Speech on National Reception
2018/10/05

Your Honorable, Former President, Mr. Arnold Rüütel,

Honorable Ministers,

Honorable members of Riigikogu,

Your Excellency, and Dear Colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps,

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Friends,

Good evening, everyone! First of all, we warmly welcome you to the 69th anniversary reception of the founding of the People's Republic of China. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone present and all the friends who have long cared for China's development and supported the friendship between China and Estonia.

During the 69 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, we have made drastic changes and achieved great and historical achievements. Especially during the 40 years since the reform and opening up, China's GDP has risen from $175 billion to $12 trillion with an average annual growth rate of 9.5%. China’s contribution to the world economic growth is more than 30% for many years, becoming the major driver of global growth. At the same time, we have lifted more than 700 million Chinese people out of poverty, making important contribution to the world's cause of poverty alleviation. In the first half of this year, China's economy expanded by 6.8%, staying within the medium-high growth range of 6.7%-6.9% for 12 quarters in a row. The Chinese economy has stayed on the track of steady progress.

The fact has proved that opening up was key to China's economic growth over the past 40 years and in the same vein, high-quality development of China's economy in the future can only be achieved with greater openness. In his keynote speech at the World Economic Forum early last year, President Xi Jinping stated China's firm commitment to economic globalization, free trade and innovation-driven development. Last October, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has drawn a magnificent blueprint to fully build China into a great modern socialist country and embarked on a new journey to facilitate greater development synergy between China and the world. This year we have introduced a host of major steps to deepen reform, expand opening-up and advance innovation, aiming to promote both China’s own development and global growth. Globalization has fostered highly interconnected global industrial, innovation and value chains, and enabled the expansion of the new industrial revolution at a speed, scale and depth unseen before. In this process, economies around the world become deeply interconnected and interdependent. The rules-based multilateral trading system is the bed rock of economic globalization and free trade, and provides important safeguards for win-win outcomes. China will adhere to trade liberalization and unswervingly safeguard the multilateral trading system.

China will continue to work with the world to create a better future for all, and actively build a community of shared future for mankind, further promote The Belt and Road Initiative, conduct in-depth exchanges with the world and learn from each other. Building a community of shared future for mankind is to build a world of lasting peace through dialogue and consultation, build a world of common security for all through joint efforts, build a world of common prosperity through win-win cooperation, build an open and inclusive world through exchanges and mutual learning, make our world clean and beautiful by pursuing green and low-carbon development.

Jointly construction of the Belt and Road Initiative is the vivid practice of building a community of shared future for mankind. The Belt and Road Initiative originated in China, but the opportunities and outcomes belong to the world. Building the Belt and Road is not exclusive, but open and inclusive; not a solo for China itself, but a chorus performed by all countries along the routes. It emphasizes the principle of extensive consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits. The countries concerned participate in the Belt and Road Construction on the basis of equal-footing and collaborative promotion. It accommodates the interests and concerns of all parties involved, gives full play to the wisdom and creativity, strengths and potentials of all parties, which will form a new cooperation advantage;It sticks to mutual benefit, seeks a conjunction of interests and the “biggest common denominator” for cooperation, pushing forward economic globalization in a more open, inclusive, universally beneficial, balanced and win-win direction.

2018 marks the centenary of independence of the Republic of Estonia. I am deeply impressed by Estonia’s robust economy, better off and dynamic society, and the world-class e-services. Since earlier this year, China-Estonia relation has further developed. The high-level exchange between two countries becomes more frequent. Honorable Madame President Kaljulaid attended the Summer Davos forum in Tianjin and paid a visit to China; during the seventh leaders’ meeting of China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries in Sofia, Honorable Prime Minister Ratas met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and had an in-depth exchanges of views on enhancing the Belt and Road Initiative, “16+1 cooperation” and pragmatic cooperation between the two countries; Honorable President of the Riigikogu Nestor visited China together with the joint delegation of speakers from Nordic and Baltic countries for the first time.

China and Estonia’s cooperation in other fields, including trade, energy, agriculture and e-commerce has yielded heartening fruits, the enterprises of two countries has increasingly closer ties. The oil shale power plant jointly developed by companies from China, Estonia and Malaysia in Jordan has become the first large-scale tripartite cooperation project of China and Estonia; Guangzhou Airlines New Aviation Technology Co.Ltd successfully acquired Estonian Magnetic aircraft Maintenance Company, a6chieving a win-win cooperation;Saaremaa wooden house, infant formula and other good-quality products of Estonia have begun to enter the Chinese market.

The friendship between peoples is the foundation of state to state relations. People to people interaction between two countries have achieved new highlights with more frequent cultural and educational exchanges and dramatically increased number of tourists. The number of people studying Chinese in Estonia has increased by 14 times in the past 7 years. Beijing Foreign Studies University and Beijing International Studies University have launched Estonian language courses. In July this year, as the guest of honor, the Shanghai Opera House participated in the 2018 Saaremaa Opera Festival, presenting three amazing repertoires which is the centenary present to Estonia on behalf of the Chinese people, and won warm applause of all audience.

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Friends

Honorable Madame President Kaljulaid has just concluded her visit to China, which was a complete success. During her stay in China, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang held talks with President Kaljulaid respectively. They have reached on important consensus on promoting mutual trust, pragmatic cooperation, more high-quality cultural exchange, maintaining multilateralism and strengthening cooperation in the framework of “16+1 cooperation”. Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out that everyone has his shortcomings and merits. Therefore, all the states, regardless of size, are equal members of the international community. We should abandon the law of the jungle which advocates the winner-take-all. Estonia has its geographical advantage. Its ecological environment, green agriculture and digital economy have their own characteristics. China is willing to strengthen cooperation in various fields with Estonia. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stressed that the two sides should strengthen the synergy of development strategy and cooperation in the fields of connectivity, energy, wood processing and so on. Premier Li encouraged enterprises from two countries to carry out e-commerce cooperation, jointly create a platform which was conducive to enterprise production and public consumption, deepen the cooperation of education and tourism, and conduct more high-quality cultural exchange activities.

During the visit, Honorable Madame President Kaljulaid also visited the Huawei Company and Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing. The companies of two sides have concluded an intention of cooperation. In the coming days, the two sides will further strengthen bilateral cooperation and exchanges to implement the important consensus achieved by China and Estonia’s leaders, pushing our bilateral relationship to a new height.

China and Estonia have their own strengths and share a vast common interest. The sound development of bilateral relations is in the interests of the two peoples. Now our bilateral relation is in a new period of development, the potential for our cooperation in various fields is huge and promising. On the basis of mutual respect and equality, China is willing to work with the Estonian side to keep promoting bilateral relation to a greater development. There is an Estonian proverb: “Steady row, far you’ll go”, I wish the relationship of China and Estonia will stay on a steady course and the friendship between our two peoples will be everlasting.

Finally, thank you all for attending today's reception. I now propose a toast,

To the 69th anniversary of the founding of the Peoples’ Republic of China,

To the friendship of our two peoples,

To the good health of all present,

Cheers!

Thank you!

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