(30th September, 2012)
Honorable H.E. Minister of Labour Atef Odeibat,
Honorable H.E. Minister of Industry and Trade Shabib Ammari,
Distinguished guests and friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,
May I warmly welcome you, in this festive golden moment of the year with a full moon and beautiful autumn evening breeze, to the Chinese Embassy in celebrating the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
On October 1st 1949, the People's Republic of China was founded. With an arduous century's struggle in modern times, hundreds of millions of Chinese people from all ethnic groups buried the old semi-feudal and semi-colonial China, gained independence and national liberation. They have embarked ever since on the road to revitalize the country and opened a new chapter in our history. 34 years ago in 1978, with our unprecedented reform and opening-up efforts, our modernization drive was further rejuvenated with fresh and immerse vitality. Today as we proudly look back, our country has become stronger, our economy more prosperous, our people much happier and more united, our society more harmonious than ever.
2012 marks a significant year in our development according to our 12th Five-Year-Plan. China's economic and social development remains stable. In the first half year, the GDP grew at 7.8%, with an 8% growth in foreign trade. Inflation is under control. China continues serving as a driving force for world economy. Most importantly this year on 8th November, we are going to hold the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC), a major significant political event for China's development in the decade to come. From the 16th CPC Congress in 2002 to 2011, China's average annual GDP growth is 10.7%, up to the world 2nd from the 6th, GDP per capita rose from $1000 to $5432. The foreign trade rose from 6th to 2nd in the world with over 3 trillion US dollar foreign exchange reserves. With such great achievements over the past decade, the Chinese people are indeed marching onto the future in greater gratitude and confidence.
We nevertheless see clearly many challenges ahead. China's poverty population ranks also the second in the world. To take $1.25 per day per capita as poverty line, at least 128 million people now live below that line in China. Pressures are always there in fields of employment, environment and natural resources, which calls for harder work in reform and opening-up, more in-put in creation and innovations, transformation of economic development, improvement in education, health and social security as well as resource conservation and environmental protection. We will also strive harder for maintaining a stable and peaceful international environment while further expanding international exchanges and cooperation. China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development and work with international community in promoting a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.
This year marks as well the 35 anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Jordan. In the past 35 years, under the wise guidance and leadership of both leaders, the Sino-Jordanian relationship has enjoyed growth by leaps and bounds. High-level exchanges remain good momentum, trade and economic cooperation grows rapidly, cultural exchanges active and dynamic, close communication and coordination on international and regional arena continuously strengthened. Both of our peoples enjoy increasingly active exchanges and friendship goes deeper.
Sino-Jordanian trade reached＄2.78 billion in 2011, an increase of 35.2% to that of 2010. From January to July this year, bilateral trade amounted to＄1.896 billion, an annual up of 18.98%. The export from China to Jordan grew by 16.7% and the import from Jordan to China expanded by 40.5%. In 2011, the number of visas issued to China in Jordan is more than 19000 and will exceed 24000 this year. The vitality of China-Jordan relationship keeps filled and strong with the future bright and promising.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our bilateral ties are indeed a best miniature of China-Arab friendship. It is also a vivid reflection of China's adherence to the path of peaceful development and principles of international relations.
We adhere to mutual respect and equality. We cheer for every progress Jordan has made in your economic and social development. The traditional friendly relationship between China-Jordan enjoys a sound and solid foundation with ever expanding political dialogues, exchanges and cooperation. We highly appreciate government and people of Jordan and Arab countries as a whole for your unwavering support in fields regarding China's core interests such as these regarding Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang. China will firmly stand by the just cause of the Palestinian and Arab people to restore their legitimate national rights and the just endeavors of countries in the region striving for stability, peace, security and development.
We always work on trusted cooperation, mutual benefit and win-win situation with all our friends and partners. China will continue to promote trade and investment cooperation in Jordan and the region, actively participate in local development, learn from each other and seek common progress and prosperity. As another evidence of this fruitful partnership in the past 8 years since the First China Products Fair held in Jordan in 2004, our bilateral trade has increased by 400%.
We persevere in promoting dialogue among civilizations and harmony in world community. With a population of 23.14 million Muslims in China, we are fully committed to protecting their tradition and culture as well as that of all other ethnic groups. We attach no less importance to learning and drawing experience from nations across the world. While more Chinese boys and girls are coming each year to Jordan to study Arabic language and culture, an increasing number of Jordanian young people are studying in colleges in China, bringing new vitality for our ever enhanced friendly ties.
We advocate solving international disputes through peaceful means and are opposed to outside imposed interference. We have been working closely with regional and international partners as well as parties of Syria in an active and balanced manner for an immediate stopping of violence and earlier progress in political solution regarding Syrian crisis. We highly appreciate Jordan's efforts in providing humanitarian help for Syrian refugees, and have decided to provide emergency humanitarian aid of 15 million RMB to Jordan for that purpose.
China as a peace-loving country is firmly committed to maintaining world peace, security and stability, promoting common development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. The Chinese government and people are unshakably determined with full confidence to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as security and development interests.
Ladies and gentlemen,
China and Jordan are both important forces in maintaining world peace and regional stability. Every progress in our relationship embodies our relentless endeavors for the future of our countries and peoples' well-being. Today, I want to thank the government and people of Jordan under the leadership of His Majesty the King Abdullah II, for your sincere support in this most valuable ties between our two countries. My thanks also go for the overseas Chinese, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan compatriots for your caring and support for the motherland. We call for your continuous contribution for and active participation in mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Jordan and play a greater role in the years to come.
Now may I propose a toast, to the prosperity and the welfare of our two countries and peoples, to the ever-lasting and fruitful friendship between China-Jordan, and to the health and happiness of all present tonight.
Cheers and thank you.