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Speech by Ambassador Zou Xiaoli at the National Day Reception

Distinguished Excellencies Ministers, members of the diplomatic corps,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, I would like to thank President Pavlopoulos for sending congratulatory messages to congratulate China’s National Day, which is a vivid reflection of friendly relations between China and Greece. I have also conveyed to his Excellency cordial greetings and sound wishes from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Tomorrow the People’s Republic of China will celebrate its 66th birthday. Over the past 66 years, after many trials and tribulations, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, has found a road of development suited to its national conditions, namely, Socialism with Chinese characteristics. China has been transformed from a backward semi-feudal, semi-colonial country into the second largest economy in the world, with the GDP increasing by 77 times in real terms. Currently, China is pressing ahead with the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, deepening reforms across the board, comprehensively strengthening the rule of law, and running the Party with strict discipline. We hope that by 2020, or the centenary of the founding of the CPC, China’s total GDP and per capita income of urban and rural residents will have doubled on the basis of 2010, thus accomplishing the task of bringing a prosperous life to the 1 billion-plus population. By the middle of the century, or the centenary of the founding of the PRC, we will have turned China into a Socialist modern state that is strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious.

China’s development has not only benefited the Chinese people, but is also making increasingly important contribution to world peace and development. Several days ago, at a sries of summits celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, President Xi Jinping announced important commitments for promoting common and sustained development of countries around the world, including to set up a “South-South Cooperation Fund”, with an initial installment of US$ 2 billion; to increase investment to least developed countries, which will reach US$12 billion by 2030; and to forgive zero-interest governmental loans that are due by the end of 2015 owned by some least developed countries and inland developing countries. In the next 5 years, China will help implement 100 “maternal and children’s health projects” and 100 “happy campus projects” in developing countries. It will invite 30,000 women from developing countries to China for training and help train 100,000 local female technicians. At the celebration on September 3 in Beijing of the 70th Anniversary of the Chinese People’s Resistance War Against Japanese Aggression, President Xi Jinping made the important announcement that China would have a disarmament of 300,000. Through its real actions, China demonstrates that it will never seek hegemony or expansion. It is confident and determined to work with other countries to build a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at its core.

In the first half of this year, China’s GDP grew by 7%, among the fastest of top economies. China is making great efforts for economic restructuring, implementing a development strategy driven by innovation, and encouraging mass innovation and entrepreneurship, with more focus on consumption. China has a large population, huge market potentials, and many driving forces for economic growth, providing impetus for sustained development. Chins is opposed to currency war and the RMB does not have a foundation for sustained depreciation. We have the confidence and capabilities to deal with various risks and challenges, maintain stability of the financial market, and promote sustained and sound economic development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As President Pavlopoulos said in his video address, Greece is moving with full gear and enthusiasm along the path to strengthen relations with China. Prime Minister Tsipras received me on September 25, making me once again the first foreign diplomat he met after becoming Prime Minister. During the meeting, Prime Minister Tsipras told me that the New Greek government will actively attract foreign investment and hope that China will play an even bigger role in the process of economic recovery. China regards Greece as an important development partner and sincere friend. Standing at the converging point of the “The Belt and Road” Initiative, Greece can well become a vital gateway for commodities, capital, and personnel as they move between China and Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. This year marks “China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Year”, which is the first maritime year jointly held by China and a European country and has registered important outcomes, covering various areas including port, shipping, ship building and maintenance, maritime tourism, underwater archaeology, and maritime technology, etc. As two ancient civilizations, China and Greece have made important contribution to human progress. China is ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in cultural, educational, scientific, and other fields with Greece. It gives me great pleasure to share with you several pieces of good news: the Chinese Cultural Center in Athens is well under way; the China-Europe Scientific Innovation Liaison Office, and the China-Greece Industrial Park are expected to be set up in Greece very soon. China will increase the number of Chinese students in Greece to learn the Greek language and culture, which will provide personnel and intellectual support for expanding cooperation in the future.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend sincere thanks to representatives of the political parties and different walks of life of Greece who have cared about and supported China-Greece friendly cooperation. At the same time, I also want to acknowledge the friendship bestowed to me and my wife by the diplomatic corps.

Finally I would like to propose a toast for The 66th Anniversary of the Founding of the PRC, for continuous development of China-Greece relations, and for the good health of every one present!


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