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Li Hui

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Russian Federation

On November 16, 2017, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) hosted a Club Meeting «Russia-China Relations in the Context of the Results of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China». The event was organized with the support of the Embassy of China in Russia.

Li Hui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Russia, made a keynote speech within the framework of the event.

On November 16, 2017, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) hosted a Club Meeting «Russia-China Relations in the Context of the Results of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China». The event was organized with the support of the Embassy of China in Russia.

Li Hui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Russia, made a keynote speech within the framework of the event.

Key Points

Honorable Chairman Mr. Ivanov,

Respected RIAC members,

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

I would like to thank Mr. Ivanov for his initiative, and members of the Russian International Affairs Council for organizing this event, which provides a platform for us to share views on the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its influence, the development of China in a new era, and the prospects for Russia–China relations moving forwards.

The 19th CPC Congress is an important meeting held at a key point in China’s development. It has profound significance in and far-reaching influence on the Communist Party of China, China itself and the Chinese people. The main agenda of the Congress was the report delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping, who summarized the historic achievements in the development and construction of China over the last five years, as well as the monumental changes that have taken place in the country during that period. He outlined strategic plans for the further development of the party and the state. Thus, a new journey for the Chinese people to construct a modern socialist country comprehensively under the leadership of the Communist Party of China was inaugurated.

Having attended the Congress, I am very pleased to share my observations on the event with you. Besides the fact that the fruitful results of the Congress were encouraging, the high spirit of the delegates were especially impressive. The business-like atmosphere of the discussion among delegates surrounding the report of the 19th Congress sparked a great number of ideas extending to nearly all areas of state governance. This is a testimony to full confidence in the future development of the party and the country, and as such, a demonstration of enthusiasm among the delegates for carrying out the immediate operational tasks facing the country.

The important achievements of the 19th Congress and its far-reaching influence can be summarized into four “new” aspects, namely the beginning of a new era, creation of new thought, outline of new plans, and demonstration of new commitments.

First, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics Has Entered a New Era.

This is an important political statement in the report of the 19th Congress, which clarifies the new historical juncture of China’s development. This is also the basis for the Communist Party of China to develop its general policies and make plans of action. So what is this “new era”?

The new era signifies the progressive advancement of socialism with Chinese characteristics under new historical circumstances. In the five years since the 18th CPC Congress, the country has achieved great success in terms of reforms, openness and modernization, and major changes have taken place both in the party and in the state. Standing at a new historical juncture, the 19th Congress has clearly defined the new circumstances, the new tasks and challenges facing the party, and proclaimed the historic mission of the party in the new era both to the Chinese people and to the world as a whole.

In this new era, the Communist Party, together with all the people of China, will confidently progress towards the implementation of the “two centenary goals” and realization of the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. The first goal, to be achieved by 2020, is to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the time the Communist Party of China marks its centenary. This is to be followed by the comprehensive construction of a modern socialist country by the mid-21st century when the People’s Republic of China celebrates its centenary. Historically, the journey to modernization for most developed countries and regions in the world took almost 300 years. But China is determined to complete this journey in just one hundred years, that is, between 1949 and 2050. The speed and scale of change would be unprecedented, and the task will be profound.

In this new era, the Communist Party will guide the people of China towards consolidation and struggle continuously for a more beautiful life. The 19th Congress made a new observation on the principle contradiction facing the Chinese society. What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. On the one hand, over the course of nearly 40 years of reforms, the long-standing situation of a scarce economy and shortage of supply has been fundamentally changed, while the problems of unbalanced and inadequate development remain outstanding. On the other hand, as living standards steadily improve, greater material and cultural needs emerge, as do demands in such areas as democracy, the rule of law, equality, justice, security and environmental protection.

A change in the basic contradiction of society is bound to create a number of new developmental tasks and requirements. The Communist Party of China will continue, in accordance with the people’s expectations, to boost feelings of prosperity, happiness and security in the country and further advance the overall development of the people and the comprehensive progress of society.

It will be an era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contributions to mankind. The Chinese dream will not become a reality without a peaceful international environment and under a stable international order. Under the auspices of the Communist Party of China, China will continue its efforts to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and uphold international order.

Second, the Communist Party of China Has its New Guiding Thought.

The Communist Party of China steadfastly adheres to the continuous practical enrichment and development of Marxism and to finding new concepts, ideas and strategies to consistently follow and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics. The 19th Congress summarized Secretary General Xi Jinping’s new concepts, ideas and strategies of state governance and made it the new guiding thought for the party. Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era was incorporated into the Party constitution as theoretical innovations. This is another example of the Communist Party of China’s guiding thought evolve with the times; it is also an important historical contribution of the 19th Congress to the Party’s development.

Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is rich in content, ranging from insistence on party leadership and exercising strict governance over the party, to goals and requirements in areas of economic, political, cultural, social and environmentally conscious civilization, national security and national defense, military build up, and foreign relations, which constitute a whole set of action plans for further advancing the cause of the party and the state.

Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era holds holistic and systemic theoretical characteristics. First, it stresses continuity by absorbing spirit of traditional Chinese culture and being in line with the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics established since the start of the policy of reform and opening up. Second, it emphasizes innovations, focusing on the goals of China’s development, while drawing attention directly to difficulties and challenges, and channeling efforts into seeking and developing new concepts, ideas and strategies. Third, it emphasizes the inherent connection to the people by reiterating mission of the Party, and positing the people’s desire for a beautiful life as the starting point and goal of the all the struggle. Fourth, it takes on scientific method by seeking truth from facts and trying to eliminate all the disadvantages brought by outdated ideas and institutions, while searching for objective laws in the governance of Communist Parties, the building of socialism, and the evolvement of human society, and consequently, making plans for its own cause in compliance with objective laws.

The Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, and constitutes an important component of the theory of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It is a guide to action for the party members and the Chinese people in our strive to achieve national rejuvenation.

Third, a New grand blueprint for China’s Development is Unfold at the 19th Congress.

The first step is to finish building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020. Favorable conditions exist for this task to be carried out successfully. China's economy is maintaining stable and healthy development. The average GDP growth for 2013–2016 was 7.2 percent, contributing more thank 30 percent to the global economic growth. The average income of Chinese people is growing by 7.4 per cent annually, and rural poverty is declining steadily. As reforms deepen, the economic structure is becoming more rational, and the concept of green development is gaining greater popularity among the people. China is becoming more open to the outside world. In 2016, imports and exports totaled $3.68 trillion, while foreign investment reached $126 billion, direct investments abroad totaled $170.1 billion, and year-end currency reserves equaled $3 trillion. These indicators put China among the world’s leading economies.

At the same time, to achieve this goal, China is also faced with certain weaknesses and shortcomings, ranging from inadequacy in quality, effectiveness and innovation capability, to potential financial risks, etc. With over 40 million rural people still living in poverty, the gap in development and income between urban and rural areas is still rather large. The people are still faced with problematic issues in areas such as employment, health care, housing and retirement benefits. There is still difficult tasks in environmental protection, and considerable efforts will need to be exerted over a long period of time in order to streamline sectors with high energy consumption and pollution levels, as well as to phase out outdated manufacturing capacities. Therefore, the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects involves not only quantitative economic indicators but also qualitative and social indicators. In the words of General Secretary Xi Jinping, it must “earn the people’s approval and stand the test of time”.

For the second step, we will see that socialist modernization be basically realized in China by 2035. According to the plan proposed by Comrade Deng Xiaoping in late 1980s, modernization of China should be completed by the middle of the 21st century. The 19th Congress took the decision to move that deadline forward by 15 years. Given the new situation, we believe that setting new goals to reflect higher demands is both necessary and realistic.

In terms of development conditions, China’s GDP in 2016 was about $11.2 trillion, which is on par with countries with moderate and high incomes. Assuming that GDP will grow by an average of 6.5 per cent annually up to 2020, and then by 5 per cent per year from 2021 to 2035, coupled with a price index of 2 per cent and a stable exchange rate, China’s GPD will be $43.6 trillion in 2035. This will mean a per capita GDP of $30,000, which is comparable to that of developed countries.

Thirdly, the goal of the Party is to build China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful by the middle of the 21st century. In order to achieve this, five spheres of development have been identified to shape a vision of magnificent prospects, with new heights reached in every dimension of material, political, cultural and ethical, social, and ecological advancement.

It is worth noting that, in addition to stressing high-quality growth and social fairness, the 19th Congress set, for the first time in its history, the building of “beautiful China” as a standard of socialist modernization, and “harmonious coexistence between man and nature” as one of the basic development strategies. This is a full manifestation of China’s policy to see construction of an environmentally conscious civilization as the long-term plan designed for the sustainable development of the Chinese nation. The country will make every effort to develop a “green” economy, stepping up environmental protection and strengthening regulation and control in this sphere.

Fourth, China is Making New Commitment to the World in Playing its Part as a Major and Responsible Country

China is unfailingly moving along the path of peaceful development. It is reiterated at the 19th Congress that China will never pursue development at the expense of others’ interests, nor will China ever give up its legitimate rights and interests; and no matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion. China steadfastly adheres to its fundamental foreign policy goal of preserving world peace and promoting common development, and is playing the role of an “anchor of peace” in a world of uncertainties and “stabilizer” in the volatile international situation. China is committed to forging a new form of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation, and calls on the people of all countries to work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind, which is an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.

Entering the new era, China will continue to contribute to the peace and development of the entire world, and its efforts will be reflected in the following key aspects.

China will actively develop global partnerships.

At present, China has established partner relations of various forms with around 100 countries and international organizations. Taking a new approach to developing state-to-state relations with communication, not confrontation, and with partnership, not alliance, China will continue to engage in friendly cooperation with all countries in the world.

China will continue to promote international cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative.

It is now four years since the initiative was proposed, and 270 cooperation projects have been resulted in that time. The initiative is moving forward successfully and bearing fruit, which make it a new platform for promoting international cooperation and an effective means of rebalancing economic globalization.

At the First Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation last May, the majestic initiative was unfolded into precise road map. The Chinese side announced new investment and financing measures like committing new investment into the Silk Road Fund, and new initiatives to build up comprehensive service platforms in science, technology and the environment, thus creating a powerful foothold for long-term cooperation.

The Forum marked the beginning of a new era for the Belt and Road construction. China will, together with all parties, make further efforts in strengthening policy coordination and synergizing development strategies, and turning the action plans and cooperation projects into tangible results. Such priority areas like aligning Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union, construction of the China–Mongolia–Russia international transport corridor and the new Eurasian Land Bridge will be highlighted, which will further improve international transportation and communications links. Efforts will also be made in strengthening international cooperation on production capacities and equipment manufacturing, trade and investment, in order to create more industrial belts, growth poles and economic circles. We will also increase investment in such areas as theory and policy research, economics and finance, institution building and security guarantee, in order to provide full-fledged support for the initiative and inject new impetus to the common development of participating countries.

China will take an active part in reforming and building the global governance system.

China will continue to uphold the authority of the United Nations and support the United Nations in playing an active role in international affairs. China will support a greater role for the mechanisms of the G20, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), BRICS, etc, and will help strengthen such mechanisms as the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN regional forum. China will also encourage such mechanisms as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund and the BRICS New Development Bank to make greater contributions to improving global governance. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will take its responsibility by actively participating in resolving regional and international hot-spot issues, promoting the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, cooperating with other countries in coping with such unconventional security threats as terrorism, climate change and infectious diseases, and encouraging countries to pool their efforts in order to build a beautiful home for the human kind together.

China will promote the healthy development of economic globalization.

The global economy is currently exhibiting a shortage in terms of growth dynamics. Protectionist and isolationist sentiments are rearing their head throughout the world, and anti-globalization forces are also stealthily on the move. While feeling uncertain about the future prospect, the international community expect to hear China’s voice, and see clearly direction in which China is moving.

As one of the principal drivers of global economic growth, China will firmly adhere to the basic national policy of opening up, and through its own development, provide a sustainable impetus to the stable development of all countries. In the next 15 years, China will have an even larger market and more comprehensive development. It is estimated that China will import US$24 trillion worth of goods, attract US$2 trillion inbound direct investment and make US$2 trillion of outbound investment. In November next year, China will hold the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai, which will provide a new platform for expanding cooperation in China's market among all parties.

China will be more active in directing economic globalization by supporting regional economic integration and cooperation, pushing forward the building of free trade areas in the Asia Pacific and talks on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, with the aim of building a global network of free trade areas.

China will continue to work with other countries in upholding multilateral trade system, promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and building an open global economy. In so doing, China will make its contributions to making economic globalization more open, inclusive, and balanced so that its benefits are shared by all.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The 19th Congress has ushered in a new era, and opened a new stage in China’s development. It has also demonstrated new prospects and new opportunities for the development of Russia–China relations.

The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination between China and Russia represent not only the most important bilateral relations in the world, but also the most successful model of relations between big countries. China and Russia steadfastly support each other in our respective efforts in maintaining key interests concerning sovereignty, national security and territorial integrity. We firmly support each other’s choice of development road according to our own national realities. We support each other in our efforts to realize national rejuvenation and steadfastly see each other as priority partners in terms of cooperation, and provide each other with important development opportunities. Together, Russia and China are working together to steer the world order and the international system towards justice and rationality. As President Vladimir Putin has noted, China–Russia relations serve as a model of ideal relations between big countries in the modern world.

The 19th Congress made it clear that China’s diplomacy aims to build a community with a shared future for mankind. During this course, China will always see Russia as its major and most important strategic partner of coordination.

Maintaining a high level of partnership with Russia is a priority in China’s policy of developing global partnership relations, advancing coordination and cooperation among big countries, and forging friendship and partnership with its neighbors. Since 2013, the heads of state of the two countries have held more than 20 meetings and exchanged more than 50 letters. President Putin is a world leader with whom Chairman Xi Jinping has maintained the closest contact and exchange. The two leaders have become candid and trusted friends of each other while working jointly in directing relations between the two countries.

China has established various forms of partnership with more than 100 countries and international organizations around the world. However, Russia is the only entity with which it has established comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. China has also developed various cooperation mechanisms with a number of countries, but only with Russia has it developed such comprehensive framework of cooperation mechanisms, which span all levels from head of state to governmental agencies, and cover all fields including parliament, the military, the ruling parties, the local authorities, and public organizations. No matter what happens in the international climate, China’s policy will not change as to view Russia as a priority diplomatic area, to continuously deepen relations between the two countries, to folster feelings of generations-long friendship among the people, and to insist on the practice of taking care of each other’s interests and concerns.

The high level and special nature of relationship between China and Russia will be evident in every area and sphere.

Deepening practical cooperation between China and Russia is a major demonstration of the advancement of the Belt an Road Initiative, as Russia being an active supporter, important participant and key cooperation partner.

Significant results have been achieved in bilateral and multilateral cooperation thanks to the joint efforts of the two sides. First, there has been an increase in trade and investment. In January–October 2017, bilateral trade between Russia and China reached $68.05 billion, which represents an increase of 21.3 per cent year-on-year – a clear trend towards recovery. Bilateral trade in agricultural products, cross-border e-commerce, R&D in high technologies and cooperation among small and medium-sized businesses are all steadily moving forward, which creates new growth points in business cooperation. The bilateral trade structure is constantly being optimized, and the share of electro-mechanical and high value added goods is increasing.

China increased direct investments into Russia during the first three quarters of the year by 34.1 per cent, which makes Russia the primary recipient of Chinese foreign investments. The governments of the two countries have identified 73 priority projects for the fourth round of investment cooperation, worth a total of around $100 billion. In addition, the governments and financial bodies of the two countries have agreed to set up a number of cooperation funds. The Central Bank of Russia has opened an office in China, and a Yuan Payments Clearing House has opened in Moscow.

Second, cooperation on large projects and infrastructure construction is moving forward steadily. The construction of the eastern branch of the China–Russia gas pipeline is progressing successfully. China has both increased its energy import from Russia and uses it as basis for expanding cooperation. Currently, China and Russia are building a long-term comprehensive energy partnership in traditional energy sources. Construction of the cross-border railway, the land bridge between China’s north-eastern regions and the Russian Far East and the Primorye-1 and Primorye-2 international transport corridors is moving forward at a steady pace. A design company has been established to develop a joint Russia–China long-range wide-body aircraft. Russia–China business cooperation is defined by large projects full of strategic content.

Third, trade agreements and partner relations have received a boost. China recently concluded talks with the Eurasian Economic Union on “Trade and Economic Cooperation between China and the Eurasian Economic Union.” This is a big step towards facilitating and liberalizing trade and investment – and the first step towards the establishment of a free trade zone. China pays great attention to and actively supports President Putin’s initiative on “Eurasian partnership relations.” China and Russia will develop appropriate measures to shape “Eurasian economic partnership relations” in order to stimulate regional integration on the basis of openness, transparency and taking each other’s interests into account. The two parties have already launched a joint feasibility study on the “Agreement on Eurasian Economic Partnership Relations.” The initiatives put forward by China and Russia and the cooperation among the parties to align these initiatives have created new collaboration platforms for the Eurasian region, and for the international community as a whole. This all adds new impetus to the overall development of relations.

Increasing strategic collaboration between China and Russia is an important part of shaping a new kind of international relations based on mutual respect, equality, justice and universally beneficial cooperation. Russia and China share similar ideas on global governance. The two sides cooperate closely in international affairs and have already become the world’s “anchor” in maintaining peace and stability.

Together, China and Russia call for the democratization of international relations. They firmly adhere to the principle of equality of all countries, steadfastly advocate expanding the positive role of the United Nations, and supports the efforts of other developing countries to increase their representation and strengthen their voice in international affairs. China and Russia channel their efforts into maintaining international and regional peace, security and stability. They call for resolving disputes through dialogue and eliminating differences through consultations. Both countries reject the Cold War mentality characterized by bloc politics and a zero-sum game.

China and Russia maintain close contacts within important multilateral mechanisms such as the G20, APEC, BRICS, the SCO and East Asian cooperation. They support the construction of a global economy and a global trade system that is open, inclusive, and balanced so that its benefits are shared by all. They take part in the improvement of global governance; jointly, they bolster international collaboration on fighting terrorism, cybercrime and coping with climate change. This stance reflects the responsible attitude of the two sides to their role as major countries. This new style of international relations is in compliance with the historical trend of a multi-polar world, which has gained wide acclaim and support around the world for its important global significance and value.

Strengthening cultural and people to people exchanges between Russia and China is an important force in ensuring civilization diversity in the world. In recent years, Russia and China have held joint national years, years of language, years of tourism, years of friendly youth exchanges and years of media exchanges. These exchanges have become major state-level events, which have helped lay firm social foundations and boost public opinion for the development of bilateral relations. The Russian and Chinese people regard each other as the friendliest of all foreign peoples and countries. The combined number of Russian tourists to China and Chinese tourists to Russia exceeds 3 million people per year. Over 80,000 students and other exchange personnel travel both ways annually, and this figure is growing steadily. The successful development of China-Russia relations has given the international community the best example of how estrangement can be replaced with exchange, clashes be replaced with mutual learning, and superiority be replaced with coexistence.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

We are standing at a new starting point of China-Russia relations , and are faced with new opportunities. Looking into the future, under the strategic guidance of the heads of the two states, with China working on the in-depth implementation of Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era, we will adhere to the principles and spirit of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation, and push the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between the two countries to a higher level through solid, stable and confident steps.

We at the Embassy of China will work in close contact with our Russian colleagues, jointly exploring new stimuli for China-Russia relations under new historical circumstances. I look forward to hearing your views and proposals.

Thank you.

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  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
    U.S. wants to establish partnership relations with Russia on condition that it meets the U.S. requirements  
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