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This speech originally published in Provenance the Web Magazine - ISSN 1203-8954 - Vol.2 No.3 Winter 1997

Speech by President Jiang Zemin
Of the People's Republic of China
23 November 1997,
at dinner Hosted by Mayor of Vancouver


Speech by President Jiang Zemin,
Of the People's Republic of China,
At Dinner Hosted by Mayor of Vancouver

23 November 1997

Vancouver, BC, Canada

The following Translation was provided to the media representatives at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum meeting held in November 1997 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Mr. Mayor and Mrs. Owen,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank you, Mr. Mayor for your warm remarks. I am very delighted to attend this grand dinner hosted by the City Council of Vancouver for the APEC meeting. I would like to take this opportunity to convey to the Vancouver people the Chinese people's sincere greetings and best wishes.

Vancouver is the industrial, business, financial and trading center 'm the western part of North America and Canada's gateway to the Pacific. Standing side by side here are Indian totems symbolizing the ancient American culture, arches in the China Town embodying oriental glamour and high rises born out of modem civilization. Vancouver glitters with its rich and harmonious multi-culturalism.

As mankind is at the threshold of the 21st century, profound changes have taken place in the international situation. Peace and development have increasingly become the main theme of our times. Countries are more closely interwoven economically through exchanges. But it does not mean that there exists only one cultural tradition, one value concept, or one model of development. Today's world is a diversified and colourful one, in which all countries are independent and equal members of the international community. Only when we acknowledge the differences, seek common ground while putting aside differences, respect each other and cooperate for mutual benefit can peace and stability be maintained in a region and the world at large and common development and prosperity be achieved.

In the next two days, leaders from APEC members will exchange views on how to further deepen and strengthen regional economic and technological co-operation. APEC, as the most important economic forum 'm this region, has provided a good venue for members with different cultural traditions and at varying development levels to strengthen economic and technological co-operation through consultations on an equal footing.

After years of practice, APEC has formed its unique approach which has been identified by the Manila meeting as "APEC Approach".  This co-operative approach based on consensus and voluntarism is in conformity with the trend of our times and the realities in the Asia-Pacific and strikes a balance between the rights, interests and requirements of different partners.

Canada's Year of Asia Pacific 1997 logo

Canada, an important member of the Asia-Pacific family, has made useful contributions to the development of APEC. You have designated 1997 as Canada's Asia-Pacific Year and held a series of activities, which shows the importance Canada has attached to the Asia-Pacific co-operation, giving a higher profile to APEC.

In the past 27 years since we opened diplomatic ties, thanks to the joint efforts, the China-Canada relations have developed continuously. Exchanges of visits at the top level have increased steadily. Our two-way trade and investment have kept growing. China and Canada are important trading and investment partners to each other. Our co-operation is expanding in such areas as science, technology, culture, education, health service, etc. Parliamentary and military exchanges between us have also been strengthened. Our two countries share extensive common ground on some major international and regional issues, which serves as an important foundation for our friendly co-operation.

We are glad to see that exchanges and co-operation between Vancouver and China have become increasingly closer and continued to score new successes. With its advantages in economic development, trade, science, technology, education and shipping, Vancouver can play a positive role 'm its exchanges and co-operation with China. China's Guangzhou is now twinned with Vancouver and Port Dalian with Port Vancouver. We welcome more and more Vancouver business people to invest in and do business with China.

Many friends are interested in China's development. The situation in China today is excellent. Since the launching of reform and opening-up in the late 1970s, China's productive forces, overall national strength and people's living standards have all improved significantly. China has maintained its momentum of rapid economic growth which is expected to be at about 9% this year. The volume of foreign trade, both import and export, will hopefully exceed US$ 310 billion. China's economy is expected to grow at about 8% in the remaining years of this century and at about 7% in the first decade of the next century. By the year 2000, China's trade volume is expected to reach US$ 400 billion, which will promise a bigger market and greater opportunities to the rest of the world to engage 'm economic exchanges and cooperation with China.

The resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong by the Chinese Government on July 1 of this year is a great event to the Chinese nation. We have maintained prosperity and stability in Hong Kong according to the policy of "one country 1 , two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy. Macao will return to the motherland in 1999. The Taiwan question will also be resolved finally. The aspiration shared by the Chinese nation for national reunification will surely be realized.

The 15th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was convened last September. Holding high the great banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Congress drew a blueprint for China's reform, opening-up and modernization drive towards the 21st century. Economically, we are speeding up the establishment of a socialist market economy and striving to realize industrialization and socialization, marketization and modernization of the economy. Politically, we are developing socialist democracy and will govern the country according to law and make it a socialist country ruled by law so as to guarantee the people full exercise of their right to administer the state and social affairs. Culturally, we are fostering a national, scientific and popular socialist culture oriented towards modernization, the whole world and the future. We will implement the strategies of developing the country by relying on science and education and further raise the ideological and ethical standards and scientific and educational levels of the whole nation. In a nut shell, our objective is to build China into a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and modernized country.

With our efforts over the past 19 years, an all-directional and multi-tiered opening-up pattern has basically taken shape. As we gradually realize the cross-century development objectives, China's opening-up will be further broadened, deepened and brought to a higher level As required by reform and development, we will continue to open the market steadily, speed up the process of opening up infrastructures such as energy and communications and open up the service sector such as banking and insurance with measured steps. We will also further improve trade and investment environment and create conditions for equal competition between Chinese and foreign-funded enterprises by protecting the rights and interests of foreign-funded enterprises according to law and giving them national treatment.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the great achievements the 1.2 billion Chinese people have made in the course of development represent our positive contribution to peace and development in the Asia-Pacific and the world at large. China is always a staunch force for maintaining world peace and stability.

In conclusion, I wish the friendly cooperation between China and Vancouver a bright future and the friendly relations between China and Canada surging forward like the Fraser River rolling on to the Pacific.

Thank you.

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FOOTNOTE - The publisher of Provenance the Web Magazine was accredited as a media representative at the recent APEC 1997 meeting in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.  We wish to thank the staff at the Media Accreditation Center for their assistance with what we gather may have been the first time a purely on-line publication was given accreditation to such an event.

As APEC '97 was the first time the People's Republic of China participated as a full member - and Vancouver is the home-city of this magazine, we have taken this opportunity to publish the entire translation of President Jiang Zemin's speech above.

This article was last updated 980117 by Site Administrator and republished in in 2002 as an historical reference document.