|Remarks by H. E. Ambassador Xu Feihong at the National Day Reception|
Respected speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Florin Iordache, Respected Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, Ministers, Parliament Members, Governors, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Very happy to have you here tonight celebrating the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Romania and sharing the ceremonial occasion with us.
Please allow me to start with my heartfelt gratitude to the young students from Xenopol Economic High School for their fantastic and impressive performance of the Chinese and Romanian national anthems. They have made tremendous efforts to prepare for this moment and made a great success. Congratulations to them!
From the young students, I really see the bright future of China-Romania friendly relations, which have been built by several generations and can be carried on by young people. Between our two countries, student exchanges date back to the 1950s. Since then, there have been hundreds of Chinese and Romanian students funded by various scholarships to study in the other country. Up till now, China has inaugurated in Romania four Confucius Institutes, six Confucius Classrooms and ten Chinese language teaching hubs, with more than 2000 Romanians taking Chinese courses there. Language learning not only helps us understand each other better, but also fuel the tank of our relations.
In the new era, fresh content keeps China-Romania cooperation deepening and widening. In their bilateral meetings, the Presidents and Prime Ministers set guidelines of future development China-Romania relationship. Last year, China-Romania trade volume was 4.5 billion US dollars, with China ranking as Romania's 11th largest trading partner in the world and top one trading partner in Asia. The export of Romanian meat products to China grew by 95 per cent and China imported from Romania 251 per cent more dairy products and eggs than 2014. In the first half of this year, China-Romania trade volume surpassed 2.3 billion US dollars, growing by 8 per cent year on year.
Our pragmatic cooperation is quite encouraging. We highly appreciate the decision made by Romania's Supreme Defence Council that Cernavoda Nuclear Power Project is a priority investment project for Romania. The CGN and its Romanian counterpart have undertaken their negotiations seriously and progress has been accomplished. Meanwhile, Chinese and Romanian firms are speeding up discussions on Rovinari Coal-Fired Power Station and Tanita Hydro Power Plant. UPC Romania cable company formed a strategic partnership with Chinese Huawei Company in order to outsource its network maintenance and client support services. Chinese ZTE Company is providing solutions to Romania's smart city projects across the country. Moreover, the Romanian Cultural Institute in Beijing has been successfully operating for over one year, whereas the Chinese Cultural Institute is undergoing registration process in Romania. I am confident that, with the progress of the 'Belt and Road' Initiative and China-Central and Eastern European Countries cooperation, the collaboration between China and Romania will have a more promising future.
Nowadays, both China and Romania are developing at a speedy pace. Romania has maintained a high-speed GDP growth rate for consecutive years, revitalizing many economic sectors such as automotive, software, service, and so forth. In China, the 13th Five-Year Plan is implemented in full swing. In the first half of this year, China's GDP increased by 6.7 per cent with 7.17 million new jobs created. In China's economic growth, service sector contributed more than 110 per cent, becoming one of the major driving forces. China acquired a wide range of experience in infrastructure and construction. The motorway and high-speed railway mileage in China stands at 125 thousand kilometres and 19 thousand kilometres respectively, both figures ranking the first in the world.
On the other hand, there are some difficulties and challenges on our road ahead. They may include the unbalanced development between urban and rural areas and between regions, excess capacity in some industries, and still 70 million people living in poverty. The Chinese government is taking measures to solve these problems. We are advancing the supply-side structural reform, fostering new growth drivers for the economy, promoting the development concepts of 'innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing' and woring on the poverty alleviation programme. We are striving for the two 'centenary goals'. By 2020, we will lift all of our poor out of poverty, completing the building of a well-off society in all respects. By the mid-21st century, we will turn China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious.
Ladies and gentlemen, China cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world. China has all along been an active player in building up and enhancing the regional and international order. China has consistently upheld the international order and system based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter with the United Nations at the centre, and steadfastly safeguarded and promoted international rule of law. In the recent G20 Hangzhou Summit, China adopted 'Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy" as the theme of the event. We are committed to improve global economic governance and uphold global financial stability. We are ready to work with the people of other countries, including the Romanians, to maintain and build a sound international order and international system, making more contributions to world peace and development.
So ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to raise your glasses to the National Day of the People's Republic of China, to the health and prosperity of the Chinese and Romanian people, to the continued friendship and cooperation between our two nations. Cheers!