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Speech by H.E. Ambassador Hu Zhangliang at the Reception in Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh,

Hon. Acting Foreign Minister, Mr. Solomon Jamiru Esq.,

Hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers,

Hon. Members of Parliament and Leadership Members of Political Parties,

Your Excellency Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Consul Generals, Colleagues from Diplomatic and Consular Corps, International Organizations Representatives,

Distinguished Guests,

Fellow Chinese,

Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening.

It is my great pleasure to welcome all of you to join us in warmly celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Thank you for your constant support to the development of China and China-Sierra Leone relations. Thank you my colleagues in the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese Community in Sierra Leone for your great efforts in the preparation of this reception.

On October 1, 1949, after a long and arduous struggle, the Chinese people, under the staunch leadership of the Communist Party of China, founded the People's Republic of China.

Over the past 70 years, the Communist Party of China, the Chinese government and the Chinese people have united as one, forged ahead and made great strides that brought earthshaking changes to China. 70 years ago, China was one of the poorest and most backward countries in the world. Today, China has grown into the world's second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largesttrader in goods and the biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves. In 2018, China's GDP totaled 13.6 trillion U.S. dollars. For 17 consecutive years, China's average contribution rate to global economic growth has been close to 30%. In pursuing innovation-driven and high quality development, China has made remarkable achievements in manned space flight, lunar exploration, quantum science, deep-sea exploration, supercomputing and satellite navigation etc.. China has constantly improved democracy,the rule of law, state governance and social management. China has successfully established the development path, theory, system and culture of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics suited to China's own conditions.

Over the past 70 years, the livelihood of the Chinese people has changed beyond imagination. From the early days of the founding of the People's Republic of China to the year 2018, China's urbanization rate has increased from less than 11% to about 60%, the per capita disposable income hasgrown in real terms by nearly 60 times, and people's average life expectancy has been increased from 35 to 77 years. China has lifted 850 million people out of poverty . Next year, all the rural poor population will be relieved of poverty according to the current standards.Today, China has the world's largest middle-income population of more than 400 million.In social security, more than 900 million people are covered by the basic pension insurance system and 1.3 billion people are covered by the basic health insurance system.China hasalso put in place a nine-year free and compulsory education system. There are 854 million Chinese netizens using the 4G network to access information, learn knowledge and skills, and freely express their opinions and demands online (we will be able to use 5G in the near future). It takes only four and a half hours to travel1318 km from Beijing to Shanghai by high-speed train, with the same comfort and smoothnessof the plane, but with more punctuality.

China's marvelous success would not have been possiblewithout the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China, the determined struggle of the Chinese people, and thedeep commitment to the mutually beneficial and win-win strategy of opening-up.

The past 70 years have witnessed the Communist Party of China remaining true to its original aspiration and keepingits mission firmly in mind, remaining committed to seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The CPC has firmly established the people-centered ideology, constantly strengthened and improved the party's leadership, sticked to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, kept development as the top priority, and advanced with the times in terms of development concepts and governance, leading Chinese people from achieving one victory to another.

The past 70 years have witnessed the Chinese people moving forward with unremitting efforts and profound enthusiasm. The Chinese people have carried forward the fine tradition of hard work, courage, patriotism, dedication, discipline, and sacrifice. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the self-reliant, industrious, pioneering and innovative Chinese people have created better lives with their own hands and achieved a tremendous transformation of the Chinese nation from standing up and getting rich to becoming strong.

The past 70 years have witnessed China's integration into the world and promoting common development. China has always pursued an independent foreign policy of peaceand a win-win strategy of opening-up, aimed to foster a new type of international relations and to build a community with a shared future for mankind. China has gained opportunities for its own development by embracing the world, and China has promoted world peace and development by making its own contributions.The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),put forward by H.E. President XI Jinping, has become a widely welcomed international public good. China has been acknowledged by the international community asthe promoter of world peace, contributor to global development and upholder of international order.

Given the spectacular achievements made in the past 70 years, China remains a developing country. China ranks the 71st in the world in per capita GDP and the 91st in human development index. China's development is still unbalanced and inadequate, faced with challenges and risks. The government and people of China, under the strong leadership of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core,following the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, will resolutely uphold China's sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and development interests, strive to achieve the Two Centenary Goals and fulfill the Chinese dream of national renewal. By the mid of this century, China will be developed into a great modern country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,

The past 70 yearshave witnessed a glorious course of China and Africa forging ahead together in good faith through thick and thin. Time has proven that China and Africa are genuine friends and reliable partners. The FOCAC Beijing Summit last year ushered in a new era for the development of China-Africa relations.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 48 years ago, China and Sierra Leone have gone a long way in conducting fruitful cooperation in all areas. Sierra Leone is one of the countries that supported the restoration of the legitimate seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations and has always adhered to the one-China principle, to which China is highly grateful. Last year, H.E. President Xi Jinping and H.E. President Julius Maada Bio reached an important consensus on deepening the friendship and cooperation between our two countries. China- Sierra Leone relations entered a new stage of sound and fast development.

Currently, encouraging changes are taking place in Africa and Sierra Leone.China will, as always, march forward with Africa hand in hand. China will, as always, do its best to help Sierra Leone in the latter's development along with other development partners.

In conclusion, I would like to propose a toast,

to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China,

to the development and prosperity ofChina and Sierra Leone,

tothe everlasting China- Sierra Leone friendship,

to the health of all of you here.


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