Toast by Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong At the Reception for the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

September 29, 2009

The Honorable USTR Ron Kirk,
The Honorable Under-Secretary Robert Hormats,
The Honorable Admiral Micheal Mullen, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff,
The Honorable Senator Inouye,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

On behalf of the Chinese Government, I wish to extend to you our warmest welcome to the Chinese Embassy.  We are deeply honored that you have come to join the 1.3 billion Chinese people in celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. I wish to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to all those who have long cared for China and supported China-U.S. relations.

Since the founding of the People's Republic 60 years ago, particularly over the last three decades of reform and opening-up, China has made tremendous progress toward modernization.

From 1952 to 2008, we maintained an annual GDP growth rate of 8.1%. Our economy expanded by 77 times, amounting to US$4.4 trillion, the third largest in the world. Per capita income increased by 32.4 times, reaching US$3,000. China's foreign exchange reserves expanded by almost 14,000 times, totaling US$1.9 trillion.

Perhaps more important, through 60 years of exploration, the Chinese people have found the road to development that is suitable to China's reality and consistent with the historic trends. China has become an important engine of the world economic growth. And China is also an important force for world peace, stability and prosperity.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and the United States. We are pleased to see that with the joint efforts from both sides, China-U.S.relationship has made remarkable progress over the past three decades. Strategic and global significance of China-U.S. relationship is becoming more and more prominent, and the driving force behind this relationship is undergoing some profound changes.

Since President Obama came into office, we have had a good start in China-U.S. relations. President Hu Jintao and President Obama met twice, first in London last April and then in New York last Tuesday. They reached important consensus on working together to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship in the 21st century. This has pointed our the future direction of our bilateral relations.

We are looking forward to President Obama's visit to China in November. We believe that with the concerted efforts of the two sides, the visit will be a great success.

China and the United States have common interests in a wide range of areas-be it overcoming the current international economic and financial crisis, tackling global issues such as climate change and energy security, handling international and regional hotspot issues, or maintaining international peace and security.

China-U.S. relationship is standing at a new starting point, and is faced with important opportunities of further growth. A good China-U.S. relationship is not only in the fundamental interests of our two countries and peoples, but is also conducive to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

We believe that as the two countries view and handle their relations from a strategic perspective, focus on enhancing dialogue and expanding cooperation, and properly address their differences and sensitive issues on the basis of mutual respect, China-U.S. relations will have an even more promising future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As the world economy continues to move toward globalization, interdependence between China and the rest of the world will be even greater. China will always stay on the road fo peaceful development, and work closely with all countries of the world for the peace and prosperity of our planet.

To conclude, I wish to propose a toast,

To the wellbeing of the Chinese people,

To the wellbeing of the American people,

To the continued growth of China-U.S. relations, and

To the health of all friends present here this evening.