(30th September 2019, BMICH, Colombo)
Your Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena,
Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe,
Hon. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya
H.E. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa,
Hon. Minister Malik Samarawickrama,
Ministers, Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Evening, and Ayubowan.
Tonight we gathered here, to celebrate the 70th birthday of the People's Republic of China. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, I would like to express our sincere thanks to all friends for your longstanding support to the development of China and the China-Sri Lanka relations.
Over the past 70 years, the Communist Party of China leads the Chinese people, with extremely hard work and determination, has brought China from isolation to openness, from backwardness to advance, from poverty to prosperity, from standing up, becoming rich to getting strong. It is indeed a historical leap forward.
Over the past 70 years, China has developed into the world's second largest economy, the largest industrial country, the largest goods trading country, and the largest foreign exchange reserve country. The GDP of China has grown from 68 billion yuan in 1949, to 90 trillion yuan in 2018, with a growth rate of over 8% per year.
Over the past 70 years, China has undergone fundamental changes. The industries have been upgraded. The infrastructure has been improved. The strength of the economy has been enhanced. Besides, the urban population proportion increases from 10% in 1949 to 60% today.
I would like to emphasize that, over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, more than 700 million people have been lifted out of poverty, creating a miracle in the human history. China`s public health also made a great progress, we have built up more than 1 million medical institutes and increased the life expectancy from 35 to 77 years old.
Ladies and gentlemen!
China’s development cannot be separated from the world, and the world’s development needs China. Over the past 70 years, China has been playing a more and more important role in the world. China’s contribution to global economic growth keeps 18 percent for last 70 years. The “Belt and Road Initiative” proposed by H.E. President Xi Jinping, has gained great support from more than 160 countries or organizations.
The past 70 years is also the golden time for the development of the China-Sri Lanka relationship. Sri Lanka is one of the earliest countries that established diplomatic relationship with the People’s Republic of China. We always keep friendly cooperation, and help each other whenever it needs.
The year 2019 sees quite a few external and internal challenges, while the friendship and pragmatic cooperation between our two countries maintain a fast development. In politics, H.E. President Maithripala Sirisena paid a successful visit to China in May and reached a lot of consensuses with H.E. President Xi Jinping. In security, China is a biggest and also a most efficient country providing security aid to Sri Lanka after the April 21 attacks. Just several days ago, we handed over 765 million Sri Lankan Rupees worth of security equipment to the Sri Lanka Police. In economics, the Port City Colombo, the CICT and the Hambantota Port keep uprising. The Lotus Tower and the Southern Railway Extension have been handed-over to Sri Lanka side. More projects and joint-venture are also emerging. In conclusion, I am glad to see that the cooperation between China and Sri Lanka has delivered tangible results. The friendship and cooperation between our two countries has already became a cross-parties, cross-nations and cross-communities consensus in Sri Lanka.
Ladies and gentlemen,
On the future of the China-Sri Lanka relations, we have fully expectation and confidence. Just like the old saying, “Though bosom friends miles apart, no distance if sharing a heart”. Let’s join hands, work together, and deliver more benefits to our two peoples.
Now, I propose:
For the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China,
For the prosperity of China and Sri Lanka,
For the friendship between China and Sri Lanka,