Full text of Xi Jinping's speech on China-US relations in Seattle (1)

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-9-24 9:30:50

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday night delivered a speech on China-US relations here at a welcoming dinner hosted by local governments and friendly organizations in the United States.

The following is the translated version of the full text of his speech.

Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping

President of the People's Republic of China

At the Welcoming Dinner Hosted by Local Governments And Friendly Organizations in the United States

Seattle, 22 September 2015

Dr. Henry Kissinger,

Governor Jay Inslee of the State of Washington,

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker,

Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle,

Chairwoman Carla Hills of the National Committee on US-China Relations,

Chairman Mark Fields of the US-China Business Council,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Good evening, everyone. Thank you, Dr. Kissinger, for your kind introduction. Dr. Kissinger has always been able to come up with some new observations. His introduction has really given me a new perspective to look at myself. It is great to be among so many friends, old and new, in the State of Washington and the City of Seattle, the first leg of my state visit to the United States. Let me begin by extending to you and, through you, to all the American people, my cordial greetings and best wishes.

I am no stranger to the State of Washington and the City of Seattle. Known as the Evergreen State and the Emerald City, here you have got the majestic Mt. Rainier and the charming Lake Washington. The film Sleepless in Seattle has made the city almost a household name in China. Besides, Washington is the leading state in US export to China and China the number one trading partner of the Port of Seattle. Washington and Seattle have become an important symbol of the friendship between Chinese and American people and the win-win cooperation between the two countries.

As a Chinese saying goes, the fire burns high when everyone brings wood to it. It is the loving care and hard work of the national governments, local authorities, friendly organizations and people from all walks of life in both countries that have made China-US relations flourish. In particular, the National Committee on US-China Relations, the US-China Business Council, the US-China Policy Foundation, the US Chamber of Commerce, the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA, the Committee of 100, the China Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Asia Society, the Brookings Institution and many other friendly groups and individuals have made untiring efforts over the years to promote friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries and brought the relationship to this far. Let me pay high tribute and express my heartfelt gratitude to all the local governments, social organizations, universities, think tanks and people from all sectors of society who have dedicated themselves to the cause of China-US friendship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Since the founding of the People's Republic, especially since the beginning of reform and opening-up, China has set out on an extraordinary journey, and the Chinese of my generation have had some first-hand experience.

Towards the end of the 1960s when I was in my teens, I was sent from Beijing to work as a farmer in a small village of Liangjiahe near Yan'an of Shaanxi Province, where I spent seven years. At that time, the villagers and I lived in "earth caves" and slept on "earth beds". Life was very hard. There was no meat in our diet for months. I knew what the villagers wanted the most. Later I became the village's party secretary and began to lead the villagers m production. I understood their needs. One thing I wished most at the time was to make it possible for the villagers to have meat and have it often. But it was very difficult for such a wish to come true in those years.

At the Spring Festival early this year, I returned to the village. I saw blacktop roads. Now living in houses with bricks and tiles, the villagers had Internet access. Elderly folks had basic old-age care and all villagers had medical care coverage. Children were in school. Of course, meat was readily available. This made me keenly aware that the Chinese dream is after all a dream of the people. We can fulfill the Chinese dream only when we link it with our people's yearning for a better life.

What has happened in Liangjiahe is but a microcosm of the progress China has made through reform and opening-up. In a little more than three decades, we have turned China into the world's second largest economy, lifted l.3 billion people from a life of chronic shortage and brought them initial prosperity and unprecedented rights and dignity. This is not only a great change in the lives of the Chinese people, but also a huge step forward in human civilization and China's major contribution to world peace and development.

At the same time, we are soberly aware that China is still the world's largest developing country. Our per capita GDP is only two thirds that of the global average and one seventh that of the United States, ranking around 80th in the world. By China's own standard, we still have over 70 million people living under the poverty line. If measured by the World Bank standard, the number would be more than 200 million. Over 70 million citizens live on basic living allowances, and the number of people with disabilities exceeds 85 million. During the past two years, I have been to many poor areas in China and visited many poor families. I wouldn't forget the look in their eyes longing for a decent, happy life.

I know that we must work still harder before all our people can live a better life. That explains why development remains China's top priority. To any one charged with the governance of China, their primary mission is to focus all the resources on improving people's living standard and gradually achieve common prosperity. To this end, we have proposed the two centenary goals, i.e. to double the 2010 GDP and per capita income of the Chinese and complete the building of a moderately prosperous society by 2020 and to build a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious modern socialist country and realize the great renewal of the Chinese nation by the middle of the century. Whatever we do now is aimed at fulfilling these goals. To succeed in completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, we must comprehensively deepen reform, advance law-based governance, and apply strict party discipline. That is what our proposed four-pronged strategy is all about.

Since you are all interested in such issues as the direction of China's development and China's policy orientation, let me take this opportunity to share with you some of my thoughts in this regard.

-- China's economy will stay on a steady course with fairly fast growth. The Chinese economy is still operating within a proper range. It grew by 7 percent in the first half of the year, and this growth rate remains one of the highest in the world. This has not come by easily given the complex and volatile situation in the world economy. At present, all economies are facing difficulties, and our economy is also under downward pressure. But this is only a problem in the course of progress. We will take coordinated steps to achieve stable growth, deepen reform, adjust structure, improve livelihood and prevent risks, while strengthening and innovating macro regulation to keep the growth at a medium-high speed. Currently, China is continuing to move forward its new type of industrialization, digitalization, urbanization and agricultural modernization. China has a high savings rate, a huge consumption potential, a hard-working population and a rising proportion of middle-income people. This creates an enormous space for the services sector and offers a big market with great potential. China will focus more on improving the quality and efficiency of economic growth and accelerating the shift of growth model and adjustment in economic structure. We will lay greater emphasis on innovation and consumption-driven growth. In this way, we will solve the problem of unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development and enable the Chinese economy to successfully transform itself and maintain strong momentum of growth.

Recent abnormal ups and downs in China's stock market has caused wide concern. Stock prices fluctuate in accordance with their inherent laws. And it is the duty of the government to ensure an open, fair and just market order and prevent massive panic from happening. This time, the Chinese government took steps to stabilize the market and contain panic in the stock market and thus avoided a systemic risk. Mature markets of various countries have tried similar approaches. Now, China's stock market has reached the phase of self-recovery and self-adjustment. On 11 August, China moved to improve its RMB central parity quotation mechanism, giving the market a greater role in determining the exchange rate. Our efforts have achieved initial success in correcting the exchange rate deviation. Given the economic and financial situation at home and abroad, there is no basis for continuous depreciation of the RMB. We will stick to the purpose of our reform to have the exchange rate decided by market supply and demand and allow the RMB to float both ways. We are against competitive depreciation or a currency war. We will not lower the RMB exchange rate to stimulate export. To develop the capital market and improve the market-based pricing mechanism of the RMB exchange rate is the direction of our reform. This will not be changed by the recent fluctuation in the stock market or the foreign exchange market. (more)

Posted in: Diplomacy

blog comments powered by Disqus