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Remarks by H.E. Song Yumin at the 69th Chinese National Day Reception

On September 21th, the Chinese Embassy Held the reception in celebrating the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. H.E. Song Yumin delivered a speech at the reception.

I am delighted to have you all with us this evening to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

This year, 2018 is the opening year for the implementation of the blueprint of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. It also marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up policy and the 5th anniversary of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, the Belt and Road initiative.

For China, 69 years have been a journey from being weak and poor to gaining independence and becoming prosperous. It has seen China's historic leap forward, in which the nation has got up on its feet, set out to achieve prosperity and grown from strength to strength. Reform and opening-up for 40 years is a road to development that is in line with its national conditions. It has led China to become the second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest trader in goods and to have the largest foreign exchange reserves. Now, China is shifting from high-speed economic growth to high-quality development.

For China and the world, the Belt and Road initiative has carried on the spirit of the ancient Silk Road and yielded fruitful results. The connectivity over land and at sea along these routes has been greatly improved. 103 countries and international organizations have signed 118 cooperation agreements with China on the BRI. This Initiative and its core values have been endorsed by important international mechanisms, such as the UN and G20, in their documents. Over the past five years, China's trade in goods with the countries along the routes has exceeded $5 trillion; China has invested over $60 billion in these countries and built 82 economic and trade cooperation zones along the routes. These zones have contributed $2.2 billion in tax and fees to the host countries, and created over 200,000 jobs locally. Now, China proves to be a stabiliser and powerhouse for world economic growth.

For China and Trinidad and Tobago, 2018 is our two countries' 'Golden year'. During the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley's successful official visit to China in May, the leaders of our two countries reaffirmed their commitment to advancing comprehensive cooperative partnership featuring mutual benefit and common development. Trinidad and Tobago, as the first Caribbean country, signed MOU on the Belt and Road Initiative with China. China-Trinidad and Tobago cooperation on the BRI has set sail, is making good progress.

Bilateral political relations, economic ties and people-to-people exchanges have been further enhanced. Early this year, H.E. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs had official meeting with Honourable Dennis Moses, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs. This month, Honourable Randall Mitchell, Minister of Tourism just attended the World Tourism Cities Federation Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit in China. During the visit, Tobago joined in the WTCF as the first member from English-speaking Caribbean. In November, China will hold the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai to further optimize the country's trade structure with rest of the world. Enterprises from over 100 countries and regions including Trinidad and Tobago are expected to participate in the first CIIE. Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry will lead Trinidad and Tobago delegation to attend the Expo.

Now, We have a new China medical team from the Beijing Tiantan Hospital and the Chinese Traditional Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theater in Trinidad and Tobago. And the both sides are working on major projects and programs, covering production capacity cooperation, maritime development, infrastructure, public welfare and national security .

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As the Chinese ambassador, I'm honored and pleased to witness the further development of bilateral relationship between China and Trinidad and Tobago in recent years. Next year will mark the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Trinidad and Tobago. This will be an opportunity to create even deeper foundations upon which the future of our relations will be built. China stands ready to work with Trinidad and Tobago, to further increase our political mutual trust, to deepen our exchanges and cooperation across the board.

"If two people are of the same mind, their strength can cut through metal, and their consensus-based argument is as appealing as the fragrance of orchid flowers." This is an ancient Chinese quote praising the power of cooperation and concerted efforts. I believe, with the concerted efforts, the traditional friendship and comprehensive practical cooperation between China and Trinidad and Tobago will deliver more fruitful results and create a more splendid future.

Together, we can make a success of it!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Now, may I invite you to join me in a toast:

To the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China,

To the friendship between our two countries and people.

To the health and success of everyone present tonight!.


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