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Remarks at the Virtual Reception Celebrating the 71st Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
By H.E. Mr. Ren Yisheng, Ambassador of China to Liberia

24 September 2020

Your Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia,

Honorable representatives of the government and relevant political parties of Liberia

Honorable colleagues from diplomatic corps and international organizations,

Dear Chinese compatriots in Liberia,

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Good evening!

Welcome you all to this virtual reception in celebrating the 71st Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China.

2020 is an extraordinary year for people all over the world. The whole world has been ravaged by a sudden outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic, which has brought a serious impact to all countries in the world and took away nearly one million precious lives.

China was the first country to be attacked by the epidemic. Facing the COVID-19, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core and the Chinese government always put the people's lives first. With courage and perseverance, the CPC and our Government have swiftly united the Chinese people for launching a people’s war, comprehensive campaign, and containment operation against the virus. By taking the most comprehensive and rigorous measures and after three months of hard work, China has made major strategic achievements in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, which fully reflects China's institutional advantage of concentrating resources on major initiatives and the powerful strength of people of all ethnic groups across the country through a united will. The unprecedented epidemic prevention measures taken by China have been commended by the World Health Organization and the international community.

On this basis, China made overall plans to prevent the epidemic, promote social and economic development, and restored the social production and peoples livelihood, which achieved remarkable results. Despite the severe impact of the epidemic, China's economy has shown a strong recovery momentum. In the second quarter of this year, China's economy has rebounded to 3.2% growth, becoming the only country in the world's major economies that has achieved positive economic growth.

Like the mountain range that stretches before you and me, lets share the same trails and hardships together. While fighting COVID-19 at home, China has actively cooperated with other countries in the world to overcome the difficulties and made positive contributions to the global response. As a responsible major country, China firmly believes that it is impossible to overcome the epidemic by politicizing and stigmatizing the epidemic. The more challenging it is, the more we need solidarity and cooperation. In an open, transparent and responsible manner, China has been actively fulfilling its international obligations. It has promptly notified the WHO, relevant national and regional organizations about the epidemic, shared the gene sequence of COVID-19 and conducted over 70 exchange activities on epidemic prevention and control. It has no reservation in sharing its prevention and treatment experience with all parties. China has done its best to provide assistance to the international community within its own capacity. It has announced two batches of US$ 50 million in cash assistance to WHO, sent 34 medical expert teams to 32 countries, provided 283 batches of anti-epidemic assistance to 150 countries and 4 international organizations, provided and exported anti-epidemic materials to more than 200 countries and regions. China and African countries jointly held the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit On Solidarity Against COVID-19, and China will help to construct AU CDC headquarters (first phase). Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Liberia, the Chinese government has donated 3 batches of epidemic prevention materials to Liberia, and Chinese civil society and NGOs such as Alibaba Foundation, Chinese enterprises and Chinese nationals in Liberia have made donations of medical masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectants and other epidemic prevention materials to Liberia on many occasions, thus contributing China's efforts to Liberia's fight against COVID-19. On 22 September 2020, at the General Debate of the 75th Session of The United Nations General Assembly, President Xi announced that China will provide another US$50 million to the UN COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan, and contribute US$50 million to the China-FAO South-South Cooperation Trust Fund (Phase III). China has been committed to strengthening international anti-epidemic cooperation, promoting the recovery of the world economy and supporting the cause of the United Nations with practical actions, demonstrating China's sincere aspirations to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Your Excellency Mr. President,

Distinguished guests,

This year marks the 71st Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, and it is also an important milestone for China to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, achieve the first Centenary goal of China, win a decisive victory against poverty, and conclude the 13th Five-Year Plan. Over the past 71 years, especially since the reform and opening up more than 40 years ago, under the strong leadership of the CPC, with the support and help of international partners, China has made remarkable achievements through our hard work. In 2019, China's economic aggregate approached 100 trillion RMB yuan (more than 14 trillion US dollars), accounting for more than 16% of the global economy and ranking the second place in the world. Our per capita GDP has exceeded US $10,000. Since reform and opening-up, China has been contributing over 30 percent to global economic growth for the past ten-plus years, more than 850 million Chinese people were lifted out of poverty, contributing over 70 percent to global poverty reduction. The nearly 1.4 billion Chinese people have made a historic leap from destitution to subsistence and to a life of moderate prosperity. China will eliminate absolute poverty for the first time in its history and meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals on poverty ten years ahead of schedule.

This year also marks the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. As the first country to sign on the UN Charter, China has all along been a promoter of world peace, a defender of the international order and a facilitator of economic globalization. Soon after the founding of the People's Republic, China adopted an independent foreign policy of peace. Over the years, China has actively participated in the security and development machanisms and cooperation with the UN and other countries, and is now the second largest contributor to United Nations funds and the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping operation among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, making significant contributions to maintaining world peace and development, including post-war peace and stability of Liberia. China has always been a practitioner of multilateralism and firmly upholds the international system with the United Nations at its core. China has joined almost all universal inter-governmental organizations and acceded to over 500 international conventions. China will continue to uphold international multilateralism in addressing various global challenges. It will stay actively engaged in reforming and developing the global governance system. It will firmly uphold the UN-centered international system, firmly uphold the international order underpinned by international law, and the multilateral trade system represented by the WTO. As of 2019, overall tariffs of China were brought down to less than 7.5 percent, lower than most countries in the world. China is the number one trading partner for 130-plus countries and regions and one of the most important markets for multinational companies. China has actively participated in the formulation of international economic and trade rules represented by WTO reform, jointly dealt with international cooperation such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and put forward the idea of building a more just and reasonable international order and a community with a shared future for mankind. All of these showcased Chinas contribution to the reform of global governance system and exemplified the role of a major country.

To promote mutually beneficial cooperation with African countries, China and Africa jointly established the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000, which has yielded fruitful cooperation outcomes between China and Africa in various fields. Since the Beijing Summit of the FOCAC was successfully held in 2018, China and Africa have strengthened their strategic connectivity and joined hands to open up bright prospects for common development and prosperity, under the framework of the eight major initiatives of China-Africa cooperation and the joint construction of the "Belt and Road Initiative". In 2019, the trade volume between China and Africa reached US$ 208.7 billion, and China has become Africa's largest trading partner for 11 consecutive years. Chinese enterprises actively participate in infrastructure construction in Africa, and have implemented a number of major projects in the fields of rail transit, ports, aviation and electric power in recent years, which greatly enhanced the interconnection and intercommunication of Africa. The high-level exchanges between China and Africa have become unprecedentedly frequent and mutual political trust has been continuously strengthened. The quality and efficiency of China-Africa trade and economic cooperation are improved, which has enabled both sides to achieve win-win cooperation. Cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and Africa have become increasingly active and people-to-people bond is closer than ever.

Your Excellency Mr. President,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

In 2020, the political mutual trust and friendship between the governments and peoples of China and Liberia are further deepened in the concerted fight against COVID-19. After the outbreak of the epidemic in China at the beginning of this year, Liberian political figures including President Weah, Vice President Taylor, House Speaker Chambers and Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)  Chairman Morlu among others have expressed their support for China's fight against the epidemic through letters or videos. Social organizations and people from all walks of life in Liberia, such as the Liberian Business Association, the Liberian Association of Chinese Trained Scholars (LACTS), The Liberia-China Friendship Organization (LICFO), the Vanguard Student Unification Party (SUP) of University of Liberia, Liberian students from the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia, religious institutions and Press Union of Liberia (PUL), have also expressed their readiness to "stay firmly with the Chinese people". Since the outbreak of the epidemic in Liberia, aside from donations of medical materials to Liberia from Chinese government, the Chinese enterprises and nationals working and living in Liberia have stood together with Liberian people. During the epidemic, China Gezhouba Group Company in Liberia made an additional investment of 15 million RMB yuan. These showed the brotherly bond and strong determination for fighting against the Coronavirus together between China and Liberia. As the COVID-19 epidemic is still spreading, the Chinese government will donate another batch of materials to Liberia in the near future. We hope this will help Liberia overcome the epidemic as soon as possible and smoothly resume economic and social production. In addition, in the next stage, the Chinese government will continue to support the economic and social development of Liberia, by pushing forward major projects such as the flyover bridge and the reference laboratory, and encouraging more Chinese enterprises to invest in Liberia.

To quote a Chinese saying, "The ocean is vast because it rejects no rivers." I would like to reiterate here that, under the framework of FOCAC and the "Belt and Road Initiative", China will continue to strengthen strategic connectivity with the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) advocated by H.E. President Weah, jointly implement the China-Africa "eight major initiatives", and continue to advance friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation of China and Liberia, so as to bring more tangible benefits to the two peoples. Hand in hand we will build a China-Africa community with a shared future that features joint responsibility, win-win cooperation, happiness for all, common cultural prosperity, common security, and harmonious co-existence, and turn it into a pacesetter for building such a community for mankind.

In conclusion, I wish the world peace and prosperity. May China and Liberia enjoy prosperity, the people enjoy everlasting friendship. I wish President Weah and all the guests present good health and success in all your endeavors.

Thank you all!

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