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Increase Mutual Understanding, Promote Cooperation and Pursue Shared Development -- Keynote Speech by Ambassador Gui Congyou at "China Day" at Almedalen Week
2019/07/03

3 July 2019, Visby

Distinguished guests and dear friends,

First let me thank the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Sweden for the invitation. Welcome to the "China Day".

With the development of China and deepening exchanges between China and Sweden, the Swedish public is more interested to learn more about China. With a "China Day" event like this, the two sides can conduct dialogues and communication to increase objective mutual understanding. This is particularly important. To observe China, one cannot use binoculars or magnifying glasses, still less should one use colored glasses, rather one needs to see China with his or her own eyes and an open mind, and see a real, multifaceted and complete China. Today's "China Day" event is to provide friends from all sectors in Sweden a window to know more about China, build greater common grounds and facilitate cooperation.

China's development is not just about economic growth, but an all-round social development of the country. The all-round development of China helped to lift nearly 800 million people out of poverty. The largest universal health care and social security systems in the world were built, and nine-year free education now covers every student. Per capita income grew at an average annual rate of 7.4%, creating the largest middle-income group in the world. We work to build socialist democracy, develop and improve consultative democracy, and fully protect the extensive and tangible rights and freedoms of the people.

China's development is not just about national strength, but about peaceful development. Expansion is not in China's DNA. China has never started a war or conflict, and never invaded one inch of territory of other countries. China's development will not pose any threat to any country.

China's development is not just the development of itself, but development together with the world. China's economic growth has been contributing over 30% to global growth for many years in a row, making itself an anchor and engine for global growth and a key contributor to the implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the UN. China has been actively pursuing the joint building of the Belt and Road Initiative, with a central goal to strengthens interconnectivity, which mobilizes more resources, opens more market room and unleashed more dynamism for the development of countries along the route. The initiative is widely welcomed and supported by the international community.

The world is amid changes unseen in 100 years. Profound shifts are occurring in strengths of countries and economic development models, and another cycle of technological innovation gathers momentum. At the same time, surging unilateralism and protectionism erode the mutual trust and coordination among countries, and lead to greater risks and uncertainties in world economy. No one will win from a trade war. It severely damages the multilateral trading system, the confidence of global market and directly threatens world economic growth including that of Europe and Sweden. The Chinese side agreed to continue trade talks with the US side with sincerity, but such talks should be based on an equal footing and mutual respect, and with a purpose to address the legitimate concerns of each other. On issues concerning China's sovereignty and dignity, China will resolutely safeguard its core interests. We are willing to follow the principle agreement reached by the two Presidents, work with the US to restart the trade consultations based on equality and mutual respect, manage differences and expand cooperation. We are ready to join hands with all countries that are committed to multilateral trade system and open development, to oppose protectionism, unilateralism and economic bullying, and stand up for fairness, justice and the fundamental interests of countries in the world.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

What does a richer and stronger China mean for Sweden? The key words are opportunities and cooperation. China's development will not pose any threat to Sweden, but will only bring bumper opportunities for cooperation. We are willing to develop friendly relations and cooperation with Sweden with good will, sincerity and friendship. The Chinese people often say that kindness needs to be returned tenfold, which means that when other countries treat China well, we will only treat them better.

China and Sweden enjoy traditional friendship. Without any historical baggage or conflicting interests, we have good conditions to develop our bilateral relations. China and Sweden share similar development philosophies. Our economies are highly complementary and there is great cooperation potential. China is working to implement the new development vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development. Sweden, as the first country that proposed the concept of sustainable development, leads the world in green, innovative and sustainable development. We are each other's largest trading partner in the Nordic region and in Asia. Last year, trade between China and Sweden reached USD 17.15 billion, hitting a new record. In the past two years, Sweden has maintained trade surplus with China, which we welcome. We are willing to further expand importation from Sweden, and we will not fight a trade war with Sweden. We need to continue to advance our traditional cooperation in trade. We also need to actively explore more common areas of ideas and interests, and explore new cooperation fields. We welcome various sectors of Sweden to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, strengthen dialogue and communication, synergize our respective strengths, explore cooperation that is bilateral, trilateral or even among more parties, and inject new momentum into China-Sweden practical cooperation. In November this year, China will host the second International Import Expo, and we welcome the participation of Swedish friends in the event.

In conclusion, I wish "China Day" event a full success. Thank you!

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