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National Day Message by His Excellency Ambassador Liu Yantao on the 72nd Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China


October 1 this year is the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 61st anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Cyprus.

First of all, I wish to thank President Anastasiades and House President Demetriou for sending their video message of warm congratulations. Meanwhile Chinese President Xi Jinping, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi have sent messages to their Cypriot counterparts congratulating on Cyprus' independence day.

On behalf of all colleagues from the Chinese Embassy in Cyprus, I extend my sincere thanks and greetings to our Cypriot friends from all social sectors, and cordial greetings and best wishes to our Chinese compatriots living in Cyprus.

The year 2021 is a truly remarkable one for China. This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

In the past 72 years, the Communist Party of China has united and led the Chinese people in exploring a development path and a modernization model that suit China's own national conditions, in building socialism with Chinese characteristics, and in achieving two miracles of rapid economic development and long-term social stability through self-reliance, hard work, reform and opening up, cultural inheritance and innovation. The Chinese nation has made a great leap from standing up to growing rich and becoming strong.

China has become the world's second largest economy, the largest industrial manufacturer, the largest trader of goods, and top destination for investment. It has the world's largest middle-income group with the biggest growth potential. China has also made major breakthroughs in high-tech fields, such as deep-sea exploration, moon and Mars projects, space station construction, quantum technology, and artificial intelligence.

Facing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has coordinated pandemic prevention and control and economic and social development. China's GDP in the first half of this year increased by 12.7% compared to last year, and is expected to grow by 8.5% for the whole year, contributing more than a quarter of the world economic growth. This year, China also solemnly announced the completion of the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and the elimination of absolute poverty, 10 years ahead of the schedule set by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In the next stage, China will be committed to promoting the common prosperity of all its people in the pursuit of high-quality development and moving towards the goal of building a great modern socialist country in an all-round way. Going forward, China will undoubtedly show huge potential in terms of market size, innovation capability and foreign investment. The pace of China's development will not stop, and the historical process of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation is irreversible.

Over the past 72 years, China has unswervingly pursued an independent foreign policy of peace, safeguarded world peace, upheld fairness and justice, and promoted common development. China has adhered to the principles of mutual respect, equality, win-win cooperation, injecting positive energy into the cause of world peace and development and human progress.

In answering "what kind of world we should build" and "how to build it"- the major questions of our time, President Xi Jinping adopted a broad and long-term view and put forward the significant concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind. This is the overall goal of China's diplomacy, and it is also the result of China's profound reflection about the future and destiny of the world.

In the face of the pandemic as well as the significant changes in world landscape unseen in a century, China has been playing the role of a builder of world peace by adhering to the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, advocating the common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom for all mankind, and adopting a new approach of "dialogue without confrontation, partnership without alliance" for state-to-state relations; China has been playing the role of a contributor to global development by pursuing an open strategy for mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, and promoting the common development of the world; China has been playing the role of a defender of the international order by adhering to the true multilateralism, and implementing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; China has been playing the role of a provider of public products by signing the "Belt and Road Initiative" cooperation documents with 140 countries and 32 international organizations, and providing more than 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines and stock solutions to more than 100 countries and the WHO's COVAX program throughout the year.

China has always been following the concept of peace, amity and harmony. China has never and will never invade or bully others, or seek hegemony, power politics, zero-sum games, and profiteering from these behaviors. Instead, China will insist on peaceful development, promote the democratization of international relations and the rule of law, advocate win-win cooperation, and uphold the right approach to justice and interests.

2021 is also an extraordinary year for China-Cyprus relations. This year marks the 50th anniversary of China-Cyprus diplomatic ties. Over the past 50 years, China-Cyprus relations have achieved all-round, sound and stable development. The two countries have jointly responded to changes and challenges in the international situation, established a profound friendship based on shared principles and values, and become a model of mutual respect, equal treatment, and win-win cooperation between countries of different sizes.

Politically, China and Cyprus are each others' steadfast and reliable friend, and strong supporters of each other's core interests and concerns. Both China and Cyprus abide by the "One China" and "One Cyprus" policy. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has always upheld an objective and fair position on the Cyprus Problem, supported all efforts made by Cyprus to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and facilitated the Cyprus Problem towards a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement within the framework of relevant UN resolutions.

Recently, on the issue of reopening of the fenced-off area of Varosha and UNFICYP mandate renewal, China firmly supported relevant UN resolutions, opposed any unilateral action that might cause tensions, and broke silence procedure to ensure justice and fairness for our Cypriot friends by coordinating and urging pertinent parties to accommodate the concerns of Cyprus to the best extent possible. This is a perfect example of the friendly and close relationship between China and Cyprus.
On the economic and trade front, the areas of cooperation between our two countries have continued to expand, and our national development strategies have become more closely aligned. The bilateral trade volume last year hit a five-year new high of US$1 billion. The LNG Terminal project in Cyprus undertaken by China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering is progressing well. The King Long buses from China have been in smooth operation locally. Huawei has been playing an active role in promoting 5G network construction, digital transformation, and digital talent training in Cyprus.

When it comes to cultural and people-to-people relations, our two peoples are close to each other with heart-to-heart dialogues. The mutual understanding and appreciation continue to enhance, and the popularity of Cyprus in China and China in Cyprus continues to increase. There have been across-the-board contacts and exchanges between the local governments, media, universities, culture and tourism institutions of the two sides.
 There are five important experiences that we can draw and pass on from the success of China-Cyprus relations: First, the strong strategic guidance of the leadership of the two countries; Second, the shared principles and values upheld by the two sides; Third, mutual respect of each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and firm support to each other's core interests and major concerns; Fourth, adherence to equal treatment, fairness and justice, and true multilateralism; Fifth, mutual appreciation and learning from each other's cultures as two ancient civilizations, and people-to-people exchanges based on common aspirations.
Over the past 10 months since my arrival in Cyprus, I have conducted comprehensive, in-depth and friendly exchanges with people from all walks of life in Cyprus, visited many beautiful cities and villages, and made many good friends. Every day, I am surrounded by the atmosphere of friendship between China and Cyprus, touched by the stories of friendship between our two countries, and inspired by the mission of building our ever-lasting friendship.

To grow China-Cyprus relations, we must think on the present and look to the future. The two countries need to continue to enhance bilateral relations at a strategic level as we mark the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic ties, including strengthening development strategies alignment, working together to build a green, healthy and digital Silk Road. We need to focus on opening of direct flights, exports of Cypriot pork, honey and other agricultural and fishery products to China, and ensuring the success of Cyprus' virtual national pavilion in the upcoming China International Import Expo, so as to expand and balance bilateral trade. We need to actively build an alliance of sister cites, universities, museums, and build new cooperation frameworks in the fields of technology, media, culture, and tourism, and in particular, to encourage more Chinese people to visit Cyprus for tourism and investment, so as to give the development of China-Cyprus relations a strong boost at both the strategic and social level.

I am deeply convinced that the continued development of China and China-Cyprus relations will bring more opportunities to Cyprus. We are ready to work with Cyprus to pool wisdom and strength for closer friendship and cooperation in both China and Cyprus, and jointly create a better future for China-Cyprus relations so as to better benefit our two peoples.

Finally, I wish prosperity for both China and Cyprus. May China-Cyprus friendship last forever! Thank you.

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