From the Chinese Ambassador to our 2019 Leaders

Each year the Asialink Leaders Program goes to Canberra for an intensive series of discussions with senior leaders in government, academia and the diplomatic corps. Last week they were invited to the Chinese Embassy for dinner, at the invitation of the Ambassador.

Chinese Ambassador - Canberra


Remarks by Ambassador Cheng Jingye at the Reception for the Asialink Leaders Programme

Delivered on Wednesday 19 June, 2019 - CANBERRA

Good evening, everyone! You are most welcome to the Chinese Embassy. This is my third time to meet the participants of the "Leaders Program" organized by Asialink.

Asialink is well-known for its strong commitment to increasing understanding and connections between Australia and Asia. So it's always a great pleasure to talk with you.

As you may know, China of today has entered a new era. We are striving for higher quality development to further improve people's well-being. And we are partnering with all countries to create a better world.

How to understand China's diplomacy in the new era? It's my belief that the answer can be found in Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, which includes a series of new ideas, propositions and proposals. It not only defines the mission and goal of China's foreign policy for the new era, but also contributes Chinese wisdom in the search for solutions to various complex problems facing the world. This is something that I would like to share with you today.

The world we live in is in the midst of profound changes unseen in a century, with the underlying trends towards multi-polarity, economic globalization, IT application, and cultural diversity.

The 21st century is not a century in which a single nation can make all the decisions, but a century in which all countries are needed to discuss and deal with world affairs together. Economic globalization should not just benefit developed countries, but also provide opportunities for emerging economies and developing countries.

We are in a digital age where the world is undergoing a new round of technological revolution. We cannot afford to have another division of the world into two or more isolated systems on the back of political or ideological excuses. Different civilizations and cultures should respect and learn from each other, which will make the world a splendid and colorful place.

However, it is true that the shadows cast by Cold War mentality and power politics still linger. There are attempts to provoke great power rivalry, or intensify geopolitical tensions with bludgeoning of sanctions. Unilateralism and protectionism are rampant and global governance systems are facing severe challenges.

Where is the world heading? China's solution is to build a community with shared future for mankind, an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

To be specific, a world of lasting peace involves all countries treating each other as equals, valuing consultation and mutual understanding, accommodating each other's interests, and resolving conflicts and differences through dialogues.

A world of universal security will require all countries to work together to address security challenges and to seek common security rather than building one's own security at the expense of other countries' security.

A world of common prosperity means we must promote win-win cooperation through consultation instead of taking a winner-takes-all approach. It is also required to reform the unfair systems of global economic governance and to continue narrowing the gap between the North and the South.

An open and inclusive world means advocacy for diversity of civilizations, and opposition to the theories of clash of civilizations.

A clean and beautiful world requires all countries to realize green, low-carbon and sustainable development, to work together against climate change, and protect our planet.

The concept of a community with shared future for mankind accords with the universal aspiration of the international community, which is for peace, development, cooperation, and progress.

With increased recognition by more and more countries, the concept has entered into the documents of many major international and regional organizations. It is also the overall aim of China's diplomatic work and has been written into China's Constitution.

Today I will focus on a discussion of 'One Path' and 'One Platform' that will contribute to the community with shared future.

By 'One Path', we mean fostering a new type of international relations.

What this new type of international relations advocates for is cooperation in lieu of confrontation, and win-win in lieu of monopolisation. It carries forward the purpose of the UN Charter, and is an innovation that goes beyond traditional theories of international relations. It also has its origins in China's history and culture, as well as the accumulated diplomatic experience of the new China.

There are three key terms: the first is mutual respect. Countries are equal regardless of their size, strength and wealth. Different systems, religions and civilizations must be treated in a like manner.

The second is fairness and justice. That means maintaining principles such as common but differentiated responsibilities, and balanced rights and responsibilities. It means strict abidance by international law and commonly recognized norms of international relations, rejecting the law of the jungle, and not imposing one's will on the others.

The third is win-win cooperation. There should be an expansion of convergence of interests, rather than a singular emphasis on the priority of one's own national interests. To solve the problems of the world, we should rely on multilateralism and global cooperation, instead of protectionism, isolationism and unilateralism.

Life is easier with more friends. As President Xi Jinping put it: Those who share the same ideal and follow the same path can be partners; those who seek common ground while setting aside differences can also be partners. China has established partnership of various forms with over 100 countries, regions and organizations, and is always exploring a new path of state-to-state relations.

'One platform' refers to building the Belt and Road in partnership.

Since the Belt and Road Initiative was put forward six years ago, we have made all-round progress in policy coordination, infrastructure connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and closer people-to-people ties.

The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, held in Beijing last April, established the goal of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

All parties widely supported the idea of a global partnership of connectivity, and agreed to promote all-round connectivity, develop high-quality, sustainable, resilient, affordable, and inclusively accessible infrastructure, and improve the "soft connectivity" of policies, rules and standards among countries based on the partnership and multilateralist spirit.

The Belt and Road cooperation is going to be more open and inclusive. We welcome the involvement of all parties on an equal footing and we are not interested in creating exclusionary blocs. The Belt and Road is not a so-called geopolitical tool, but a mutually beneficial and a win-win collaborative platform.

The Circle of Friends of Belt and Road has been expanding. 127 countries and 29 international organizations have already signed cooperation documents with China, including major industrial countries such as Italy, as well as New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu and other South Pacific countries.

The Belt and Road cooperation is becoming more relevant to people's daily lives.

Over the last 6 years, the total volume of trade between China and other Belt and Road participating countries, has surpassed 6 trillion US dollars, with more than 80 billion US dollars having been invested and nearly 300 thousand local jobs created in some 82 overseas jointly-built cooperation zones.

The Belt and Road cooperation will continue to focus on growth and local prosperity, and to further deepen cooperation on agriculture, health, disaster relief, water resources, and so on. It will implement more projects to improve people's daily lives, promote cultural exchanges, and give the local community a greater sense of gain.

The Belt and Road cooperation will emphasize more on green and sustainable development.

The Belt and Road Initiative is by no means a "debt trap". No one is in a better position to tell the truth than the countries directly involved. The governments, businesses, and people of many countries participating in the Belt and Road have openly refuted such baseless assertions with facts and data.

As a matter of fact, no country has got trapped in a debt crisis since its participation in the Belt and Road Initiative. Quite on the contrary, thanks to the Belt and Road cooperation, many countries have made steady progress in their efforts to get out of the trap of "under-development".

On the basis of open, green and clean cooperation, all the parties will ensure the economic, social, fiscal and environmental sustainability by following general international rules.

As economic globalization faces rough headwinds and resurgent protectionism, the Belt and Road cooperation will undoubtedly make an even greater contribution to strengthening multilateralism and an open world economy.

Australia is welcomed to involve in the Belt and Road Initiative. With its unique advantages in many areas, Australia can play a positive role in Belt and Road cooperation. This will not only benefit Australia, bust also be conducive to strengthening the bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. The past 7 decades has witnessed consequential transformation in China, which also profoundly influenced the rest of world.

Looking to the future, China will stay committed to the path of socialism with Chinese features and peaceful development. It remains our paramount objective to meet the ever-increasing needs of the people for a better life remains our paramount objective. China, among other things, will promote opening-up at a higher level.

China has comprehensively fulfilled its promises on joining the WTO, including substantive reduction of tariffs and the slashing of non-tariff barriers.

A new round of opening-up have been gathering pace since last year, with significant reductions in tariffs such as on vehicles and cosmetics, the adoption of a new Foreign Investment Law, and more liberalized market access. The general manufacturing has now been essentially completely opened up to foreign investment.

At the second Belt and Road Forum this year, President Xi Jinping announced that China will expand market access for foreign investment in more areas.

China has already adopted a management model based on pre-establishment national treatment and negative list, and will continue to significantly shorten the negative list. We will work for the all-round opening-up of modern services, manufacturing and agriculture, and will allow the operation of foreign-controlled or wholly foreign-owned businesses in more sectors.

We will also intensify efforts to enhance international cooperation in intellectual property protection, increase the import of goods and services on an even larger scale, more effectively engage in international macro-economic policy coordination, and work harder to ensure the implementation of opening-up policies.

China will host the second China International Import Expo this year, enabling countries all over the world to enjoy the dividends of China's opening-up.

In summary, China's door of opening-up will be wider. We hope that all countries can also provide a fair and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese enterprises.

At present, China's economy maintains a momentum of steady and sound growth. Industry and services growth, consumer demand, and employment have all been relatively stable, and business profitability and market expectations have both seen some improvement, alongside a deepening of supply-side structural reforms and new progress toward high-quality growth.

China's economy has strong resilience, ample potential, a lot of room to maneuver, and enough ability to resist stresses. The Chinese government has an abundant policy toolkit and is able to keep the economy running within a reasonable range, and keep making major contributions to global growth.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The bilateral relations between China and Australia is important as it has brought about real and substantial benefits to the peoples of both countries.

China and Australia share an abundance of common interests, and it's my firm belief that increasing trust and deepening cooperation will bring even greater benefits to both sides.

Friends here today come from various sectors of Australia's society, including public service, businesses, education, culture, sport, media and etc. A sound and strong bilateral relation requires the firm commitment of both governments. It also relies upon the support and engagement of people like you. It's my sincere hope that you will make due contributions to the better understanding and better relationship between the our two nations.

Thank you.


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Will McCallum

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