Working together for a community with a shared future for mankind | 30 September 2020
On the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, on behalf of the Chinese embassy in Seychelles, I would like to extend my best wishes to my fellow citizens, the overseas Chinese and the Chinese enterprises in Seychelles, and share the festive celebrations with the friendly government and people of Seychelles as well as all friends who have always paid close attention to China's development and supported the China-Seychelles friendship.
I. Fight Covid-19 in the spirit of putting people and life first, the national economy recovers gradually
Over the past 71 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, led by the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people have forged ahead against all odds, and embarked on a successful path of development leading toward national rejuvenation. It is the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Following this path, China has achieved leapfrog development and seen continued rise of its comprehensive national strength. Meanwhile, China is committed to opening wider to the outside world and has been contributing over 30% to global growth for the past ten-plus years. In 2019, China’s GDP totalled 99.09 trillion yuan (US $14.38 trillion) with the per capita figure reaching the level of 10,000 US dollars for the first time. More than 10 million people have been lifted out of poverty. China has maintained a good momentum of development.
Nervertheless, in 2020, the world was swept up in an unexpected coronavirus epidemic. Covid-19 has once pressed the “pause button” on China’s economic and social development. In the first quarter, China's GDP contracted 6.8 %. Under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core, in the spirit of putting people and life first, China has made great efforts to coordinate epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development, which has made remarkable results.
We have rallied efforts nationwide and managed to contain the rapid spread of the virus in just over a month. In about two months, the daily increase in domestic coronavirus cases fell to single digits. Meanwhile, a decisive victory was secured in once the hardest-hit Chinese city of Wuhan in just about three months. Besides, the country has effectively contained sporadic outbreaks and has made major strategic achievements in our response to Covid-19. China emerged as one of the first countries to bring the epidemic under control, which not only built a strong defense to stem the spread of the virus, but also gained valuable experiences for the global response.
The national economy recovered gradually. During the Covid-19, we have made solid efforts to stabilise the employment, finance, foreign trade, inbound investment, domestic investment and market expectations, and guarantee the jobs, daily living needs, food and energy, industrial and supply chains, the interests of market players and the smooth functioning of grassroots government. A number of measures to assist enterprises, guarantee employment-first policy, promote investment, consumption and development of new business forms and stabilise foreign trade and the industrial and supply chains were taken. The resumption of the transportation, catering, tourism and culture sectors and classes was advanced in an orderly way. China has become the first major economy to return to growth since the Covid-19 pandemic with a 3.2 percent growth year-on-year in the second quarter, which fully demonstrates China’s great vitality. China has also generated a strong impetus for the recovery and development of the world economy.
II. Promote international cooperation on combatting the virus with the vision of building a community with shared future for mankind
Currently, the pandemic has compounded the once-in-a-century changes unfolding in our world. It has affected every aspect of our life. No country is immune from it. Guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China acted in an open, transparent and responsible manner and informed the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the virus at the earliest possible time. President Xi Jinping has conducted heads-of-state diplomacy, chairing the China-Africa summit on solidarity against Covid-19, to relay the strongest message that the international community is working together to overcome the current difficulties. Upholding international humanitarian principles, China has been fighting shoulder-by-shoulder with African countries including Seychelles in this common battle against Covid-19. Up to now, China has sent a tremendous amount of medical supplies and assistance to over 50 African countries and the African Union and held more than 30 video conferences with African countries. A total of 148 medical workers have also been sent to 11 African countries. The 46 medical teams already working in Africa has also taken active action, carrying out about 400 training activities to share anti-epidemic experience. It demonstrates the China-Africa brotherhood through thick and thin.
The pandemic reminds us once again that the wellbeing and future of all countries are interconnected; humanity is in fact a community with a shared future. It is time we make a choice: choose solidarity over division, cooperation over confrontation. As the world's largest developing country and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will firmly oppose unilateralism, hegemony and power politics and adhere to the path of peaceful development as always. We will never seek hegemony or expansionism, and will remain committed to world peace, global development and international order.
In 2020, China continues to promote Belt and Road cooperation with the principle of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits. At present, construction has resumed for a number of Belt and Road projects suspended due to Covid-19 and this will generate strong impetus for the host countries’ efforts to revitalise the economy. China will firmly uphold a multilateral trade system, stabilise the industrial and supply chains and continue to pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up and work together with other countries for a community with a shared future.
III. China and Seychelles have maintained a good momentum of growth in bilateral relations in 2020, realising fruitful cooperation in various areas.
Since China and Seychelles established diplomatic relations 44 years ago, our two countries have respected, trusted and supported each other. We are good friends, good partners and good brothers. Despite headwinds like Covid-19 and a sluggish global economy, China and Seychelles have maintained a good momentum of growth in bilateral relations in 2020, realising fruitful cooperation in economics, trade, education, culture and other areas. In the course of the fight against the Covid-19, China and Seychelles have worked together in solidarity with each other. In the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak in China, President Danny Faure sent President Xi Jinping a letter of sympathy at the earliest time possible, the Chinese people will always remember this. Throughout Seychelles’ fight against the pandemic, China has always been standing alongside his good friend Seychelles with firm support. Previously, the Chinese government, the Chinese embassy in Seychelles, some Chinese sister cities and Jack Ma Foundation have provided different important batches of medical supplies to Seychelles. The Chinese side has also been sharing prevention and treatment experience as well as information without reservation. China and Seychelles’ joint efforts in fighting Covid-19 once again vividly illustrates the concept of a community of shared future for mankind.
In the face of Covid-19, the Seychellois government has decisively taken a series of comprehensive and strong emergency measures which ensured to the highest possible extent the life and health of the Seychellois, foreign residents and tourists stranded in Seychelles. Seychelles has stood out as a shining example of efficient handling of Covid-19 pandemic in African countries. The Chinese side highly appreciates it.
The year 2020 is an extraordinary year with our normal rhythm of life disrupted by the unexpected pandemic. Yet, peace and development are still the order of the day; aspirations of the people for peace and a better life will not change; our confidence and determination to deepen friendship and strengthen cooperation between China and Seychelles remains unchanged. The Chinese side is also ready to work with the Seychellois side to deepen exchange and cooperation, enhance people-to-people friendship, elevate this relationship to new heights and bring more benefits to our peoples.
The darkest hour will pass. Looking ahead, we can see light and hope.