Drink Tea and Renew Friendship
-- Remarks Made by Chinese Ambassador Ma Xinmin at the Inaugural Ceremony for the “Chinese Teahouse” Salon and Also Its Debut Event
(December 10, 2019)
ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening! Welcome to the Chinese Embassy. Thank you for joining us tonight at the inaugural ceremony for the “Chinese Teahouse” salon and also its debut event.
“Chinese Teahouse” is a new platform launched by the Chinese Embassy in Sudan to enhance dialogues with friendly personnel from all sectors. As we all know, both the Chinese and Sudanese nations have the tradition of tea-drinking. Tea is a national drink for the Chinese nation and also an everyday drink for Sudanese people. As a popular Chinese saying goes, “drink tea, make friends”. The “Chinese Teahouse” salon aims at deepening China-Sudan friendship and expressing best wishes for the future. Here, we may exchange our ideas and enhance mutual understanding, while drinking tea in a pleasing environment. All friendly personnel from different sectors of Sudan are welcomed to the “Chinese Teahouse”. We will hold the salon from time to time in the Chinese Embassy and focus on the discussion of one specific topic each time, hoping to acquire a better knowledge of the two peoples from each other and carry forward the friendly cooperation between our two sides.
This debut event is themed by “Achievements, Experience and Inspiration on the Occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of China-Sudan Diplomatic Relations”. Among the invited guests here are reporters from Sudanese mainstream media that returned home not long ago after their visits in China, and experts and scholars that gave wonderful speeches at the international symposium in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sudan. You have witnessed and promoted the development of China and its relations with Sudan. Thank you all for your positive contributions over the years to the development of China and its relations with Sudan. I would like now to take this opportunity to share with you my views on this theme.
I Achievements, Experience and Inspiration over the Past 70 Years Since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China
As this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, “China’s governance” has come into the international spotlight. 70 years are but a fleeting moment in human history. But for the hard-working Chinese who have withstood the wind and rain, these have been 70 years of wonders that make a marvelous contribution to the world’s economic and social development. Our friends from Sudan and many other developing countries are happy with China’s historic achievements. Our friends may ask how we view “Chinese miracle” created over the past 70 years?
China has taken on a new look over the past 70 years. In the past seven decades, China has been committed to finding a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics that suits its own circumstances, dramatically increasing its comprehensive national strength and realizing a historic leap from standing up to becoming prosperous and then stronger. China’s gross domestic product (GDP) skyrocketed from $12.3 billion in 1949 to $13.6 trillion in 2018 and created the second largest economy in the world. This has demonstrated the unmatched Chinese speed. Significant technological achievements achieved by China in hybrid rice, manned spaceflight, lunar exploration, quantum science, deep-sea exploration, satellite navigation and 5G telecommunication technology have stood at the forefront of the world. And the Aircraft Carrier Shandong, C919 passenger jet, BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and Jiaolong Manned Submersible manufactured by China have won world’s admiration.
China has greatly improved the well-being of Chinese people over the past 70 years. In the past seven decades, remaining true to the original aspiration of seeking the well-being for its people and putting the interests of its people in the first place, China has brought profound changes to its people, enabling Chinese people to master the country by themselves and through diligent work become better off with a great sense of contentment and happiness. The GDP per capita in China grew from $35 in 1949 to $9,771 in 2018. The average life expectancy of Chinese people was more than doubled from 35 years in 1949 to 77 years in 2018. Over 700 million rural population in China has been lifted out of poverty, while the number of China’s middle-income population has reached 400 million. In China, the basic medical insurance and endowment insurance have covered more than 900 million people, forming the largest social security network in the globe. Furthermore, the environment and living conditions in China have been improved dramatically, contributing to over one fourth of the growth in green spaces in the world.
China has driven positive changes to the world pattern over the past 70 years. In the past seven decades, China has forged ahead along the path of peaceful development and is now working on positive evolution of the global landscape. The collective rise of China and other emerging markets and developing countries has given them an increasingly bigger voice in international affairs and global governance. Holding high the banner of multilateralism, advocating a community of a shared future for the humanity and standing for win-win cooperation, China has set good examples for various countries in the world. Undertaken the mission for maintaining world peace, China has contributed to world peace. Working positively to push ahead the Road and Belt initiative, China has injected continuous impetus to the world’s economic growth. The constructive Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy proposed by China offers China’s solutions to improve the global governance. China has always been respectful to the cultural diversity and seen a growing number of Chinese initiatives become international consensus and an increasing number of countries and international organizations join in China’s “circle of friends”.
In just a few decades, China has completed a course that took developed countries several hundred years and made remarkable achievements. Our friends may be curious about what is the secret behind the “Chinese miracle”.
As I see it, the Chinese miracle is accredited to “five adherences”. First, China adheres to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics under the leadership of the Communist Party of China that provides the fundamental guarantee for such miracle. Second, China adheres to the development policies oriented toward reform, opening up and innovation that provide inexhaustible power for such miracle. Third, China adheres to the central task of economic development that charts the course for such miracle. Fourth, China adheres to people-oriented governance that wins extensive support for such miracle. And fifth, China adheres to the worldview on win-win cooperation and common good that creates a favorable environment for such miracle. This valuable successful experience inspires Chinese sons and daughters generation after generation to work unremittingly on realizing the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.
Our friends may wonder in what way is Chinese miracle relevant to Sudan and other developing countries? Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out, “as the socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, China offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence, and offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solve the problems facing humanity”. China’s success story in development not only resolves its own problems but also offers some inspiration for other countries. I think it could be summarized into “four ones”.
First and foremost, China has one powerful leadership that is the Communist Party of China. The ruling CPC has been committed to its role as a leadership to exercise overall leadership and coordinate the efforts of all involved, and been able to make practical progress in various causes.
Second, China practices one superior system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Specifically, Chinese socialism is comprised of the fundamental political system of people’s congresses, the basic economic system whereby public ownership plays a dominant role and economic entities under diverse forms of ownership develop side by side, the system of CPC-led multiparty cooperation and political consultation, the system of regional ethnic autonomy, the system of community-level self-governance, and the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics. These systems provide the fundamental institutional guarantee for progress and development in China today, and are advanced systems with distinct Chinese characteristics, notable institutional strengths and a strong capacity for self-improvement.
Third, China has a package of policies suitable for the national conditions. These policies stress the adherence to the development for reform, opening-up and innovation-oriented , the “people-oriented” approach, socialist market economy, law-based governance, and equity, solidarity and prosperity of all ethnic groups.
Last but not least, China benefits from the sound development environment inside and outside the country. The fruits of development cannot be produced amidst flames of war. Stability overrides everything. Without peace and stability inside and outside the country, economic and social development could not be possible. China’s rise contributes a new development mode to the world, whereby domestic development could be pursued and realized in peace rather than through launching wars or exploiting other countries.
II Achievements, Experience and Inspiration over the Past 60 Years Since the Establishment of China-Sudan Diplomatic Relations
This year sees the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sudan. In the outgoing year 2019, we have held a series of events in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties, including the commemorative meeting and the symposium, to review what has been achieved and chart the course for the future. The leaders and peoples of our two countries highly appreciate and speak positively of the achievements scored in the past six decades, and have high hopes of future development of China-Sudan relations in the next 60 years.
China and Sudan have witnessed friendly ties between the two peoples for millennia and bilateral diplomatic ties for 60 years. In the past 60 years, no matter how the international situation evolves and how the Chinese and Sudanese governments change, our bilateral relations grow even stronger. China and Sudan have always adhered to equality and mutual trust and jointly met the challenges of the times; always adhered to pragmatic cooperation and shared the fruits of development; always adhered to cultural and people-to-people exchanges; and always adhered to mutual assistance and jointly consolidated the traditional friendship. All these contribute to the mainstream of the 60-year China-Sudan relations. That is mutual trust, mutual benefit, mutual help and mutual learning which are not possible without our common political stance, increasingly intertwined interests, and profound friendship and sincere mutual recognition between the two peoples. Such successful experience has been a good example for China-Africa Cooperation and “South-South Cooperation”.
Looking back to the past 60 years, we will never forget the people who have made painstaking efforts and contributions to the advancement of China-Sudan relationship. It is these people that set significant milestones one after another in the development of bilateral relations. I would like to take this opportunity to review “ten major events of historic significance” regarding China-Sudan cooperation in the past 60 years following the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations.
First, in 1971, China started to assist Sudan in nurturing acrobats.
Second, in 1971, China started to dispatch medical teams to Sudan.
Third, in 1972, China provided assistance in building the Friendship Hall.
Fourth, in 1995, China and Sudan began their oil cooperation.
Fifth, in 1998, China and Sudan began their cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector, including production of antimalarials.
Sixth, China contracted to build the Merowe Dam in 2003, the Roseires Dam in 2008 and the Upper Atbara Dam in 2012.
Seventh, in 2012, China and Sudan established the agricultural cooperation development zone.
Eighth, in 2015, China and Sudan established the strategic partnership.
Ninth, in 2018, China and Sudan signed the memorandum of understanding for the “Belt and Road” initiative.
Last but not least, in 2019, China launched Sudan’s first ever manned satellite.
Such ten major events are significant milestones in the history of Chine-Sudan relations and represent the hard-won fruits of relentless efforts and hard work of several generations of Chinese and Sudanese people. They deserve our greatest care and attention.
Ladies and gentlemen,
China-Sudan relations are now going through an important year of building on past achievements and opening up new prospects. At the new starting point, we will see more new opportunities. China is ready to work with Sudan to constantly review the experience gained in the development of bilateral relations and actively explore new opportunities for cooperation in various fields. We would like to work with Sudan in the following fields.
The first is carrying forward friendly relations and enhancing mutual trust. Sudan is currently faced with the dual tasks of political transition and economic transformation. China has always believed in the Sudanese people’s wisdom and ability to handle their own affairs. China will not change the declared policies in promoting our relations. And we believe the friendship and cooperation of strategic consensus between us will not change. We are looking forward to a peaceful, stable and prosperous Sudan.
The second is synergizing development strategies and expanding cooperation. With a population of 40 million and rich natural resources, Sudan is close to the Red Sea and occupies the junction of the Blue Nile and the White Nile. With unique geographical advantages, Sudan is a natural partner for the Belt and Road. China is ready to synergize its strategies with the new Sudanese regime, tap the potential of cooperation and draw on each other’s strengths. China is also ready to actively develop regional economies such as those bordering the Red Sea and the Nile and expand cooperation with Sudan in agriculture, animal husbandry, mining, oil, production capacity, aviation, ports and other infrastructure areas under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.
The third is promoting people-to-people exchanges and consolidating public support. China-Sudan friendship have enjoyed popular support and remained firm. We should always learn from each other and expand bilateral exchanges and cooperation in culture, education, tourism, sports, think tanks and non-governmental sectors, so that the youth of our two countries can pick up the baton and make positive contributions to consolidating the traditional friendship between the two countries.
Ladies and gentlemen,
During my 326 days as the Chinese Ambassador to Sudan in the past over 10 months, I am honored to have contact with many people from all quarters in Sudan, deeply touched by the goodwill and sincere friendship of Sudanese people toward China and Chinese people, seeing firsthand many fruits yielded from our strategic partnership, and deeply understanding the huge potential of exchanges and cooperation between the two sides. The development of China-Sudan relations cannot be possible without the care, support and participation of all of you here and people from all quarters in Sudan. I would like to take this opportunity to express my most sincere thanks to all of you here and through you, to all Sudanese friends!
Ladies and gentlemen,
In conclusion, thank you all again for being here at this event. I am looking forward to your ideas and suggestions on how to further promote the development of China-Sudan relations, to make the “Chinese Teahouse” salon a continued success in the future as a wonderful platform for free exchange of perspectives and insights and a bond of friendship between the two countries.
Thank you very much!