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Speech by H.E. Consul General Liang Caide at the National Day Reception in 2019
(September 27th, 2019, Magellan Sutera Resort)
2019-09-29

Your Excellency Head of State—Tuan Yang Terutama Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Juhar bin Datuk Haji Mahiruddin,

Your Excellency Yang Amat Berbahagia Toh Puan Datuk

Seri Panglima Hajah Norlidah binti Tan Sri Datuk R.M Jasni,

Your Excellency Chief Minister of Sabah—Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd. Shafie bin Haji Apdal,

Your Excellency Yang Amat Berbahagia Datin Seri Panglima Hajah Shuryani Binti Datuk Haji Shuaib,

……

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen, friends:

Good evening!

It is my great pleasure to have all of you with us, celebrating the National Day of the People's Republic of China. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Kota Kinabalu, I would like to extend my warmest welcome and sincere gratitude to all the guests, especially to the Head of State, TYT Tun Datuk Seri Panglima (Dr.) Haji Juhar, YABhg. Toh Puan Datuk Seri Panglima (Dr.) Hajah Norlidah, Chief Minister YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie and YABhg. Datin Seri Panglima Shuryani for attending tonight’s Reception.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. 70 years ago, China was plunged into a poor situation from one of the most prosperous countries in the world after a hundred years of turmoil and war. As described by Chairman Mao at that time, “What could we produce now? We can produce tables, chairs, teacups and teapots; we can grow grains, and grind them into flour; we can also make paper. However, we cannot even make a car, a plane, a tank or a tractor.” This was the real situation in China at that time.

In the past 70 years, China has seen dramatic changes. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and with hard work of several generations, China has become the world’s second largest economy, the world’s largest industrial country, cargo trading country and foreign exchange reserve country, contributing over 30% to the global economic growth. China has lifted 850 million people from poverty since its founding, contributing more than 70% to the global poverty reduction. Now, we can make the world's fastest high-speed rail with the longest network, the world's most capable manned submersible and the world's first probe to land on the moon’s far side. China leads the world in mobile payment business and 5G technology. China’s products cover all areas ranging from space industry to deep sea industries. “Made in China” can be found all over the world and is gradually transforming to “Created by China”.

In the past 70 years, China has marched forward courageously. Since the reform and opening-up, China has opened its door and mind to build the country and embrace the world, successfully realizing the great transformation from a closed or semi-closed state to one featuring all-round opening up. As emphasized by President Xi Jinping, “China's economic development was achieved under a condition of opening-up in the past 40 years. In the future, China's economy must achieve high quality development under more open conditions.” This year, China has established six more free trade zones. The 2nd China International Import Expo will be held in Shanghai in November. Against the rise of trade protectionism, China will continue to support free trade and economic globalization. The pace of China's reform will not stagnate, and its door will open even wider.

In the past 70 years, China has kept exploring on the way forward. Since its founding, the People’s Republic of China firmly pursues an independent and good neighbor foreign policy of peace. With the increase of China's economic strength and international influence, China begins to integrate its own development with the world’s more closely, continuously contributing the Chinese wisdom and approach to the maintenance of world peace and development. In 2013, China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). So far, China has successfully held the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation twice and has signed relevant cooperation documents with more than 160 countries and international organizations. The BRI has strengthened policy, financial, infrastructure, trade and people-to-people connectivity. Although the BRI was proposed by China, the opportunities and achievements of it belong to the world. The BRI not only drives the economic development of the countries along the routes, but also promotes global economic growth. It has become a global understanding, a global platform, and a global action, opening up a new path for economic globalization and expanding new areas for international cooperation.

Many Malaysian friends told me that they found China developing fast and changing dramatically every time they visited China. Indeed, China spent only 70 years to complete the industrial achievements whereby most western countries took at least 250 to 300 years. Paths determine the future. The secret of China's success lies in adhering to the path that suits its own development, that is, the Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. China's development has brought profound impact globally and it has also provided new options to those countries and nations worldwide that wish to accelerate development and maintain their independence at the same time.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia. Malaysia was the first ASEAN country to establish diplomatic relations with China. For nearly half a century, the two countries have worked together through thick and thin and marched forward hand in hand. In the early days of China's reform and opening- up, many Malaysian Chinese went to China to invest in various industries, helping China's economy to take off. When China proposed the BRI in recent years, Malaysia was among the first countries to respond and actively participated in the BRI and was also one with the most early results. Since the new Malaysian government took office, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir visited China twice within just 10 months. The leaders of the two countries have reached broad consensus on strengthening cooperation under the framework of the BRI, setting the direction of bilateral relation development in the new situation. China-Malaysia relations have entered a new era.

In the first half of this year, bilateral trade volume between China and Malaysia was near 57.4 billion US dollars, an increase of 11% as compared with the same period last year. As of August this year, China’s cumulative direct investment in Malaysia reached US$11.6 billion. China has been the largest source of foreign investment in Malaysia’s manufacturing industry for three consecutive years. As of March this year, Chinese companies have invested more than 440 projects solely in the manufacturing sector, creating 77,000 jobs for the local community. The BRI is bringing common prosperity to China and Malaysia, and real benefits to the people.

As an important node of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, Sabah is strategically located. The friendship and exchanges between China and Sabah enjoy a long history. Sabah's picturesque scenery, rich resources, exceptional Chinese cultural heritage, harmonious and stable society have laid good foundation for cooperation with broad prospects in various fields between China and Sabah.

As the Chinese poem goes, “when the fair wind comes, it’s the right time to start sailing”. With the wind of BRI and the joint efforts of all parties, the cooperation between China and Sabah has flourished in recent years. At present, investment by Chinese companies in Sabah are increasing, covering sectors of infrastructure, real estate, power supply, communications, plantation, aquaculture, hotel and catering, tourism, logistics, manufacturing and others. In April this year, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie led a delegation to China in person and signed a series of MOUs on cooperation with a total value of RM20 billion, bringing China-Sabah economic and trade cooperation to a new level. In the first half of this year, the number of Chinese tourists coming to Sabah reached 310,000, an increase of 5.6% as compared with the same period last year. At the end of this year, the first Confucius Institute in East Malaysia will be established at the University of Sabah, as a bridge to connect the people between the two places. Just a few days ago, Kota Kinabalu became a sister city of Hangzhou and Xi’an in China.

Behind the scene of all the fruitful cooperation results, we see strong support from the governments of both China and Sabah, and hard work of countless ordinary workers. Here, I would like to pay tribute to all those who participate and support the China-Sabah cooperation! I would also like to thank the Sabah State Government, led by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie, and all the friends who support the work of the Consulate General! Let us continue to work hand in hand in promoting the common development and prosperity of China and Sabah!

I would also like to thank the Chinese community, Chinese educational organizations and Chinese enterprises for your flower stands, which enhance the festive atmosphere of tonight’s Reception. I would like to thank Dalian Gufeng Arts Troupe, led by the world renowned Guzheng player Professor Guan Jie. The artists are going to present us a wonderful performance with Chinese characteristics.

Lastly, let us wish prosperity to China and Malaysia and happiness to the people of the two countries! May China-Malaysia friendship last forever! May China-Sabah cooperation flourish! Wish all of you good health!

Thank you!

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