Speech at the Receptionin Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
2019/09/26
 
Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni,
President of the Republic of Uganda,
Hon. Ali Kirunda Kivejinja,
Second Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda,
Hon. Ministers and MPs,
Your Excellency Frank Mugambage,
High Commissioner of Rwanda and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps,
Ambassadors and High Commissioners, members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Representatives of the Chinese community in Uganda,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
 
Today, we gather here to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. We are very honored to have the presence of His Excellency President Museveni to grace this reception to jointly celebrate this historic moment with us.
 
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
 
Over the course of thousands of years, the Chinese nation has created an enduring and splendid civilization, making outstanding contributions to humankind. Following the advent of modern times, however, owing to the aggression of some Western powers and the corrupted feudal ruling authority in China then, China was gradually reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society, with shattered land and the people plunged into an abyss of misery. The Chinese nation then experienced  unprecedented profound sufferings and thus had no international status whatsoever.   
 
Despite the bitter suffering, the Chinese people refused to yield. Instead, we stood up and fought back. With an unyielding spirit, we waged momentous struggle after momentous struggle, composing one inspirational epic after another. Since her establishment in 1921, the Communist Party of China rallied and led the Chinese people through 28 years of all difficult struggles, sometimes sacrificing lives, during which we toppled the three "mountains" of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism that were oppressing the Chinese people then. As a result, the People's Republic of China was established on 1 October, 1949.
 
The founding of the People's Republic of China put an end to the semi-colonial, semi-feudal society of the old China; put an end to the state of total disunity then; and put an end to the unequal treaties imposed on our country by foreign powers and to all unequal privileges that imperialist countries enjoyed in China. It was since that moment that Chinese people rose up, regained firm control of her own fate, and opened a new chapter for our national development and progress.
 
Through the tireless strive in the past 7 decades, the Communist Party of China, has rallied and led the Chinese people in achieving enormous achievements that attracts the world attention.
 
In today's China, the days of a poor and weak nation are gone forever. Prior to the New China, with a shattered land, people did not enjoy anything in basic human rights, with the Chinese people labeled as the "Sick Man of East Asia", and more than 80% of them illiterate (they could not even write their own names). Nowadays, the Chinese life expectancy rose to 77 years, an increase of 42 years from 70 years ago. The nine-year compulsory education has been universally implemented, and the gross enrollment ratio in higher education has risen to 45.7 percent!
 
In today's China, the days of food and clothing scarcity are gone forever. Since 1978, when China adopted the reform and opening up policy, more than 700 million Chinese people has been lifted out of poverty, making China a country with the most people getting out of poverty, and the first developing country to realize the UN Millennium Development Goal in poverty reduction.
 
In today's China, the days of abyss of misery for the Chinese nation are gone forever. From 1949 to 2018, China's GDP increased by more than 450 times. As President Museveni mentioned in his personal twitter account last Sunday, that "By 1950, China was number 45 in terms of the size of GDP. In the 70 years since that time, China is now the second biggest economy in the world and they are continuing to grow." In 2018, China's contribution to global economic growth stood at 27.5%. China is not only an engine for the global economic growth, but also a world factory, a world market and a global investor. Today, China is closer, more confident, and more capable than ever before in achieving our goal of national rejuvenation!
 
What were the reasons that New China achieved such enormous achievements? I believe that one of the important reasons is that through difficult explorations, we have found the path that fits us well, a path that is in line with China's national conditions, which is the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
 
China's affairs must be advocated, handled and decided by the Chinese people ourselves. No development model can fit all, and one key can only open one lock. Different countries may choose different development paths, based on the differences of their historical and actual conditions. The grand objectives of socialism with Chinese characteristics are to liberate and develop the productivity, to eliminate exploitation and bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, and eventually realize common prosperity. China is committed to following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics!
 
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
 
The bearing of the founding of the People's Republic of China is both on the history and the world. In a keynote speech delivered in China last June during his visit, President Museveni pointed out that "one of the three factors that enabled Africa to end these five centuries of slave trade and the colonial times, was the Communist victory in China in 1949" and other important international events. "These events meant that an anti-imperialist camp had emerged that, eventually, contributed to the liberation of Africa."
 
China and Africa have always been a community of common destiny. Over the better half of the last century ending today, we have always been good friends, good partners and good brothers who went through thick and thin, who shared weal and woe, and who fully trust each other despite the international vicissitude.
 
44 years ago, Tazara railway was opened to traffic. To support the cause of national liberation in Southern Africa and to break the blockade imposed by the apartheid regime, the Chinese people assisted the construction of the Tazara Railway by tightening our own belts, and 65 fine sons and daughters of China dedicated their lives for the construction of the railway and were laid to rest on the African soil.
 
20 years ago, FOCAC was established. Since then, there have been fruitful progress in China-Africa practical cooperation across the board. In 2018, China-Africa two-way trade amounted to $204 billion and China's total direct investment stock in Africa reached $46 billion, which were 20 times and 92 times than those figures of the year 2000, respectively, demonstrating a sharp increase of China's contribution to Africa's economic development. FOCAC has now become a pacesetter in China-Africa cooperation, an outstanding example in South-South cooperation, and a pioneer for greater international attention to and input in Africa.
 
6 years ago, President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative. Today, collaboration on the BRI is gathering pace, with more than 40 African countries and the AU Commission having finished signing the BRI cooperation documents with China. The second BRI Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held in Beijing last April, setting out the direction for high-quality BRI cooperation. China will follow the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, strengthen the synergy between the BRI, the eight major initiatives of FOCAC Beijing Summit and the development strategies of African countries, and to leverage more BRI resources to Africa. This is evident in Uganda, as the country reaps fruitful achievements from the BRI cooperation.
 
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
 
We live at a time when changes unseen in a century are taking place. One of the defining changes has been the fact that a large number of developing countries, including China and African countries, enter the historical phase of fast development in succession. From her own experiences in development, reform and opening-up, China understands Africa's needs and aspirations better, and knows how to support Africa in a method acceptable to Africa, so that we realize common development through win-win cooperation. Facts show that China-Africa cooperation is well received and welcomed by the African countries and the international community at large.
 
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
 
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. It is also a year of milestone in the history of China-Uganda relations.
 
Late last June, President Museveni paid a successful visit to China and held talks with President Xi. The two Presidents reached a series of important consensuses and agreed to elevate China-Uganda relations to a Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership, which showcases the satisfaction of the two heads of state in the development of our bilateral relations.More importantly, it exhibits the firm commitment from both sides to further deepening our cooperation in the future.At present, China-Uganda relations are marked with continuously enhanced political mutual trust, fruitful results in practical cooperation, and close people-to-people exchanges and cooperation. Plenty of major infrastructures such as Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, Isimba Hydropower Plant, Karuma Hydropower Plant have been completed or are about to be completed. Industrial parks in Uganda operated by Chinese investors have created many local employment and helped Uganda steadily realize the goal of import substitution.
 
China stands ready to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, enhance our mutual learning process in governance and further raise the China-Uganda Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership to a new level. We need to enhance the mutual understanding and support to each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns, and keep close collaboration and coordination in major international and regional affairs. China strongly supports Ugandan Government in hosting the South Summit early next year, which will be held in Africa for the first time. China does not interfere with Uganda's internal affairs, does not impose her will on Uganda, firmly supports the Ugandan exploration for a development path with Ugandan characteristics, and does not attach any political strings to assistance to Uganda.
 
China stands ready to implement the important consensuses reached by our two heads of state and the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit, including the eight major initiatives for China-Africa cooperation. We will strive to increase the "gold content" of the China-Uganda Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership, synergize our development with that of Uganda, so that Uganda reaps more benefits. We will set our eyes in sustainable development, stress the infrastructure cooperation and industrialization projects and to fast track a batch of projects in the direct interests of Ugandan people to make their lives better. To help Uganda enhance its preparedness against Ebola, China's emergency humanitarian material assistance to Uganda has already arrived in the country, and we will send experts of public health to help Uganda in the fight against Ebola.
 
China stands ready to strengthen the people-to-people exchanges with Uganda in enriching the contents of our relations with the focus in youth, woman, think tank, media, higher education and local provinces, districts and cities, in efforts to strengthen the bond between our two peoples. This year, 111 Ugandan students were granted the Chinese Government scholarship to study in China, an increase of 59% compared with last year, reaching a historic height.
 
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
 
At present, China-Uganda relations are at the best in history. Let's join hands and work even harder, to leverage our respective strength in building an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future, and to keep raising the China-Uganda relations to new heights!
 
In conclusion, I wish to propose a toast,
 
To the health of H.E. President Museveni,
 
To the health of the distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen present today,
 
To the continuous advancement of China-Uganda relations,
 
Cheers!Thank you very much!
 
Now, please allow me to invite H.E. President Museveni to deliver his speech.
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