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--Keynote Speech by Ambassador Gui Congyou at the ISDP Forum on the 19th CPC National Congress
2017/11/02

Dear Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,

Good afternoon! It's my great pleasure to attend this forum. I thank the Institute for Security and Development Policy for the invitation.

Recently the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was convened successfully, which was closely followed by the international community. The Congress analyzed developments in both domestic and international situations, and made the significant judgment that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. A new central leadership was elected, and major policies and strategies for China's development in the coming period were formulated. The Congress is significant for realizing the Chinese people's aspirations for a better life and the common development of people across the world. It has brought good news for people in China and beyond.

The Party Congress sent a strong message that Chinese Communists would keep firmly in mind their original aspiration and mission. CPC has gone down a glorious journey of 96 years and led the Chinese people to stand up, grow rich, and become strong. This is a historic achievement recognized by the whole world. Nonetheless, we will never forget why we started. That is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. This is our original aspiration and mission, and also our ideal and faith. Over the past 96 years, generation after generation of CPC members have fought bravely for this ideal, and thousands upon thousands of martyrs have sacrificed their lives. As they pledged, "The enemy can hack off our heads, but never shake our beliefs." This has been the everlasting revolutionary tradition of Chinese Communists. At present, China's development is faced with bright prospects but also severe challenges. As long as we firmly align ourselves with the people and rely on them, we can and will have boundless energy to forge ahead, come rain or shine. Because people are the creators of history. As the saying goes, "he who wins over the people wins the country; he who loses the people loses the country." Chinese Communists will always breathe the same breath as the people, share the same future, and stay truly connected to them. We will always make the aspirations of the people to live a better life the focus of our efforts, and accomplish the grand blueprints drawn at the 19th Party Congress.

At the congress, the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era was enshrined. With decades of hard work, the CPC has ensured that the basic needs of over a billion people are met and have basically made it possible for people to live decent lives. The principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved. What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life. The needs to be met for the people to live a better life are increasingly broad. Not only have their material and cultural needs grown; their demands for democracy, rule of law, fairness and justice, security, and a better environment are also increasing. The scientific and technological level of China's economy and society has been significantly improved. China is leading the world in many fields such as aerospace, high-speed railways, the internet, and artificial intelligence. The more prominent problem facing China is its unbalanced and inadequate development. China's eastern region and big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have almost become as developed as western countries, but its rural areas and central and western regions are still relatively underdeveloped. There are still tens of millions of people in China stuck in poverty and not a few urban people living in difficulty. The 19th Party Congress has decided that, while building on continued efforts to sustain development, we must push hard to improve the quality and efficiency of growth so as to promote well-rounded human development and all-round social progress.

In this new era, we will stay firmly committed to the people-centered approach and the organic unity of CPC leadership, the people running the country, and law-based governance. We will develop socialist consultative democracy and guarantee that the principle of the people running the country is put into practice in China's political and social activities. We will strengthen legal protection for human rights to see to it that the people enjoy extensive rights and freedoms as prescribed by law. We will ensure the people's rights to be informed, to participate, to be heard, and to oversee. We will continue using development to ensure and improve people's well-being and strengthen areas of weakness and promote social fairness and justice. By 2020, we will have developed our society into a moderately prosperous one with a stronger economy, greater democracy, more advanced science and education, thriving culture, greater social harmony, and a better quality of life. After this, with another 15 years of work, we will have basically achieved modernization in 2035. With another more 15 years of work, we will have turned China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful. By that time, the common prosperity for every Chinese people is basically achieved.

In this new era, we will move closer to center stage and make greater contribution to mankind. The CPC strives for both the well-being of the Chinese people and human progress. Nowadays countries are becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent, and yet, as a world we face growing uncertainties and destabilizing factors. Mankind is facing many common challenges. Global economic growth lacks energy; the gap between rich and poor continues to widen; and unconventional security threats like terrorism and climate change continue to spread. China calls on the people of all countries to work together to build a community of shared future for mankind, and an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. China will stay on the path of peaceful development, and remain firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace. China endeavors to uphold international fairness and justice, and opposes interference in the internal affairs of others as well as the practice of the strong bullying the weak. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion. China will become more and more open to the outside world. We will actively develop global partnerships, actively promote international cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative, and work to build an open world economy. China will continue to play its part as a major and responsible country, stand for democracy in international relations, and support the United Nations in playing an active role in international affairs. We will take an active part in reforming and developing the global governance system, work with the international community to address climate change, terrorism, nuclear proliferation and other international hotspot issues and global challenges, and keep contributing Chinese wisdom and strength.

Dear friends, the CPC has always remembered that Sweden was the first western country to establish diplomatic relations with China. After the start of China's reform and opening-up, Sweden went on to become the first western country to sign a trade agreement and investment protection agreement with China, and actively engaged in economic and technological cooperation with China, making positive contribution to China's economic and social development. China-Sweden friendship and cooperation has a long tradition, sound foundation and great potential. To meet the Chinese people's ever-growing needs for a better life, China-Sweden cooperation in innovation, green economy, energy conservation and environment protection, high-end manufacturing and other areas embraces greater opportunities. We welcome Swedish friends from all walks of life to look at modern China and CPC in a comprehensive and objective manner, stay true to our original aspirations when we established diplomatic relations, and expand exchanges and deepen cooperation with Chinese counterparts on the basis of mutual respect, fairness and reciprocity, to bring more benefits to people in our two countries and across the world.

If we look at the thoughts, philosophy, principles, policies and practice of CPC, it's not difficult to draw the conclusion that China under the leadership of CPC is a contributor to world peace, facilitator of global development and proponent of international order and rules.

I wish this forum a full success. Thank you.

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