Remarks by Amb. LU Kun at the Reception in Celebration of the 69th Anniversary of the Founding of China

It is the first reception I hold after Hurricane Maria and the first reception for China's national day I hold since my inauguration.  First of all, I would like to thank all of you for joining us in the celebration of the 69th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

In history, China was once invaded by imperialist countries and was reduced to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. Poverty and social unrest plagued China for over 100 years. On October 1st, 1949, Chairman Mao declared the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Since then, China has gone through a historic transformation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). With solidarity and endeavor, China achieved huge social and economic development. We lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty and became the second largest economy in the world. The CPC is determined to eliminate poverty and build a moderately prosperous society by 2021.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. Over the past 40 years, the annual real GDP growth rate of China reached 9.3% on average. The proportion of China's economy volume in the world grew from 1.8% in 1978 to 16% in 2017. The leading sector has been switched from first industry to third industry, forming a more balanced and higher quality economic structure.

Through reform and opening-up, China benefits from international trade. We also contribute a lot to the development of world economy. According to a report published by WTO in April this year, China is one of the key engine of world economy, especially after financial crisis. Today, China is the largest exporter accounting for about 13% of world export, and the second largest importer providing a huge market for global producers. Overall, China is contributing to over 30% of world economic growth. Moreover, the report pointed out that China's reform and opening-up also offered a new development path for developing countries around the world.

As China's reform and opening-up continue to benefit all parties, the 19th National Congress of CPC decided to further embrace the world by unswervingly deepening reform, expanding opening-up as well as actively participating in global economy governance and cooperation. We support the rule-based multilateral trading system with the WTO as its core. We believe in a fair trading system that protects the rights and interests of developing countries and narrows the gap between north and south. We hope countries with different ideas could settle disputes through negotiations instead of recklessly resorting to unilateralism and protectionism.

Such proposals go in accordance with the principle of "achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration" as well as the concept of "the community of shared future for mankind", both of which are raised by President Xi and are now major guidelines of China's development and diplomacy. Although China is still a developing country whose per capita GDP ranked about the same as Dominica in 2017 according to World Bank, we will continue to honor our commitment and shoulder our responsibility to construct a better world for all.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The past year witnessed the sincere friendship between China and Dominica. Every time when natural disasters hit China, I receive messages from Hon. Prime Minister expressing his concerns and condolence. Thank you Hon. Dr. Skerrit. When Hurricane Maria struck Dominica, Chinese government provided emergency cash and material aids immediately regardless of the distance.

I am glad to see that, under the leadership of of H.E. President Savarin, Hon. Prime Minister and the Labor Party government, Dominica has achieved substantial progress in its reconstruction process. I am also very happy to see that China is contributing its part assisting Dominica in its recovery.

On infrastructures, York Valley Bridge stood the test of Hurricane Maria and was handed over to Dominican government in July. Rehabilitation work on West Coast Road is officially resumed and some of the damages have already been fixed. The China Aid re-roofing project carried out by UNDP is concluded and has realized the reconstruction of over 400 roofs for houses as well as restoration of roofs at 3 schools, 5 clinics, 4 buildings at the Princess Margaret Hospital and 6 buildings at the Dominica State College. What's more, major consensus has been reached on modifying the design of the new hospital after hurricane. The construction work will get started soon. The feasibility study on the Agricultural Science Complex Building project was completed in July and the feasibility study on post-hurricane school re-construction project was concluded today.

In other areas, the medical experts team is on the island providing medical service and conducting academic exchanges with local doctors. The agricultural experts team has rebuilt 10 greenhouses and has distributed over 50 thousand seedlings to local farmers for free since they returned in May. And I personally handed over 19 vehicles to Dominican government in April. Moreover, some 60 nurses and mechanics were trained in China through bilateral courses focusing on the urgent needs of Dominica. 10 Dominican students received Chinese government scholarships this year and are now pursuing higher education at the key universities in China. Action speaks louder than words. Steady progress has been made in all China Aid projects after Hurricane Maria.

One more good news is that the Chinese Navy hospital ship "Peace Ark" will visit Dominica from October 12th to 19th and provide comprehensive medical services here, including outpatient, surgery, sterilization, medical equipment maintenance, first aid training etc. I would like to take this opportunity to thank H.E. President Savarin, Hon. Prime Minister as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Health, the Customs, the Port and other departments for your precious support for the preparation of this visit. "Peace Ark" is the first Chinese hospital ship visiting Dominica and will be the beginning of many. Our embassy will introduce more projects in the future to help with Dominica's development and the well-being of its people.

Bilaterally, China and Dominica care about each other. In the international community, China and Dominica work hand in hand to safeguard the rights and interests of developing countries. Fruitful results have been achieved on topics including climate change, UN Security Council reform, regional cooperation, global governance etc. Hon. Foreign Minister Baron attended the Second China-CELAC Ministerial Meeting. Dominica is playing an important role in the cooperation between China and Caribbean as well as between China and Latin America.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2018 is a special year for both China and Dominica. While China celebrates the 69th anniversary of its establishment and the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up, Dominica will celebrate its 40th anniversary of independence. While China endeavors towards its dream of rejuvenation, Dominica people spare no effort building the first climate resilient country in the world. As both of our countries open a new chapter of development, China-Dominica relationship enters a new era. We will stand closer in solidarity with each other, strengthen our relations, deepen cooperation in all areas and enhance mutual understandings. As a good friend, China will continue to support the social and economic development of Dominica.

It is my firm believe that China will realize our dream of reunification and rejuvenation. It is my firm believe that Dominican people will no doubt overcome the disaster and build the country back better. It is my firm believe that, with our joint effort, we can achieve common prosperity and build a better world.

At the end of my remarks, I would like to propose a toast:
To the prosperity of the People's Republic of China and the Commonwealth of Dominica,
To China-Dominica friendship,
To the health of all!

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