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Speech at the Reception Marking 67th Anniversary of The Founding of the People's Republic of China

By H.E. Chen Xiaodong, Chinese Ambassador to Singapore

26 September, 2016

Your Excellency Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The Honorable Ang Hin Kee and Henry Kwek, Members of Parliament,

Dear Compatriots and Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the Chinese National Day Reception. We are delighted to have you with us for the sixty-seventh anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

The past 67 years has seen profound changes in China. Thanks to the hard work and wisdom of the Chinese people, a poor and backward country has been transformed into the second largest economy in the world with GDP over 11 trillion US dollars and per capita GDP around 8,000 US dollars. In this course, more than 700 million people were lifted out of poverty.

China achieved in several decades what it took western developed countries several hundred years to attain.

Today, China is striving to realize the two centenary goals and the Chinese dream of great national renewal.

Under the guidance of the 13th Five Year Plan, China is now promoting innovation-driven growth, advancing supply side reform and upgrading its economic structure.

In the first half of 2016, the Chinese economy grew by 6.7%, contributing nearly 30% to the global economy.

Final consumption expenditure now accounts for 73% of GDP growth in China, and the added value of the services sector makes up 54% of the total GDP.

In the first 6 months of this year, 7.17 million new jobs were added in the cities.

These figures show that China’s reforms are creating new energy and bringing new hopes for the Chinese economy, and that China is delivering more opportunities to the world while ensuring its own development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China, at a new starting point, will stay committed to opening-up, and deepen friendship and win-win cooperation with countries around the world.

As good friends and partners, China and Singapore have together achieved a lot in 2016. Let me recap to you some of the highlights.

We jointly made new progress in enhancing global economic governance. The G20 Hangzhou Summit early September was a great success. Under the theme — “Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”, G20 leaders had in-depth discussions on the new growth path, the strong financial governance, the robust trade and investment, as well as the inclusive and interconnected development. The agreement reached was reflected in the landmark Hangzhou Consensus.

PM Lee Hsien Loong was invited to the Summit and contributed Singapore’s voice and wisdom to the Hangzhou consensus.

We jointly took forward the Belt and Road initiative. Since its inception three years ago, the Belt and Road initiative has made progress faster than expected. The initiative has proceeded from initial planning to all-round implementation and self-sustaining progress.

Singapore has been at the forefront of building the Belt and Road. Several weeks ago, PM Lee visited Chongqing to guide our third Government-to-Government Project, which will be a flagship that connects the Belt and the Road.

We jointly worked for upgraded China-ASEAN relations. This year marks the 25th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations. Earlier this month, China and ASEAN countries held a summit in Laos for this occasion. The two sides agree that China-ASEAN ties are the most substantial and dynamic among ASEAN’s relations. And we resolve to build on past achievement and usher in a new period of maturity and splendor for our relations in the next 25 years.

During the Summit, China and ASEAN also issued the Guidelines for Hotline Communications among Senior Officials in Response to Maritime Emergencies and the Joint Statement on the Application of CUES in the South China Sea. These are concrete efforts to maintain peace and stability of the South China Sea.

We hope that Singapore, as the country coordinator, will continue to play a positive role for the growth of China-ASEAN relations.

We were both inspired by the Olympic Spirit. In the Rio Olympic Games and Paralympics this summer, Chinese athletes not only did well in the competitions but also presented a young and confident image. “Hong Huang Zhi Li”, or the force that changes the universe, became a new catch-phrase for the Chinese young people.

Team Singapore also did a great job. Joseph Schooling won Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal, and Yip Pin Xiu clinched two Paralympic gold medals. Their successes will be an inspiration for young Singaporeans.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and Singapore have come a long way in the past 26 years of our diplomatic relations. We are now more inter-dependent and have greater stakes in each other’s success than ever before.

In the first half of this year, China remained as Singapore’s largest trading partner, and Singapore became one of the top 10 trading partners of China.

China and Singapore are each other’s largest and second largest investment destinations. More than 7,000 Chinese companies are now based in Singapore.

Also in the first half of this year, the number of tourists from Chinese mainland to Singapore increased 40%. Every week, over 700 flights fly between our two countries.

Earlier this month, President Xi Jinping met with PM Lee Hsien Loong in Hangzhou. They reaffirmed the commitment to enhance the “All-Round Cooperative Partnership Progressing with the Times” by maintaining high-level exchanges and creating new highlights for our relations, particularly the third Government-to-Government Project.

Premier Li Keqiang also met with PM Lee in Vientiane recently to make further plans for the future growth of our overall relations as well as practical cooperation.

We are ready to work with Singapore colleagues to implement the important consensus of our leaders, deepen political mutual trust and expand practical cooperation.

Let us join hands and embrace a new and promising future for China-Singapore relations.

Thank you.

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