Honorable Dr. Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan, Governor Sindh
H. E. Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Minister Sindh
Honorable Lt. Gen. Muhammad Zahir UL Islam HI (M)
Honorable Ministers and Consul Generals,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
Tonight we are having a happy gathering here to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. On behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Karachi, I would like to extend warm welcome to all the guests attending the reception and festive greetings to representatives of Chinese institutions and Chinese Compatriots working and living in Sindh.
First of all I would like to take this opportunity to once again express my heartfelt condolences and grief over the heavy casualties and property loss caused by the devastating flood in Sindh province and beyond.
Chinese government and people have been following closely the flood situation, sharing the same feeling as you do. Chinese Government promptly provided emergency humanitarian aid in goods worth Reminbi Yuan 30 million to Pakistani government. 7,000 tents reached the disaster-hit area a few days ago. The Chinese Red Cross donated to the Pakistan Red Crescent Society US$50,000. As a good-will gesture, diplomats working in Chinese Embassy in Islamabad and Consulate General in Karachi also made donation to flood victims. As all-weather friends, people from the two countries all the time share weal and woe by supporting each other. At this difficult time, we as always stand firmly on your side. We believe that under the leadership of Pakistani government, people of Pakistan can overcome the disaster soon and rebuild their homes.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the past six decades and more since the founding of the People's Republic of China, and particularly since the introduction of the reform and opening-up policies in 1978, through arduous struggle, the Chinese people have succeeded in finding a path of development conforming to China's reality and trend of the times, that is, the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. China has thus made remarkable achievements in all aspects. China's overall strength has grown considerably. In 2010, its total economic output reached US$5.88 trillion, ranking the second in the world. The country's total import and export volume grew to US$2.974 trillion-worth, becoming the world's largest exporter and second largest importer. People's living standards have been greatly improved. Basic health insurance coverage has exceeded 95%. Average life expectancy has witnessed a substantial increase from 35 years when New China was founded to 74.5 years in 2010. In a word, the path of development china takes has given it profound changes in its economy and society.
At today's reception, in the function hall behind me, we have an exhibition with the theme "A Century of Change" commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution of 1911. This revolution was part of Chinese people's struggle to place their nation on the right road to prosperity and modernity. In the past 10 decades, the Chinese people suffered one setback after another in their efforts to realize their dream of revitalizing the country, yet, they never gave up. With enough diligence and bravery, they overcame each and every adversity. A hundred years ago, the country was indigent, backward, closed and beset by warfare and turmoil, with its people struggling on the verge of survival. Today's China, however, takes on a complete different look: people enjoy a comfortable and decent life and the whole society is harmonious and stable. Embracing the world, Chinese people have never been so happy and confident. Through the exhibition, which evokes the past century with the instants of Chinese people from different walks of life in their daily lives, I believe all of you will share with us and feel the phenomenal changes which have taken place in China.
Being proud of what we have accomplished, we must also realize that China is still a developing country and is in the meanwhile confronted with unprecedented challenges. China has a huge aggregate GDP, but in per capita terms, it is only less than half of the world average, ranking around the100th place in the world. There are still 150 million people living below the poverty line according to the UN standards. The emerging need of new employment of 24 million people should be addressed every year. Uneven development is still prominent, with the income of rural residents being only one third of that of urban citizens and per capita GDP in eastern coastal areas doubling that in western areas. China's capacity for independent innovation is generally at the low end of the value chain in both international division of labor and trade. In addition, our economic development increasingly faces severe energy, resources and environmental constraints.
We in China remain level-headed about our achievements. We are keenly aware of the challenges ahead. We, moreover, are fully confident about our future development. Whatever difficulties and obstacles lie ahead, nothing would stop China from pursuing its modernization. It is china's consistent commitment to endeavor to make life better for its people of 1.3 billion and contribute to human progress. This year marks the beginning of the implementation of the 12th Five-Year Plan for China's economic and social development. In the next five years, China will adhere to scientific development, accelerate the shifting in economic growth model and undertake the development in a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable manner.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China's reform and development has exerted a far-reaching impact on the world. China and the rest of the world have been increasingly interdependent, with their interests intertwined. In its developmental objectives and modalities, China takes peace, cooperation and mutual benefit as its core. China is a staunch force in safeguarding world peace. China is a booster and stabilizer in world economy growth. China is a partner of cooperation towards win-win result. China is a positive actor in the fulfillment of its international responsibilities. This September, Chinese State Council Information Office released the white paper "China's Peaceful Development". It declared solemnly again to the world that peaceful development is a strategic choice made by China to realize modernization, make itself strong and prosperous, and make more contribution to the progress of human civilization. China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development. China's peaceful development will promote the world's harmony and prosperity. It is an opportunity rather than a challenge or threat to the rest of the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year is of special significance for China-Pakistan relationship, marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It is also the "Year of China-Pakistan Friendship". On this happy occasion, a series of commemorative activities have been held by governments and peoples in both countries, injecting new vigor and vitality to our traditional friendship. Today's China-Pakistan relationship has transformed into a strong strategic partnership, robust mutually beneficial economic cooperation and ever closer people-to-people connections.
We owe the special and unique friendship between China and Pakistan to the care and support from the successive leaders on both sides and the hard work of the governments and peoples of our two countries. We have demonstrated with both firm conviction and real action that China and Pakistan are truly good neighbors, good friends, good partners and good brothers. Here, I would like to express sincere appreciation and pay high tribute to friends from various sectors who have long been committed to the China-Pakistan friendship.
Our friendship, which is "higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey", has taken deep root in the hearts of our people. It has become our valuable treasury and should be dearly cherished and passed on from generation to generation. China will accord consistent support to Pakistan on its road of maintaining national stability and achieving economic and social development, and continue to work together with Pakistan to push our strategic partnership of cooperation to a new height, thus bringing more tangible benefits to the two peoples and making positive contributions to the peace and development in the region and the world at large.
Now, please allow me to propose a toast,
For the 62nd birthday of the People's Republic of China,
For the prosperity of China and Pakistan, and well-being of their peoples,
For the friendly relationship and cooperation between China and Pakistan,
For the health of all guests and friends present today.
Cheers! Thank you.