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Remarks by H. E. Ambassador Qiu Bohua

at the Reception Marking the 62nd Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China and 35th Anniversary of the Establishment of China-PNG Diplomatic Relations

(Port Moresby, 30th September 2011)

Hon. Peter O’Neill, Prime Minister

Hon. John Momis, President of Bougainville Autonomous Region

Hon. Members of the Parliament and Cabinet Ministers

Excellencies Heads of Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations

Leaders of Political Parties

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good evening! My wife and I feel greatly honored to have you join us tonight to celebrate China’s National Day. I wish, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, to extend our warmest welcome to all of you. Over the years, many friends present here have made unremitting efforts and contributions to the promotion of the friendly relationship between China and Papua New Guinea. I would like to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation and sincere thanks to each and every one of you.

The October 1st 2011 marks 62nd Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. The past sixty-two years are a short while in the Chinese history, but quite unusual for the Chinese people. This year is also the 90th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Thanks to the leadership of CPC, China has undergone earthshaking changes. The Chinese people have successfully transformed a poor and backward China into a new one, which has begun to thrive and flourish. Especially in the past 30-odd years since China started reform and opening-up in 1978, China has made remarkable achievements and brought about enormous changes. We have completed the historic transition from a highly centralized planned economy to a vibrant socialist market economy, and from a closed or semi-closed society to one that is fully open to the outside world. The living standards, educational and cultural levels of the Chinese people have greatly improved. Between 1978 and 2010, the Chinese economy grew at an average annual rate of 9.8%. Now China is the second largest economy and the largest trading economy in the world. China has contributed annually over 10% to world economic growth in recent years. China has become an important player and reformer in the international system and an important force for the world peace and common development.

As we celebrate our achievement, we are fully aware of the challenges ahead. China is still a developing country with the largest population, and faces increasing constraints in terms of imbalance in development between urban and rural areas, among regions, and between the economy and society. The per capita GDP is still below the average of the world, ranking around 100th place in the world, 150 million people in China are still living below the UN standard of poverty. China will remain a developing country for a long time. It will take several generations’ hard efforts for China to reach the level of the medium-developed countries.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

China’s interests have never been so closely linked with the development and support of the world. China’s development cannot be separated from the world, while the development of the world also needs China. China has entered into new types of cooperative and partnership with most of the countries in the world. China will firmly follow the path of peaceful development and adhere to its independent foreign policy of peace. China is ready to develop friendly relations with all the countries in the international community on the basis of Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

In this regard, the China-PNG relation has set a good example for cooperation between countries. This year 2011 marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic ties between China and PNG. 35 years ago, the PNG Government made a far-sighting decision to establish the diplomatic relations with China. Since then, the bilateral relations have made significant progress on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. We have maintained regular exchange of high-level visits, deep political trust and fruitful cooperation in all fields. We highly appreciate that the PNG side always adheres to One China policy and supports China’s peaceful reunification. Due to the joint efforts, our trade and economic cooperation has been booming. PNG has become China’s biggest trade partner and investment destination among Pacific Islands. The total volume of our bilateral trade recorded 1.13 billion USD in 2010, increasing remarkably compared with 140 million USD in 2001. Our people-to-people exchanges have been widening, effectively promoting friendship and mutual understanding between our two peoples. Our cooperation in international and regional affairs has been intensifying, sharing more common interests and similar concepts.

The Chinese Government always attaches great importance to the development of the friendly relations between our two countries. Even though China is still a developing country, China has been providing aid to the best of its ability to PNG. During the past years, the Chinese Government has spared no efforts to support and assist PNG with the implementation of a dozen of aid projects, including the Sir John Guise Stadium, Wawin National High School, Students' Dormitory of Goroka University, Mt. Hagen Agriculture Technical Cooperation project, dispatching 5 Chinese Aid Medical Teams working in Port Moresby General Hospital and so on. Over 200 PNG students were granted Chinese Government Scholarships to undertake degree studies in China. Around 400 government officials and technical personnel were invited to China to attend various programs of different sectors for capacity training purpose.

The year 2011 is another fruitful year of the mutual beneficial cooperation between our two countries. Within this year, we are going to witness the construction or commencing of a series of aid projects funded by the Chinese Government, such as the Usino Junction-Yamagi Road project, the Phase II of Mt. Hagen agriculture technical cooperation project, the Distant Education Network of Community College project, the Integrated Government Information System Network project (IGIS) and the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project. Meanwhile, we are also looking forward to the groundbreaking of the International Convention Center project in Port Moresby. All the above-mentioned projects are the sweet fruits yielding from the long-term stable and friendly bilateral relationship between China and PNG, which also reflects the growing and strengthening of vibrant bilateral relations during the past 35 years.

I would like to take the Ramu Nickel and Cobalt project, with total investment of 1.4 billion USD by MCC, as the good example of our bilateral mutual-beneficial cooperation. The Ramu Nickel project is a win-win project for our two countries. It is my firm belief that with the smooth running of Ramu Nickel project, the confidence of foreign investors in PNG will be boosted, and the bilateral economic relations between our two countries will be further lifted to a higher level. We hope to see the first production soon to put new vigor into the PNG economy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Further development of China-PNG friendship and cooperation is in conformity with the common interests of the two peoples. The Chinese Government is ready to take the 35th anniversary as a pivot to work with the PNG Government and people, to enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, expand and deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields, continue our mutual support and sound cooperation in the international and regional arena.

I wish, once again, to express my deep appreciation to distinguished guests for your kind presence tonight.

Thank you!

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