Honorable Representatives from three tiers of the Canadian Government,
Respected local Chinese Community leaders,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On the occasion of the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, I would like, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Toronto, to extend my warmest welcome to all of you to the reception this evening to celebrate with us the birthday of China.
Ever since the new China was founded 67 years ago, all the people of China, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and with diligence and wisdom, have built a strong and prosperous Motherland. Back in 1949, our total GDP was only $18.9 billion, and per capita GDP $35. In 2015, our GDP jumped to $10.8 trillion, with the per capita GDP rising to $7924. China, now as the second largest economy in the world, with its contribution to global economic growth reaching 25%, serves as a significant powerhouse and stabilizer of the global economy.
This year, despite the complicated situation at home and abroad, and the mounting downward pressure of economic development, the Chinese economy has on the whole maintained stability while making steady progress as a result of a series of effective measures taken by the Chinese government. It has shown three encouraging features, namely stability, transformation and vitality. This means that economic performance has been basically stable, the transformation and upgrading of the economic structure has been accelerated, vibrant new economies has emerged and the internal strength of the economy has grown. In the first half of 2016, China's GDP grew by 6.7%, which still took the lead among major economies. As a $10 trillion economy, every one percentage point of growth now equals several percentage points of growth before, and the yearly economic increment is tantamount to the economic aggregate of a middle-income country. Over 13 million new urban jobs were being created on an annual basis. At the same time, the income of urban and rural residents continued to grow, and the value added of the tertiary industry accounted for more than 50% of the total GDP, much higher than that of the secondary industry. The demand structure was also improved, with the final consumption expenditure contributing 73.4% to the GDP growth.
Next, the Chinese government will continue to pursue innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, expand the aggregate demand in an appropriate way, steadfastly advance the supply-side structural reform, and accelerate to foster new driving forces for development, so as to make sure the economy keeps on a healthy and sustainable track. While China maintains its own economic growth, it will continue its support for the multilateral trading system as well as the trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, boost confidence in, foster driving forces for and intensify cooperation on global economic growth, so as to make sure the world economy could move along a path of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, contributing to the shared prosperity and better well-being of the world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Committed to peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, and in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, China has endeavored to advance major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, maintain a peaceful and stable international environment, build a mutually beneficial global partnership, improve the global governance, advance the political settlement of regional hot spot issues, and respond to global challenges such as sustainable development and climate change, playing its due role as a major responsible country.
The healthy and stable development of China’s economy, as well as China’s diplomatic policy to maintain world peace and promote common development, will provide vast opportunities for the world including Canada. In recent years, China-Canada relations have maintained a good momentum of development. The bilateral trade from January to July this year has reached 46.2 billion Canadian Dollars. The broadened economic and trade cooperation is accompanied by the rapidly growing people-to-people exchanges. Currently, there are 172 flights between China and Canada every week. More than 140 thousand Chinese students are studying in Canada. The more frequent people-to-people exchanges further deepen the friendship and mutual understanding between our two peoples.
Not long ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Li Keqiang successfully exchanged visits in less than a month, indicating that the China-Canada relations go back on the right track. Through face to face communications, leaders of both countries reached broad common understanding. The two sides are committed to the development of a robust, comprehensive strategic partnership. They agreed, through a strengthened high-level dialogue and expanded exchanges at various levels, to deepen cooperation in areas of energy, clean technology, agriculture, infrastructure, transportation, financial service, innovation, education, culture, tourism as well as judicial and law enforcement. The two sides officially launched the annual dialogue mechanism between the Chinese and Canadian prime ministers, and signed dozens of intergovernmental and commercial agreements. They have also embarked on exploratory talks for a potential free trade agreement. Canada decided to apply to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The exchange of visits has pointed out the direction for and opened a new chapter of China-Canada relations.
As an important part of the China-Canada strategic partnership, great achievements were made in the exchanges and cooperation between China and our Consular area, which includes the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. In the first seven months of this year, the trade volume between China and Ontario reached 22.5 billion Canadian Dollars, accounting for 49% of the total trade volume between China and Canada. Meanwhile, China's trade volume with Manitoba kept expanding. While Ontario’s strategy of prioritizing scientific innovation in the promotion of growth and job creation agrees with China’s pursuit of innovation driven development, the developed agriculture and agro industry of Manitoba are also very attractive for China. The pragmatic cooperation between China and the two provinces in the fields of innovation, environmental protection, energy saving, clean energy, agriculture and infrastructure enjoys great potential and broad prospects.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Without the support and care of the overseas Chinese, progress in the development of China-Canada strategic partnership and in the pragmatic cooperation between China and the two provinces would not have been achieved. Over the years, the overseas Chinese in our consular district have always supported China’s economic and social development and the great cause of the peaceful reunification, and made important contributions to the development of bilateral relations by actively playing the role of bridge and bonds in promoting China-Canada friendship and cooperation. During his visit in Canada, Premier Li keqiang set aside time to meet with the representatives of the Chinese Canadians, including those in our consular area. We hope that in the years to come, the overseas Chinese here would continue to promote the friendly cooperation between China and Canada as "Golden Bond", to contribute to China’s innovation driven development as “Participant”, and to support China’s peaceful reunification as “ Bridge Between Hearts”. The Consulate General will continuously adhere to the concept of putting people's interests first and conducting diplomacy for the people, make great efforts to protect and assist overseas Chinese, constantly improve our work and service, and make greater contributions to the friendship and cooperation between China and Canada.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Together with our overseas siblings and friends, the 1.3 billion Chinese people are making relentless efforts to realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. China’s development in this process will definitely benefit the world. We are ready to strengthen friendly exchanges and cooperation with the people of Canada and enhance the China-Canada strategic partnership to a new high.
Finally, I would like to propose a toast,
To the prosperity of China and the happiness of its people,
To the long-lasting friendship between China and Canada, and
To the health and happiness of all the guests!