(Beijing, 20 January 2020)
Your Excellency former State Councilor Dai Bingguo,
Your Excellencies ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of international organizations and spouses,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to gather with our distinguished guests here to renew friendship and ring in the new year. On behalf of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, let me extend a warm welcome to all the ambassadors, representatives and members of the diplomatic corps who have joined our reception this evening. My sincere thanks also go to our comrades from the various Chinese ministries, provinces and municipalities for your strong support to our country's foreign relations.
For the Chinese people, 2019 was a year of national celebration and of building on past achievements to forge into the future. We warmly celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. United as one, the 1.4 billion Chinese people closely rallied around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, made unremitting efforts and achieved new progress in the cause of national development and rejuvenation.
For China's diplomacy, 2019 was a year of pressing ahead despite wind and rain. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, we reaffirmed our abiding aspirations to bring happiness to the Chinese people and contribute to progress for humanity. With strong resolve, we charted the course forward amid uncertainties and tackled challenges head on. Our diplomatic endeavors not only bolstered China's development and stability but also made important contributions to world peace and prosperity.
During the past year, we deepened friendship and cooperation with countries around the world and strengthened our network of global partnerships. Last year marked the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and Russia. Under the stewardship of the two Presidents, the China-Russia relationship entered a new era of mutual support, deep convergence, continuous innovation and mutual benefit, making important contributions to world peace and prosperity.
The China-US relationship, which just saw its 40th anniversary, has reached a new historical juncture with notably increasing complexities and challenges. While resolutely safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests, China has conducted dialogue and consultations with the US on the basis of equality and mutual respect. The Phase One Trade Agreement thus concluded and signed serves the interests of both countries and peoples and was welcomed by the international community.
China and Europe reached extensive consensus on strengthening global governance, upholding multilateralism and safeguarding free trade, sending a clear message of China and Europe deepening strategic cooperation and jointly addressing global challenges.
China comprehensively improved and strengthened its ties with neighboring countries. China's traditional friendship with the DPRK was further consolidated. China-India relations kept the momentum of growth. The China-Japan relationship was brought back on track and made new progress. Mutual trust between China and Central Asian countries was further strengthened. China-ASEAN relations were ushered into a new stage of all-round development.
We deepened unity and cooperation with fellow developing countries. The follow-up actions of the FOCAC Beijing Summit were in full swing. China's relations with Latin American and the Caribbean countries and Arab countries continued to make steady and solid progress. All this has helped to increase trust and cooperation under the South-South framework.
During the past year, we advanced high-quality Belt and Road cooperation to promote development and prosperity for all countries. We hosted a successful second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, at which 283 cooperation deliverables were reached and an initiative to jointly build a global partnership on connectivity was announced. This marked the start of a new journey in Belt and Road cooperation, one of high-quality development. In 2019, another 16 countries and international organizations signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements with China, bringing the total number of such documents to over 200.
Steady progress was made in such major projects as the China-Laos Railway, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, the Budapest-Belgrade Railway, the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor. The second China International Import Expo attracted a record attendance of over 500,000 Chinese and overseas buyers to share in the valuable opportunities created by the expanding Chinese market. At its opening ceremony, President Xi Jinping called for the building of an open economy featuring cooperation, innovation and mutual benefits. He also announced major initiatives for China's opening-up at a higher level, thus demonstrating China's commitment to working with the rest of the world for shared prosperity.
During the past year, we stayed committed to multilateralism to uphold and improve the existing international order. From the China-France Seminar on Global Governance to the G20 Osaka Summit, from the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to the BRICS Summit and the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, President Xi Jinping expounded on the main tenets of multilateralism and its relevance in today's world. He called for extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in global governance, and expressed firm support for the United Nations in playing a central role in international affairs. China was deeply engaged in the global response to climate change, and had a tripartite meeting with France and the UN on this theme. We took an active part in international cooperation to fight and prevent terrorism and to protect cybersecurity. We fulfilled our international responsibilities and duties in good faith, and contributed more to the global response to global challenges.
During the past year, we played a mediating role in various hotspot issues to effectively promote world peace and stability. On the Korean Peninsula, we stayed committed to safeguarding peace and stability on the Peninsula and to resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation. We called for efforts to properly address the concerns of all parties, in particular, the DPRK's legitimate concerns over its security and development, and encouraged the DPRK and the US to work out a feasible roadmap for establishing a permanent peace regime and realizing complete denuclearization on the Peninsula.
On the Middle East, we stayed committed to upholding the authority and effectiveness of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and followed a just position in the political settlement of hotspot issues such as Palestine and Syria. We hosted the first Middle East Security Forum, and put forward China's proposals for promoting greater security in the region.
In South Asia, we conducted shuttle diplomacy on Afghanistan, held the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan and the China-Russia-US consultations, hosted the first China-Russia-US-Pakistan four-party meeting, and supported more intra-Afghan dialogue. We used our good offices between Myanmar and Bangladesh to encourage the two sides to work in the same direction and properly handle challenges through bilateral consultations. All these mediation efforts were made from an impartial and sincere position and for the purpose of building bridges of dialogue and peace for the political settlement of hotspots.
All in all, 2019 saw China's continued efforts to deepen its friendship and cooperation with other countries and our significant contributions to world peace and development. We have proven time and again with concrete actions that a growing China means a greater force for peace, for justice, and for progress. A China that is firmly committed to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and to the pursuit of mutually beneficial cooperation will play an increasing role as an anchor of stability in an uncertain world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The year 2020 will be a new milestone in China's development. We will achieve our first centenary goal through a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. We will win our critical battle against poverty and eliminate absolute poverty for the first time in the five-thousand-year history of the Chinese nation. This also means that China will meet the UN poverty reduction goal 10 years ahead of schedule.
The year 2020 is also a momentous year for the world. We will celebrate the 75th anniversaries of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the founding of the UN. In the face of risks and challenges brought by unilateralism and unprecedented shifts in the international system, the 75th anniversary of the UN offers a historic opportunity for all countries to renew our long-cherished aspirations and work for a better future for all humanity.
President Xi Jinping has stressed on many occasions that the Communist Party of China strives for both the well-being of the Chinese people and the progress of humankind. In our diplomatic undertakings in the year ahead, we will continue to act on Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, stay the course of peaceful development, and work toward the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind. China will remain a promoter of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order.
First, we will safeguard our sovereignty, security and development interests with greater resolve to foster a favorable external environment for national development. The principle of sovereignty is the most important cornerstone of the international system and a basic norm governing international relations. The international community should come together in pushing back the growing manifestations of power politics, interventionism and bullying. In China's case, we would take resolute measures as needed to counter any attempt by external forces to meddle in China's internal affairs.
The one-China principle represents a compelling consensus shared by the international community and a universally recognized norm governing international relations. No matter how the situation may evolve in Taiwan, there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. Nothing will change this historical and legal fact, and nothing will shake the resolve and confidence of the Chinese government and people in advancing reunification.
Second, we will seek stronger partnerships in a more proactive manner to instill a greater sense of stability and certainty in our world. We will advance the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era on all fronts. We will work to upgrade China-Europe relations and take China-EU relations to a higher level. We will act on the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness in our neighborhood diplomacy, and deepen strategic trust and converging interests with all our neighbors. We will speed up the development of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the China-CELAC Forum, and the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, and make extensive efforts to cement our unity and friendship with fellow developing countries.
Our relations with the Unites States, one between the world's largest developing and developed countries, have a direct bearing on where the world is going. The past 40 years of interactions have clearly shown that both sides stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Both countries need to bear in mind the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American peoples and the common interests of countries around the world. On the basis of mutual respect, equal dialogue and managing differences while seeking common ground, we are ready to work with the US to advance China-US relations based on coordination, cooperation and stability.
Third, we will deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries with more practical initiatives to underpin the building of an open world economy. We will step up the implementation of the outcomes of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, pursue open, green and clean cooperation and adopt a high-standard, people-centered and sustainable approach.
As China will host the second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference, we will work for further progress in existing cooperation mechanisms including the China-Europe Railway Express and in major connectivity projects including the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor. This will help forge a more extensive global partnership on connectivity.
We will also firmly uphold the multilateral trading system centered on the WTO and advance its reform in a way that is beneficial to all. We will work for the early signing and entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, speed up negotiations on a China-Japan-ROK FTA, and promote global trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.
Fourth, we will uphold multilateralism and international fairness and justice with more effective measures to make new contributions to world peace and tranquility. We will take the 75th anniversary of the UN as an opportunity to uphold the international system centered around the UN and the international order based on international law.
We will further strengthen cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, G20, APEC and other international mechanisms, and build a more equitable and effective global governance system.
We will ensure the success of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity to be held in China, fully and effectively implement the Paris Agreement on climate change, and work with all parties to build a shared future for all life on Earth.
We will continue to stand for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We remain committed to the peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue. Opposed to the willful use or threat of force, we will provide more Chinese wisdom and proposals to resolving international hotspots concerning the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan and others.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As President Xi Jinping pointed out in his new year address last month, human history, like a river, flows unceasingly with both moments of quiet waters and huge waves. As risks and challenges mount, so is there a stronger desire of humanity to hold the future in our own hands and build a community with a shared future. In the year ahead, let us join hands to embrace changes with confidence, resolve differences with trust, and open up the future with cooperation. Let us work together to meet humankind's aspirations for a better life, and to contribute to the common cause of world peace and development.
To conclude, please join me in a toast,
To a peaceful and prosperous world;
To China's friendship and cooperation with all countries and organizations; and
To the health and happiness of all the distinguished guests present.