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Address by H.E. Ambassador Duan Jielong At China's 65th National Day Reception
2014/10/02
 
                                                                              (29 September 2014)

Honorable Mr. Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education,
Honorable Mr. Baey Yam Keng and Mr. Lim Wee Kiak, Members of Parliament,
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Good evening. Warmly welcome to the reception in celebration of the 65th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. I would also like to express my thanks to Minister Heng Swee Keat and Mr. Baey Yam Keng and Mr. Lim Wee Kiak for taking time out of your busy schedule to attend this event. 
    As we all know, through 65 years’ arduous efforts, China has developed rapidly, especially since the adoption of the reform and opening-up policy some 30 years ago. The living standards of 1.3 billion Chinese people have been improved in an unprecedented way. The people’s rights to subsistence and development have been practically guaranteed. Today, China has become the world’s second largest economy. Although we have achieved great developmental accomplishments, China still lags behind many countries including Singapore. Now, China ranks after 80th in the world with a per capita GDP of US$6,800. At the same time, its fast economic growth has been accompanied by a growing restraint on resources and the environment. Traditional ways of economic development, mainly depending on depleting energy and resources and cheap labor force, have proved to be unsustainable. The social management model is also lagging behind what is needed in the new situation. Therefore, in its future development, China must seek for a green, environment-friendly, scientific and sustainable development model which is suited to China’s actual conditions through further comprehensive deepening reform. 
    2014 marks the first year of China’s comprehensive deepening reform. The Chinese government is actively and steadily pushing forward various major reform measures. Up till now, at least 39 reform measures have been implemented, including further reforms of the fiscal and taxation systems, judicial system, household registration system, and nation-wide university entrance examination system and establishing the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone etc. China has set the following goal for its future development: By 2020, China will double its 2010 GDP and per capita income of urban and rural residents and finish the building of a society of initial prosperity in all respects. By the mid-21st century, China will have turned itself into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious. We refer to this goal as the Chinese dream of the great renewal of the Chinese nation. 
    Distinguished Guests,
    In its developmental process in the past decades, China has not only raised its own people’s wealth, but also made positive contributions to the economic development of the region and the world. In the same way, China will still honor its commitment to peace, cooperation, mutual benefit and win-win progress in its future developmental process. Recently, the Chinese President H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping specially pointed out that the 21st Century is the century of cooperation, and China will always be a country that promotes cooperation. The Chinese people and the people of other countries should support and help each other to realize their respective dreams. China hopes to work with all the other countries to achieve common development and prosperity. China will firmly pursue an opening-up and win-win strategy, and a balanced approach to upholding principles and interests. China will continue to develop a more open economic system, to strengthen and expand all-round mutually beneficial cooperation with the countries of Asia and the world. China is guided by the principle of boosting amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in deepening mutually beneficial cooperation with our neighbors and strives to deliver greater gains to our neighbors through its own development. 
    Distinguished Guests,
    Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Singapore 24 years ago, our bilateral relations, blessed with good timing, geographical convenience and harmonious human relations, have truly realized leapfrog development. Here, I would like to describe the current China-Singapore relations with three words. 
    The first word is “close”. We have conducted more frequent high-level exchange of visits and our political mutual trust has been continuously deepened. It gives me great pleasure to mention that H.E. President Tony Tan Keng Yam and H.E. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid successive visits to China this year, and the both visits were very successful. The leaders of our two countries had cordial and friendly talks, and pointed out the future developmental direction of our relations. For the Chinese side, Vice Chairman of CPPCC Mr. Chen Yuan, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the CPC Mr. Hu Chunhua, State Councilor Mr. Yang Jiechi paid successive visits to Singapore as well. Besides, the two sides have also conducted a number of regular cooperation and exchange activities, which fully demonstrates the close link and profound friendship between our two governments and peoples.
    The second word is “comprehensive”. Our pragmatic cooperation has developed rapidly in all areas, and has achieved many fruitful results. 2013 was a year with special significance to the economic and trade cooperation between China and Singapore. Our bilateral trade volume reached 75.91 billion US Dollars. China has become the first largest trading partner of Singapore, while Singapore has become the largest source country of foreign investment in China. The two countries have also achieved new and important progress in financial cooperation. We also mutually agreed to explore a new cooperation project in Western part of China. In addition, our exchanges and cooperation in the fields of education, culture, environmental protection, tourism etc., have also been further strengthened. In 2013, the number of mutual visits made by our two peoples reached 2.29 million. I believe that these figures will rise even higher this year.
    The third word is “connected”. There is a strong bond that links our two cultures and peoples. We have deep understanding and natural affinity to each other. Here I’d love to tell you two touching stories. After the earthquake occurred in Ludian County, Yunan Province of China in this August, Singaporeans from all walks of life offered their generous donations and helping hands. The Singapore Buddhist Lodge (SBL) donated 50 thousand Singapore Dollars to the earthquake-stricken area at the first moment, and donated another 50 thousand Singapore Dollars to two poverty-stricken counties in Yunnan Province. That has been the 13th consecutive year for the SBL to make donations to China’s poverty-stricken areas since 2002. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation and respect to Mr. Lee Bock Guan, President of the SBL and all Singaporeans that are committed to the China-Singapore friendship.
    The second story is that, in last July, a Chinese bone marrow donor named Xu Peng, a young man less than thirty years old, received a telephone call from the Zhejiang Red Cross Society. He was told that his blood sample of hematopoietic stem cells had matched successfully with a leukemia patient from Singapore. Hearing that he can save people, Mr. Xu volunteered to donate his marrow without any hesitation. In the following two months, he donated nearly 30 tubes of blood. He said nothing but one phrase,“To me, I don’t care as long as I can save people.”And this is not the first case of donating marrow from Chinese to Singaporeans. They are all true portrayal of the profound friendship between our two peoples.
    Distinguished Guests,
    Next year will be the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Singapore, and also mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of Singapore. It echoes a lucky proverb saying “good things come in pairs”. The China-Singapore relations are faced with new opportunities. Last year, President Xi Jinping initiated the development of the economic belt along the Silk Road and the 21st century maritime Silk Road, which have received high attention and positive response from the international community. We sincerely hope that the wide continent and vast ocean of Asia could become the platform of friendly cooperation among countries in the region. We should, through our joint efforts and by using the oriental wisdom, work together to build a road that is shared by and win-win to all. At the same time, China is willing to go hand in hand and sincerely cooperate with Singapore and to write a more brilliant chapter of the China-Singapore relations!
    Finally, may I propose a toast, to H.E. Dr. Tony Tan KengYam, President of the Republic of Singapore! 
    To the President!
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