has explored new ways of social governance. We have worked to ensure that social governance is under the rule of law, supported by smart technologies and managed by professionals. The general public can contribute to and share in social governance, and in this process, their sense of security increase.

Take Xinjiang for example. Three years ago, Xinjiang suffered severely from terrorism and extremism. Violent terrorist forces launched numerous terror attacks, victimizing thousands of innocent people.

To safeguard security in Xinjiang, the Government of the Autonomous Region drew lessons from international counter-terrorism efforts and took a series of counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation measures in accordance with law. These measures have effectively deterred violent terrorist activities. In the past more than three years, there has not been a single terrorist attack in Xinjiang. With security and stability safeguarded, the counter-terrorism measures have won extensive and heartfelt support from the 25 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends:

As the new year bell for 2020 rings, the world enters the third decade of the 21st century. While pursuing happiness for tens of thousands of Chinese families, China is also thinking about what we can contribute to our global family.

All countries in the world live under the same blue sky. Planet earth is our one and same home. Our destinies are inter-connected. We should stand by one another, through thick and thin.

Going forward, it is important that we join hands to build a community with a shared future for mankind, namely, a global family.

First, in the community with a shared future, countries should pursue development through open cooperation.

The world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. Economic globalisation continues to be the overall trend. Development and cooperation remain the theme of our times.

Despite the raging anti-globalisation, protectionism, unilateralism, populism and hegemonism, they lead to nowhere.

The trend of globalisation is irreversible,

Protectionism is counterproductive,

Unilateralism finds scant support,

And bullying others will disrupt order and harm the world economy.

By contrast, openness brings progress, and cooperation leads to development.

Therefore, we should work together to embrace cooperation and build an open world economy.

We should stand firm against unilateralism and protectionism, and address frictions and differences through consultation and collaboration.

We should pursue coordinated development of the global industrial chain, supply chain and value chain

We should work together to make the pie of global market bigger and make economic globalization open, inclusive, balanced and win-win.

Second, in the community with a shared future, different civilisations should enhance exchanges and learn from each other.

No civilisation is superior to others. Every civilisation has its unique advantages and strengths. Every civilisation is the treasure of all mankind. History has proved once and again that regarding one's own civilisation as superior to others, and insisting on changing or even replacing other civilisations will have disastrous consequences.

Diversity leads to interaction among civilisations, which in turn promotes mutual learning and greater development. Appreciating, accepting and learning from other civilisations is the only road to enduring prosperity.

It is important that we act in the spirit of equality and mutual respect, and discard unwarranted pride and prejudice. We should have a deeper understanding of the differences between different civilisations, and promote exchanges, dialogue and harmonious co-existence. Our concerted and persistent efforts will lead to the development and progress of mankind as a whole.

Third, in the community with a shared future, global governance should follow the principles of extensive consultation and joint contribution.

The world today is faced with various problems and grave challenges:

Development gap is widening;

Regional conflicts are surging;

Global challenges, such as terrorism, extremism and climate change, keep cropping up.

The current global governance system needs improvement because it does not reflect the reality in the world and this has created a deficit in global governance. To address this, the global governance system needs to go through reforms.

China proposes a new global governance concept. This follows the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.

Global affairs should be handled through consultation between all the parties involved.

All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equals, and should all take part in and contribute to global governance.

China is ready to work with other countries to form consensus on building a just and reasonable international order and global governance system.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends:

In my ten years as Chinese Ambassador to the UK, I have attended nearly 100 Chinese New Year celebration events and I have come to realize that Chinese New Year has become a festival for both Chinese and British people. Tonight, I am hosting the first-ever Chinese New Year celebration at the Chinese Embassy for my British friends.

In fact, "Chinese New Year" is more commonly known in China as "Spring Festival", because it is a festival for the spring. It marks the beginning of a new year, and heralds the coming of spring.

As a Chinese saying goes, "A single flower does not make spring. Hundreds of flowers in full blossom bring spring to the garden."

I sincerely hope that China and the UK will join hands to create a garden of hundreds of flowers for all to enjoy and contribute to building a community with a shared future for mankind, thus making our big global family more peaceful, harmonious and beautiful!

Thank you.

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