|Speech by H.E. Xu Feihong, Ambassador of China to Romania at the Chinese Culture Week Held at the University of Bucharest|
Academic Staff and Students,
It’s my great pleasure to attend the Chinese Culture Week hosted by the University of Bucharest.
First of all, please allow me to take this opportunity to convey my special thanks to Rector Dumitru and his colleagues, for their continuous support to China-Romania cultural and educational exchanges.
Culture is the soul of a nation. Just as the sunlight covers a spectrum of seven colours, our world is a place of dazzling colours. Throughout history, mankind have created and developed many colourful cultures, from earlier days of primitive hunting to nowadays information society. Cultural diversity has made exchanges and mutual learning valuable, which may further enhance mutual understanding between different nations, help people enjoy their lifestyle, enrich human civilisation and open up a future with more options. That could be the essence of the Chinese Culture Week held today.
As we all know, China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilisations, tracing back to over 5,000 years ago. During this long history, the Chinese people of various ethnic groups have created a splendid Chinese civilisation and a diverse and distinctive culture, which have a profound effect in the philosophy, virtue, etiquette and traditions of other Asian countries and even the rest of world. The long-standing Chinese culture has left innumerable tangible and intangible cultural treasures and heritages to the world. Here I am referring not only to the Chinese Language, but also to artwork, architecture, music, literature, Kung Fu, Chinese food, philosophy, etiquette, and so forth.
The Chinese culture provides the principles, ideas, and values to Chinese people, influencing their daily life, regulating the Chinese society, and promoting the country’s exchanges with the outside world. For instance, ever since ancient times, the Chinese have held the belief that all countries should live in peace and harmony, and this idea has become the basis of China’s foreign policy nowadays.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my young dear friends,
The Chinese culture is in a process of continuous development and innovation, advancing with the times. If you would like to learn more about the Chinese culture, you would better understand contemporary China.
Since the establishment of New China 68 years ago, remarkable achievements have been scored in both economic and social sectors; China’s overall national strength has made substantial strides. As the second largest economy in the world, the amount of China’s manufacturing production, foreign trade, and scientific research personnel has surged from low level to the top place in the world, accounting respectively for 25 per cent, 11 per cent, and 25 per cent of the global amount. The contribution of China’s economic growth to world economy is over 30 per cent. More than a quarter of the world’s material wealth has been created in China.
Meanwhile, China’s economic structure has been obviously optimised, infrastructure has registered major progress, the Chinese people’s living standard has been significantly improved, and China has made huge progress in developing democracy and legal system. China has unprecedentedly increased its international prestige as well. The Chinese opinions, solutions, and wisdom are widely understood and endorsed by an increasing number of countries, becoming international consensus. China stands unprecedentedly close to the centre of the world stage, becoming a real global power.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my young dear friends,
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China just convened in Beijing last Wednesday, and it is still ongoing. At the opening session of the Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered a keynote report which has summarised and expounded the new ideas, thoughts, and strategies on the governance and development of China, namely the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. This thought represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, and encapsulates the practical experience and collective wisdom of our Party and the people, unveiling breakthrough theory to guide China’s future.
As the report said, with decades of hard work, socialism with Chinese characteristics has crossed the threshold into a new era. This is a new historic juncture in China's development, which will be an era of building on past successes to further advance our cause, and of continuing in a new historical context to strive for the success of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It will be an era of securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and of moving on to all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country, and an era that sees China making greater contributions to mankind.
Based on a comprehensive analysis of the international and domestic environments and the conditions for China's development, we have drawn up a two-stage development plan for the period from 2020 to the middle of this century. In the first stage from 2020 to 2035, we will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society with a further 15 years of hard work to see that socialist modernisation is basically realised. In the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, we will, building on having basically achieved modernisation, work hard for a further 15 years and develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.
In international affairs, the Congress makes clear that major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics aims to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind, opening China wider to the outside world, deepening the cooperation with other countries, and advancing the Belt and Road initiative at a faster pace. China will be more closely connected to the world, and China’s development will bring more benefits to the world.
Facing the achievements we’ve made, we clearly recognise in our mind that China cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world, and prosperity of the global economy also needs China.
China put forward the Belt and Road initiative in 2013. Since then, over 100 countries and international organisations have given warm responses and support to the initiative. More than 40 countries and international organisations have signed cooperation agreements with China. China has tagged more friends along the Belt and Road. Chinese companies have made over 50 billion dollars of investment and launched a number of major projects in the countries along the routes, spurring the economic development of these countries and creating a great many local jobs. The Belt and Road initiative originated in China, but it has delivered benefits well beyond its borders.
In this May, China hosted a successful Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Acting in the spirit of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the forum participants achieved fruitful outcomes in terms of boosting the connectivity of policies, infrastructure, trade, finance and people. Guided by a new vision of governance, we have built a new platform of cooperation to tap into new sources of growth.
And as an important part of the Belt and Road initiative, China-Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) cooperation provides a great stage to the countries in this region. The heads of government of China and CEECs meet every year since 2012, and many mechanisms of collaboration and exchanges have been set up in this framework.
Romania is one of the countries along the Belt and Road routes and a vital partner in China-CEEC cooperation. We have great potentials and opportunities to deepen bilateral relations. China will open arms to Romania and welcome you aboard the express train of China’s development. We truly hope that China’s development will bring more benefits to Romania. May China and Romania further promote and align their cooperation projects, substantiate their traditional friendship, and make greater contribution to pursuing the Belt and Road initiative.
A nation will prosper only when its young people thrive; a country will be full of hope and have a great future only when its younger generations have ideals, ability, and a strong sense of responsibility. In this regard, my young friends, you are facing new opportunities of career and self-development, to become the participants, builders and contributors of China-Romania relations in the coming years. Therefore, learning Chinese language is not only the tool to better understand the Chinese culture, but also a good choice for your promising future.
Fortunately, you enjoy the exceptional advantage to learn Chinese here, as the Confucius Institute plays a very dynamic role. Thanks to the full support of the administrative board of the University of Bucharest, the Confucius Institute has made an outstanding contribution to Chinese Language teaching and China-Romania Cultural exchanges. Moreover, the Chinese language had been Included in primary and secondary school syllabus of Romania. For the next stage, we hope that the high quality Chinese language textbooks would be compiled as soon as possible with the joint efforts.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
There is an old saying in China which says ‘What is learned from books is superficial after all. It is crucial to have it personally tested somehow’. To have a better understanding of China and the Chinese culture, you are warmly welcome to take a trip to China, to enjoy the Chinese people’s hospitality, to see the beautiful sceneries, the distinctive customs and the development of China by your eyes, and to feel the charms of the Chinese culture there by your heart and soul.
To help you better understand my country, we will present to you a short video showing China’s development in recent five years. I hope this could be a first step for you to arrive in China.