October 1st, 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Seventy years ago, Chairman Mao Zedong declared to the whole world the founding of the People’s Republic of China, which ended China’s more than 100 years of darkness of domestic turmoil and foreign aggression since the Opium War in 1840, thus marking China’s great transition from a millennial-old feudal autocracy to a people’s democracy. The Chinese people, who once had been ravaged by war, and had seen their homeland torn apart and had lived in poverty and despair, stood up ever since.
Seventy years is just the twinkling of an eye in the long journey of human’s history. After hundreds of years of hardships and struggles, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese nation embarked on a magnificent voyage to modernization. On this journey, the new China has spent decades finishing the industrialization process that developed countries have undertaken for hundreds of years, which created a “rare development miracle in human history”. The national output, in terms of GDP, has increased more than 450 times, from US$30 billion in the early years of New China to more than US$13.6 trillion by the end of last year. China is now the world’s second-largest economy, the largest manufacturing country, the largest trader in goods, and the biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves.
A set of data shows us how many changes are taking place in the land of China today: in just ONE minute, Shanghai’s Rubik’s Cube-2 supercomputer can complete 24,000 trillion calculations; five civilian drones can be produced in Guangdong province; the high-speed train ‘Fuxing’ can travel 5, 833 meters; mobile transactions are nearly 400 million RMB across China; and 23.7 million RMB of goods enter into China … From south to north, from coast to inland, on the vast land of China, with more than 9.6 million square meters of land, new changes are taking place every moment, and miracles are being created every minute.
The achievements of the past 70 years have touched every area and broken new ground: the changes in China over the past 70 years have been profound and fundamental. This is the result of the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China and all Chinese people pulling together in their pursuit, along with the understanding and support of all of our friends from around the world.
Over the past 70 years, China has established diplomatic relations with 179 countries, participated in almost all intergovernmental international organizations and more than 500 international conventions, and established 110 partnership relations with other countries. The “Friend Circle” of China is steadily growing, and the “Partnership Network” of China is becoming more and denser.
China is committed to maintaining international peace and security. Among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, China has sent the largest number of peacekeepers and is hailed as a “critical factor and a key force of peacekeeping operations”. By means of shuttle diplomacy, with the aim of promoting talks among relevant parties, China has always called for political solutions to regional and global hotspots, and has contributed to the cause of world peace. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “In the process of building a world of peace, humanity and friendship, we will encounter a series of problems, and China will always be an irreplaceable partner of the United Nations.”
China is committed to promoting world economic growth and prosperity and believes that development is the key to solving problems that we human beings face. In 2013, H.E. President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI) to promote connectivity and prosperity around the world. Six years later, the BRI has become one of the most welcomed international public goods. So far, a total of 136 countries and 30 international organizations have signed the BRI cooperation documents with China, including Barbados. In the past six years, the volume of trade of goods between China and the BRI countries totalled more than US$6 trillion, and Chinese companies have directly invested more than US$90 billion to BRI countries. A World Bank report shows that the full implementation of the BRI can help lift 32 million people out of moderate poverty, increasing global trade and global income by 6.2 per cent and 2.9 per cent respectively.
Since diplomatic relations were established in 1977, China and Barbados have become good friends and partners. The two countries have continuously made new progress in political mutual trust, pragmatic cooperation and people-to-people connectivity. Our partnership has demonstrated a good example in international relations of mutual respect and equality between different sized countries. In February this year, our two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of the BRI Cooperation, which I believe will create more cooperation opportunities for our two countries in the areas of advanced agriculture, renewable energy, blue economy, infrastructure, digital connection, etc.
In order to further help Barbadian people understand China, including its economic and social development, history and culture, the Embassy recently created a Facebook account under the name Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Barbados. We welcome Barbadian friends to follow and make comments.
Today the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in 100 years. The international situation is intertwined, the geopolitical tension has risen remarkably: unilateralism and protectionism have impacted the global governance system, global challenges including climate change are profound, the transformation from old to new economic growth momentum hasn’t been completed, and a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation will bring fierce competition that has never been seen before. Human society is once again at the crossroads.
As a famous Chinese quote written by Chairman Mao Zedong says, “although the strong pass of the challenges is like a wall of iron, yet with firm strides, we are conquering its summit”. In this regard, China is willing to work with Barbados, to conform to the global historical trend, advance our bilateral friendship, shoulder the responsibilities for the international community, and act as the builders of world peace, contributors to global development, defenders of the international order, and the constant anchors in the great changing time. With all that being said, my Barbadian friends, let’s join hands to promote the work of building a community of shared future for mankind.
H.E. Yan Xiusheng is the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Barbados