Remarks by Commissioner Xie Feng at 2018 Spring Reception
2018/01/30

Remarks by Commissioner Xie Feng of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at 2018 Spring Reception

(Commissioner’s Office Building, 30 January 2018)

Vice Chairperson Tung Chee Hwa,

Vice Chairperson C Y Leung,

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor,

Director Wang Zhimin,

Commander Tan Benhong,

Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends,

  We just watched a video clip specially made by my colleagues at the Commissioner’s Office for today’s Spring Reception. Though technically it still has room for improvement, the video gives you an idea of our work over the past year, a depiction of our love towards the country and Hong Kong, and a reflection of our passion towards life and career. Many friends appearing in the video are also present today. These photos record The Days We Spent Together, and serve as testimony to the unforgettable moments that we shared. Through the video, we wish to express our warm welcome and heartfelt gratitude to all of you.

  Distinguished Guests,

  Dear Friends,

  The year 2017 is a landmark year in the Chinese people’s march towards national rejuvenation. The 19th CPC National Congress established the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guiding thought of the Party, and launched a new journey of building a modernized socialist state in all respects. Last year, China’s GDP grew by 6.9%, exceeding 80 trillion RMB yuan for the first time. A total of 13 million new urban jobs were created. Old-age pension scheme has now covered 900 million people and basic medical insurance has a coverage of 1.35 billion. In the past year alone, more than ten million Chinese people were lifted out of poverty. Our country made one big step towards the completion of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

  The year 2017 is also one extraordinary year for Hong Kong. We joyfully celebrated the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. President Xi Jinping’s inspection tour of the city and his chairing of the ceremony for the coming of age of the Hong Kong SAR have led to a noticeable improvement of the developments in the city. The new SAR Government, under the leadership of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, sets no easy goals and avoids no difficult tasks. Proactive efforts have been made on economy and livelihood improvement, and things have got off to a good start.

  In 2017, under the guidance of President Xi Jinping, China’s diplomacy, which befits its role as a major country, made new progress. We have promoted the building of a new type of international relations and the building of a community of shared future for mankind. We have continued to strive for world peace, contribute to global development and safeguard international order.

  In 2017, the Commissioner’s Office made pioneering efforts to forge ahead. We have firmly safeguarded the state sovereignty, security and development interests, supported the SAR Government in fulfilling its relevant constitutional responsibilities, and worked jointly with the SAR Government to oppose foreign intervention. We proposed the tripartite cooperation platform involving the mainland, Hong Kong and countries along and relating to the Belt and Road, and facilitated Hong Kong’s participation in the Belt and Road, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and other national development strategies. We fully mobilized diplomatic resources to support Hong Kong in conducting external exchanges and elevating its international influence and competitiveness. We took an active part in the handling of over 600 consular protection cases involving Hong Kong compatriots, to ensure that the country’s consular service is available wherever our Hong Kong compatriots make footsteps.

  Distinguished Guests,

  Dear Friends,

  When addressing the audience at China’s Tsinghua University in 1920s, the Indian great writer Rabindranath Tagore raised the following question, “What can you take from your own nation to give as a gift to this century?” As members of the Chinese nation, we are very proud of the Four Great Inventions that our ancestors contributed to the mankind. Today, we are even more proud that the Chinese nation has found the development path of socialism with Chinese characteristics that is suited to ourselves. We have stood up, grown better-off and are becoming strong. We have blazed a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization, offering a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their national independence. We are even more proud that the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics is making new progress. We, the Chinese diplomats, have upheld a sound external environment for China’s development despite global turbulences, and have contributed to world peace and development against changing landscape, offering “China wisdom” and “China proposal” to global governance. What makes us even more proud is that we have put forward in a creative fashion the “one country, two systems” principle and implement it fully and faithfully. We are making both the capitalist Hong Kong and the socialist mainland even better places. We provide a fine example to the international community to peacefully resolve the issues left from history, which is a major contribution to human civilization.

  Distinguished Guests,

  Dear Friends,

  The year 2018 is the starting year for the implementation of the 19th CPC National Congress outcomes. It will also witness the 40th anniversary of China’s launch of the reform and opening up program. Over the past four decades, China has relied on reform and opening up for its fast economic growth. In future, we will continue to rely on reform and opening up for high quality growth. We will let the market play the decisive role in allocating resources, protect the property rights, in particular the IPRs, and bring into full play the important role of the entrepreneurs. We will continue to promote all-round opening up and further integrate with international business rules. We will significantly ease market access and open the services, in particular the financial sector, wider to the world. Attaching importance to both “bringing in” and “going global”, we will promote two-way investment and trade with other countries and jointly build an open global economy. China, with an open market of a fast-growing 400-million-strong middle-income population, will make yet another major contribution to global development.

  Distinguished Guests,

  Dear Friends,

  Over the past four decades, Hong Kong has made major contribution to the country’s reform and opening up program. At the same time the city seized the historic opportunities from national development to realize its own economic take-off. The 19th CPC National Congress takes “one country, two systems” as one basic policy on upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. It has charted the course and expanded the space for Hong Kong’s future. China in the new era needs Hong Kong, an integral part of the country, and will provide more opportunities for the city to excel. Let us keep working in unison, jointly undertake the historic responsibility of national rejuvenation and share the pride of a strong and prosperous country.

  Now allow me to propose a toast,

  To the prosperity of the motherland,

  To Hong Kong’s even brighter future,

  To your good health, family happiness and great progress in your work,

  Cheers!

  Kung Hei Fat Choy!

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