September 27, 2023
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the first in-person National Day reception at our embassy after the pandemic!
It is a great pleasure to get together with you face to face to celebrate the 74th birthday of the People’s Republic of China. Let me extend my heartfelt thanks to friends from various communities for your longstanding support for China and China-U.S. relations, and also warmest festival greetings to our fellow compatriots in China and the United States!
Over the past 74 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, billions of Chinese people have forged ahead with fortitude, and embarked on a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We have created a miracle of rapid economic growth with hard work, a miracle of lasting social stability with unity, a miracle of poverty reduction with perseverance, and a miracle of peaceful rise with a great sense of responsibility.
Today, 74 years on, we are advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. While Chinese modernization is conceived in China, it will bring opportunities to the whole world.
— It is the modernization of a huge population. Achieving modernization for more than 1.4 billion people is an unprecedented task, and requires arduous efforts. Pursuing high-quality development is our top priority, and reform and opening-up remains our fundamental national policy. Our focus is to be a better self. We have no intention to challenge, outcompete or displace anyone else.
— It is the modernization of common prosperity for all. We will both make the pie bigger and divide it more fairly. China’s middle-income group will exceed 800 million by 2035. Its market for health services is estimated to reach around 2.2 trillion dollars by 2030. And Chinese airlines will need 8,700 new aircraft by 2040.
— It is the modernization of both material and cultural-ethical advancement. China has incorporated respect for and protection of human rights into its Constitution, and our modernization is ultimately about the free and well-rounded development of people.
— It is the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature. China has seen the fastest improvement in air quality and reduction in energy intensity globally. It is home to the largest afforested area in the world and the biggest installed capacity of wind and solar power. We will move from carbon peaking to carbon neutrality in the shortest time span in human history.
— It is also the modernization of peaceful development. We have put forward the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, offering China’s solution for addressing the deficit in development, overcoming security challenges and enhancing mutual learning between civilizations, and calling on countries to jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.
This year, amid the tortuous global economic recovery, every country has its own problems to tackle. While facing some difficulties and challenges, the Chinese economy has been on an upward trajectory generally. Our GDP grew 5.5% in the first half of the year, outpacing most major economies. In the first eight months, investment in high-tech industries grew 11% year over year, and retail sales in accommodation, catering and other services increased 19%. Over 500 million Chinese went to the movies this summer alone. In recent months, China has rolled out new policies to reinvigorate consumption, boost the private sector and attract more foreign investment, which are gradually paying off.
Things are best appreciated when one takes a long-term view. The fundamentals sustaining China’s growth in the long run have not and will not change. Choosing China is to embrace opportunities and secure the future. In a globalized era, everyone is interconnected. All countries are in the same boat. The notion that other countries could economically collapse while one still thrives is utter fantasy. Pulling together is our only choice.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Time flies, and it has been four months since my arrival in the United States. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to the American government and friends again for facilitating and supporting my performance of duty.
Over the months, I have engaged extensively with friends old and new from various sectors. Here is my impression: while a lot has changed in China-U.S. relations, the fact that we are interdependent has not changed. We still share extensive common interests and important common responsibilities. The Earth is big enough for China and the United States to develop respectively and prosper together.
Our peoples’ enthusiasm about greater exchanges and cooperation has not changed. Upon my arrival, an American netizen left a comment on my Twitter, saying that“I hope you find some allies; there are a few hiding in the darkness afraid of being crushed.” I am heartened to see more American friends with vision and courage have come out, to speak up for and take actions to promote China-U.S. friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation. The call for stabilizing and improving China-U.S. relations is growing ever stronger.
Nor has the international community’s expectation for a generally stable China-U.S. relationship changed. China and the United States are the two largest economies and nuclear-weapon states. Any conflict or confrontation between us would produce no winner, and would be the last thing the world wants to see. A “new Cold War” would only be a tragedy for the entire humanity.
To our encouragement, under the guidance of our leaders and with our joint efforts, the China-U.S. relationship has seen some positive signs of stabilizing. Progress has been made in enhancing dialogue and cooperation. In particular, the two sides have agreed to return to the Bali agenda, and implement the important common understanding reached between President Xi Jinping and President Biden.
— I believe all of you have followed closely the series of high-level exchanges between our two countries. The follow-up consultations are being rolled out. The two sides have established economic and financial working groups. Our commerce authorities have launched new channels of communication involving the business communities, and an export control information exchange mechanism.
— Direct flights between our two countries will grow to 48 every week. China has resumed group tours to the United States. Subnational and parliamentary exchanges will also be coming back.
— The Cleveland Museum of Art is now showcasing treasures from China’s lower Yangzi Delta. The Philadelphia Orchestra just held a performance to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its first visit to China. And the Chinese dance drama Mulan is touring the United States.
All these have not come easy, and must be all the more cherished.
Of course, we still face serious difficulties and grave challenges in the bilateral relationship, and there is still a long way to go to stabilize and improve our relations. The key is to find the right way for China and the United States to get along in the new era. The three principles outlined by President Xi Jinping, namely, mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, have pointed us in the right direction.
— Mutual respect is the prerequisite for our interactions. China does not interfere in U.S. domestic affairs and does not bet against the United States. In the same vein, we hope the United States will also respect our sovereignty and territorial integrity, properly handle important, sensitive issues such as the Taiwan question in line with the principles of the three joint communiques, and respect the Chinese people’s choice of development path and political system and right to a better life.
— Peaceful coexistence is the red line we must keep to. Any war, cold or hot, trade or technological, should be avoided. Sanctions on Chinese entities and individuals should be stopped.
— Win-win cooperation is the goal we should aim at. Let’s both take positive actions from now, starting with concrete, small steps that will benefit our peoples and help bring our relationship back to the right track. For instance, what about setting a timetable for again doubling direct flights? Will the U.S. side also introduce measures to facilitate the visa application and border entry of Chinese citizens? Why don’t we rekindle MECEA programs which promoted parliamentary exchanges before? And why not directly renew the mutually beneficial agreement on science and technology cooperation as soon as possible?
All in all, we hope the United States will work with us in the same direction, clear obstacles and manage differences with concrete actions, and enhance dialogue and expand cooperation in good faith, so as to stabilize and improve China-U.S. relations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In two days, we will be celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival, a time for gathering with loved ones and savoring memorable moments together. Today, I am happy to have one of my old friends here. Dr. Joseph Polisi, President Emeritus of The Juilliard School, has led a delegation to our embassy, who will bring us a wonderful performance.
With the support from both sides, the Tianjin Juilliard School has become a shining example of China-U.S. cooperation in running schools and people-to-people exchanges. A number of young artists from around the world have got the highest-caliber training there and stepped onto the international stage. Earlier this year, Ms. Lee Young-eun from the Republic of Korea, a graduate of Tianjin Juilliard, won the 2023 International Tchaikovsky Competition in the cello category. Tonight, artists from Juilliard will treat us to a fusion of classical Chinese and Western music, including Colorful Clouds Chasing the Moon, thus showcasing the magical chemistry when the East meets the West, and reminding us again of the deep bonds between our two peoples.
Now, I would like to propose a toast,
To the 74th birthday of the People’s Republic of China,
To the friendship and cooperation between the peoples of China and the United States,
To the health and happiness of all the guests here and your loved ones,