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Remarks by Ambassador H.E. Bai Tian at the 2018 National Day Reception

The Honourable Dato' Minister Salahuddin bin Haji Ayub, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry,

Honourable Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Dato' Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof,

Honourable Minister of Finance Mr. Lim Guan Eng,

Minister of International Trade and Industry Mr. Ignatius Dorell Leiking,

Minister of Entrepreneurship Development Mr. Mohd Redzuan Yusof, Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Ms. Yeo Bee Yin,

Respected Ministers, Vice Ministers, party leaders,

Ambassadors, Excellencies,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,


A very good evening and a warm welcome to you all! Thank you for joining us to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. My thanks also go to boys and girls of the S.J.K. Kheow Bin School Choir, for their pure and celestial performance of the two national anthems.

2018 is a monumental year for China and the Chinese people because it marks the 40th anniversary of the Reform and Opening up of China and the 5th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Chinese president Xi Jinping.

China's Reform and Opening up is a historical, political and economic phenomenon, not only in China but also in the world. By committing to the Reform and Opening up, Chinese people have turned their motherland from a poor and weak country into the second largest economy in the world, a country holding the largest industrial output, cargo trading, and foreign currency reserve and many other achievements.

We achieved an increase of GDP by more than 20 folds from a marginal 149 billion US dollars in 1978 to over 13 trillion US dollars today. Our poverty headcount ratio in the rural area has dropped from 97.5% to 3.1%. With 40 years' reform and opening up, China has gone through dramatic changes and created an economic miracle.

By reform and opening up, China has also contributed to the peace and development of Asia and the world. China's contribution rate to world economic growth has risen from 2.3% in 1978 to over 30% today. While developing itself, China commits to a win-win strategy of opening up, welcoming other countries to take joint efforts for common development. From this very reason, President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013. For the past five years, countries along the route of the Belt and Road have been connected to achieve common development through mutually beneficial cooperation based on the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits. We can see from facts that more than 100 countries and international organizations have supported and participated in the Belt and Road Initiative, scoring remarkable early achievements. It has been transformed from concept to action, and from vision to reality, yielding fruitful outcomes and bringing about substantial benefits to many countries.

Two days ago, the Chinese Embassy put up a photo exhibition in KLCC themed "Together We Build a Better Future". Over 200 photos have been displayed to showcase to the Malaysian audience the development of China, the Belt and Road Initiative and the friendly cooperative relations between China and Malaysia. Today we brought some of the photos from the exhibition to show at the foyer outside this ballroom. I hope they will be well worthy of your time to see. These photos may give you vivid recollections on how China exerts to achieve its development and to strive for the common development with the rest of the world. 

So much has been achieved. However, we have to bear in mind that China is still a developing country. China's GDP per capita is still relatively low. Today there are still more than 30 million Chinese people living in poverty. And we still face problems such as imbalances of development between rural and urban areas and in different regions. To realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, we have a long way to go, and we have much work to do.

Looking into the future, we will stride with firm steps in reform and will not slow down the pace. At the same time, no matter how much progress China has achieved, we will stick to the path of peaceful development. China will not threaten anyone, nor will China attempt to overturn the existing international system, or seek spheres of influence. We will join hands with the international community, embracing the challenges brought by trade wars, safeguarding the world economic order and multilateral trade systems adamantly. We will work together with all countries, including Malaysia, to promote cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and to build a community of shared future for mankind.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

The year 2018 means a lot to both China and Malaysia. China ushers in a new historical period of building an all-around Modern Socialist country under the guidance of the 19th CPC National Congress. While Malaysia, led by a new government, embarks on the journey of a "New Malaysia". Our both countries, as well as China-Malaysia relations, have entered into a new era.

Last month, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir paid his official visit to China, which turns out to be a full success. As the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia, I accompanied Prime Minister Mahathir and this entourage throughout the visit, every step of the way. I attended the meeting between the Chinese and Malaysian leaders, and listened in person to their in-depth exchanges of ideas on how to further strengthen the friendly and cooperative relations between China and Malaysia. I was deeply impressed by their confidence and vision.

During the visit, our leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in the fields such as agriculture, e-commerce, infrastructure and to encourage two-way investment. I have every reason to believe that under the care and guidance from our leaders, China-Malaysia relations will continue to flourish in a steady manner, bearing more fruits and bringing about more tangible benefits to our two peoples.

In conclusion, next year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia. We should build on the past experiences of working together as sincere partners and conquering common challenges as brothers and sisters. Looking into the future, China is ready to work together with Malaysia, to stick to the overarching goal of common development through win-win cooperation, to handle differences properly based on the principle of mutual respect and friendly consultation, and to achieve new progress f the bilateral relations from a new starting point. I am determined, together with my colleagues from the Chinese Embassy, to join hands with the Malaysian friends from all walks of life and work in tandem for a better future of common prosperity.

That's the end of my speech. Thank you very much for your attention.

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