|A Time for Celebration|
National Day Reception for the 60 years Anniversary of PRC
Secretaries of State,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank all of you for joining us in this celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
I owe a special note of thanks to Prime Minister Brown for sending a video message to congratulate the Chinese people on this auspicious occasion.
60 years on the Lunar calendar is called "Jia Zi", meaning a full cycle. It is therefore an important age for a person as well as for a country.
60 years ago, Chairman Mao Zedong announced the founding of the PRC. He famously stated that the Chinese people had stood up. The country at that time was in a state of poverty and dire need. 60 years on, China has gone through a historic transformation and this has not been an easy journey. We went through all kinds of difficulties trying to find the right path to economic prosperity.
Finally we've succeeded through reform and opening up, to embark on economic and social progress, the 1.3 billion people are advancing towards "Xiao Kang" (the Chinese word for prosperous living.)
The parades in Beijing in a few days time will be watched worldwide. People may ask, what message China is trying to convey to the world. I am sure every Chinese has an answer.
At this very moment in China, the mood of celebration is tinged with nostalgia. One hot topic for the bloggers is about stories of changes in the lives of families, housewives comparing photos showing how their kitchens have totally changed, men talking about the experience from trying a new bicycle to buying the first car.
Hit by this wave of nostalgia, I have brought this handkerchief parcel left by my mother. She wrapped in it some food coupons. At one moment in our history, food was scarce and tokens were needed. My mother kept these in case those times were to return. They never did. For their historical value, I've promised to give them to the British museum. These small pieces of paper are powerful testimony to the strides China has taken.
China turned out more wealth in a day in 2008 than in a whole year of 1952. This is what we are celebrating: farewell to poverty and backwardness.
However, we have no reason to be complacent. Our reforms remain a far and hard journey. We want to build a harmonious and stable society, where every kid is in school, every one has work to do, every one has a roof over the head, every sick is treated and the elderly taken cared of.
Today, when the world cheers for China, when we hear praise for President Hu Jintao's statement on climate change at the UN podium, we are aware that China has emerged on the world stage. China's words and deeds, China's every success are important to the world. Likewise, what happens in the world affects China. We need to learn and fulfill the international responsibilities time has endowed on us and contribute to building harmony and prosperity in the world.
Britain is our important international partner. We share wide common views on contemporary issues and we are both devoted to closer bilateral cooperation. We have also been able to handle differences through candid dialogues.
Given the new opportunities, the two sides should work together to bring our relations to a new high.
In conclusion, I would like to propose a toast:
To China, to Britain, and to friendship.