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Speech by H.E. Mr. Chen Yuming, Chinese Ambassador to Sweden at the Students' Association

(10 August 2014)

Dear students:

It is a special pleasure to be here today, and is the first time to meet and share views with members of a Swedish youth organization.

There must be someone among you who visited China and witnessed the achievements China has made since its reform and opening-up. For the last 36 years, China's economy has been growing continuously at an average annual rate of 9.8%. In 2013 its GDP reached 9.1 trillion U.S. Dollars, global ranking rising to No. 2 from No. 10 in 1990. China's foreign currency reserve, totaling 3.8 trillion U.S. Dollars, is the largest one among all economies. As the world's leading manufacturer and goods trader, China contributes substantially to the growth of global economy. However, China is still a developing country. Its GDP per capita is only around 6000 U.S. Dollars and its export value per capita is only 1/10 of Sweden. China is faced up with challenges such as imbalanced development. The weighty issues concerning education, employment, healthcare, housing, environmental protection, food safety, economic restructuring and innovation capability need to be promptly addressed. China started its new round of reform and opening-up, speeding up the process of adjusting and optimizing the economic structure, improving the quality and efficiency of economic growth, and letting the market play a decisive role in resources allocation. In the first half of this year, China's economy grew by 7.5%. Despite the slowdown in growth rate, we have made progress in improving the economic structure and elevating the efficiency and quality of the economy. We are confident that China's economy is facing a promising future.

Dear young friends,

The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, namely, mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence, are the cornerstone of China's independent foreign policy of peace. The Five Principles embody such Chinese beliefs as "peace is most precious", "harmony without uniformity" and "peace among all nations", and give concrete expression to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Since their establishment 60 years ago, the Five Principles, tested by time and applied to relations among all countries regardless of their social system, ideology and level of development, have become the basic norms governing international relations as well as basic principles of international laws, and contributed to global development and progress. China is a firm advocate of the Five Principles and works hard to put them into practice. It adheres to peaceful development, a path that enables it to develop itself through safeguarding world peace and to do that through its own development. China pursues friendship and partnership with its neighbours, and seeks to bring amity, security and common prosperity to its neighbourhood. To the developing countries represented by the new emerging economies, China stresses peaceful development, win-win cooperation, and work with them to achieve a fair international political and economical order. To the major countries, China is vigorously building a new model of major-country relations, based on equality and mutual trust, inclusiveness and mutual learning, cooperation and common prosperity.

Sweden is an important EU country and a major player in North Europe, and it was the first among the Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. Since its establishment 64 years ago, the China-Sweden relations have been developing in a comprehensive and stable manner, with the exchange and cooperation in various fields deepening continuously.

China and Sweden maintain close and frequent high-level visits. New directions of strategic cooperation are set during exchange of visits between the state leaders. In recent years, China's president and prime minister visited Sweden and brought new vigour and vitality into the bilateral ties.

China-Sweden cooperation has been pragmatic, of high quality, covered broad areas and developed vigorously. In 2013 despite of the global recession, our bilateral trade volume totaled 13.3 billion U.S. Dollars. Between January and April this year, the bilateral trade volume reached 4.3 billion U.S. Dollars, with an increase of 4.5% compared with the same period last year. Service cooperation deepens further. The signing of a memorandum on financial regulatory cooperation marked a new stage of financial cooperation between China and Sweden. The two countries have lots of investment into each other, with new highlights in sustainable development, clean energy, innovation and advanced manufacturing. Recently, Skelleftea Kraft AB and a Chinese company DEC signed the Blaiken Wind Power Project Contract with an amount of 70 million Euros. This is the largest wind power project order obtained by a Chinese company in Sweden. The first China-Sweden joint research projects, in the fields of new energy, renewable energy, sustainable development and clean technology, were initiated. After Geely's acquisition of Volvo Cars, Volvo Cars was revitalized and started gaining profit again. Its three new factories in Chengdu, Daqing and Zhangjiakou will shortly come on stream. China's Huawei, Zhongxing and Bank of China are continuously enlarging their investment in Sweden. On the other hand, over 500 Swedish enterprises such as IKEA, Ericson and H&M are investing and developing their business vigourously in China.

People-to-people exchange between China and Sweden are burgeoning. In Sweden, Confucius Institutes were established. "Happy Spring Festival" celebrations of the Chinese New Year have been successfully held for several continuous years and attracting still larger audience. Chinese writer Mo Yan, scientists Qin Dahe and Shi Yigong were respectively awarded Noble Prize in Literature, Volvo Environment Prize and Gregori Aminoff Prize, provoking both Chinese and Swedish to learn about each other's culture, science and technology. In addition, non-governmental cultural exchanges between the two peoples are very active.

China regards Sweden as an important partner in Europe, particularly in the Nordic region. Today, China is deepening its reform, aiming at gradually transforming its mode of development and upgrading from "Made in China" to "Created in China". This provides a great opportunity for Sweden, as Sweden is a leading and experienced country in innovations, energy saving and advanced manufacturing etc.. China and Sweden are expected to have broader cooperation in urbanization, green industries, advanced manufacturing, life sciences and information technology. The great Chinese ancient poet Li Bai wrote, "the great ambition there, sail sea". I believe that China-Sweden cooperation, following a mutually beneficial and win-win course, will be bound with the wind and waves, and sail towards the bright future of peace and prosperity!

Dear Young Friends,

You are full of vigour, vitality and dreams. The future of Sweden and that of China-Sweden relations depend on you, the young generation. I hope that you will make full use of bilateral exchange student programs and take active parts in the youth exchange projects which have benefited many of your peers, such as "Chinese Bridge", to visit or revisit China, deepen and widen your understanding on a real and developing China, expand exchanges and friendship between young people in the two countries and compose a new chapter of China-Sweden win-win cooperation by joining the efforts with people from all walks of life in both countries.

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