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            Remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping at welcoming banquet of Hangzhou Asiad opening ceremony

            Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses a welcoming banquet ahead of the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou September 23, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

            HANGZHOU - Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, on Saturday hosted a banquet in Hangzhou, capital city of east China's Zhejiang Province, to welcome guests who will attend the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games.

            The following is the full text of the remarks by President Xi at the banquet:

            Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping

            President of the People's Republic of China

            At the Welcoming Banquet of the Opening Ceremony

            Of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou

            Hangzhou, September 23, 2023

            Distinguished Colleagues,

            Distinguished OCA Acting President Raja Randhir Singh,

            Distinguished IOC President Thomas Bach,

            Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Friends,

            I am delighted to join so many old and new friends by the beautiful West Lake celebrating the opening of the 19th Asian Games. At the outset, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, and in the name of my wife and myself, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all our distinguished guests!

            Today is the Autumn Equinox, known as Qiufen on the Chinese lunar calendar. On this day of harvest and reunion, the cauldron of the Asian Games will light up again in China. Since being honored with the right to host the Games, China has earnestly fulfilled its commitments and made every effort for its preparation. We look forward to working closely together with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and delegations from all countries and regions to deliver to the world a great event that is distinctly Chinese, uniquely Asian and spectacular and to make new contribution to the Olympic Movement in Asia and the world.

            Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Friends,

            The Asian Games embodies the Asian people's shared desire for peace, unity and inclusiveness.

            Over decades, Asia has enjoyed overall stability as well as sustained rapid economic growth, creating the Asian Miracle that is incomparable across the world. The Asian Games has not only been a witness to this achievement, but also a participant and a contributor. As a community with a shared future connected by mountains and rivers as well as cultural affinity, we should use sports to promote peace, pursue good neighborliness and mutual benefit, and reject Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation. We should make Asia an anchor of world peace.

            The 19th Asian Games has set a new record in the numbers of registered athletes and events, reflecting the great expectations and firm support of the Asian people for the Hangzhou Games. As humanity faces unprecedented global challenges, we should use sports to promote unity, seize the historic opportunity, and jointly stand up to the challenges. We should honor the OCA motto of "Ever Onward," and open up broader prospects for the Asian road toward common development, openness and integration.

            As an important birthplace of human civilization, Asia has fostered splendid cultures. The 19th Asian Games has included many disciplines with distinctive Asian features. It provides a platform to celebrate sports and culture, and showcases Asian culture that is inclusive, vibrant and always keen to learn from others. We should use sports to promote inclusiveness, enhance confidence in our civilizations, pursue exchanges and mutual learning, and renew the glory of Asian civilizations.

            Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Friends,

            For centuries, Hangzhou has been known for its breathtaking natural beauty, rich endowment and a thriving cultural life. Marco Polo described it as "the City of Heaven, the finest and the noblest in the world." I once worked in Zhejiang Province for quite a few years. Committed to reform and opening up, the Province is now fast-tracking toward high-quality development. It is building a demonstration zone for common prosperity, and has become a pioneer in Chinese modernization. I wish you all an unforgettable experience in the picturesque Zhejiang and a fond memory by the flames of the Asian Games.

            Now, I would like to propose a toast,

            To the success of the 19th Asian Games,

            To the advancement of the Olympic Movement,

            To the unity and friendship of the Asian people, and

            To the health of all distinguished guests and your families.

            Cheers!

            Full Text: Remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping at China-Africa Leaders' Dialogue

            JOHANNESBURG - Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the China-Africa Leaders' Dialogue on Thursday. Following is the full text of Xi's remarks:

            Joining Hands to Advance Modernization and Create a Great Future for China and Africa

            Keynote Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping

            President of the People's Republic of China

            At China-Africa Leaders' Dialogue

            Johannesburg, August 24, 2023

            ?

            Your Excellency President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa,

            Your Excellencies Heads of State,

            Colleagues,

            It is a great pleasure to co-chair with President Ramaphosa the China-Africa Leaders' Dialogue. I feel a particular warmth seeing my African friends face to face after five years, to celebrate our friendship and chart the way forward for our cooperation. I wish to thank all the colleagues for attending the dialogue, and send sincere greetings to leaders of other African countries who are not with us today.

            Africa is a fertile land of hope in the 21st century. This is my 10th visit to the continent. Each time, I feel the new development and changes in Africa. As the Organization of African Unity marks its 60th anniversary this year, I wish to convey heartfelt congratulations to you all and to the African people.

            Over the past 60 years, under the banner of Pan-Africanism, African countries have made big strides on the path of independence, seeking strength through unity and integration. You have demonstrated the strength of Africa in the struggles to uphold multilateralism and the common interests of developing countries. With steady progress under Agenda 2063 of the African Union (AU), the official launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and growing coordination among the subregional groups, Africa is becoming an important pole with global influence.

            In 2013 after I became Chinese President, I was here in Africa for my first foreign visit and announced the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith for China's Africa policy. Over the past 10 years, China has stayed committed to this principle. Together with our African friends and drawing strength from the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, we have pressed ahead on the path of solidarity and cooperation, stood for justice amid shifting global dynamics, and looked out for each other in face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have taken China-Africa relations to new heights and entered the new stage of jointly building a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future.

            Colleagues,

            China is marching toward the Second Centenary Goal of building itself into a great modern socialist country in all respects that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful when the People's Republic marks its centenary. We are pursuing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Africa is moving at an accelerated speed toward the bright prospects envisioned in Agenda 2063, and making all-out efforts to build a new Africa that enjoys peace, unity, prosperity and strength. China and Africa must work together to create a sound environment for realizing our respective development visions.

            -Working together to promote a just and equitable international order. We should carry forward the spirit of sticking together in times of adversity, practice true multilateralism, and unequivocally oppose vestiges of colonialism and hegemonism in all forms. We should firmly support each other in defending core interests, stand strong by the just calls of developing countries, and work for a more just and equitable international order.

            -Working together to safeguard a peaceful and secure global environment. Africa is working unremittingly for the goal of silencing the guns. China is ready to work with Africa to implement the new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, advocate the resolution of differences and disputes through dialogue and cooperation, facilitate the political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues, and safeguard world peace and stability. We should uphold harmonious coexistence between man and nature, and protect the security of the global eco-environment.

            -Working together to build an open and inclusive world economy. What we need is to remove barriers rather than erect walls, open up rather than close off. We should carry out extensive consultation and make joint contribution for shared benefit, reject the winner-takes-all approach, and build an open world economy where developing countries are better involved in the international division of labor and share the fruits of economic globalization. We should overcome estrangement between civilizations through exchanges, promote inclusiveness and mutual learning between civilizations, and make new contributions to human progress.

            Colleagues,

            There are various paths leading to modernization. The African people have the most say on which path suits Africa best. Advancing modernization through integration is the independent choice made by African countries and people. On this path to modernization, China has all along been a firm supporter, and walking side by side with Africa. Over the years, China has helped Africa build a large amount of connectivity infrastructure, carried out extensive cooperation with the AU and subregional organizations, and assisted the construction of several signature Pan-African projects, including the AU Conference Center and the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

            Looking ahead, China will work with Africa to enhance the synergy of our development strategies. Through Belt and Road cooperation and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and in light of Agenda 2063, China will intensify dialogue and communication with Africa at various levels, and support the African agencies for integration, including the AfCFTA Secretariat, the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System and the African Union of Broadcasting, among others, in creating cooperation mechanisms with China.

            China will continue to support Africa in speaking with one voice on international affairs and continuously elevating its international standing. China will work actively at the G20 Summit next month to support the AU's full membership in the group. China supports making special arrangements on the U.N. Security Council reform to meet Africa's aspiration as a priority. China will call on multilateral financial institutions to enhance the say of African countries.

            To chart the course for our practical cooperation in the next stage and help Africa bring its integration and modernization into a fast track, I wish to make the following three proposals:

            -China will launch the Initiative on Supporting Africa's Industrialization. China will better harness its resources for cooperation with Africa and the initiative of businesses to support Africa in growing its manufacturing sector and realizing industrialization and economic diversification. In implementing the nine programs under the FOCAC framework, China will channel more resources of assistance, investment and financing toward programs for industrialization.

            -China will launch the Plan for China Supporting Africa's Agricultural Modernization. China will help Africa expand grain plantation, encourage Chinese companies to increase agricultural investment in Africa, and enhance cooperation with Africa on seed and other areas of agro-technology, to support Africa in transforming and upgrading its agricultural sector. China will host the second Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Agriculture in Hainan this November.

            To help Africa tackle the current food crisis, China will provide additional emergency food assistance to African countries in need. More importantly, China has confidence that Africa will attain food self-sufficiency through its own efforts.

            -China will launch the Plan for China-Africa Cooperation on Talent Development. China plans to train 500 principals and high-caliber teachers of vocational colleges every year, and 10,000 technical personnel with both Chinese language and vocational skills for Africa. China will invite 20,000 government officials and technicians of African countries to participate in workshops and seminars. To support Africa in strengthening education and innovation, we will launch the China-Africa Universities 100 Cooperation Plan and 10 pilot exchange programs of China-Africa partner institutes.

            Colleagues,

            The world today is undergoing transformation and turmoil, and changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace. At this point of history, we all face the tasks of how to address the deficit in development, overcome security challenges and enhance mutual learning between civilizations. In view of this, I have put forward the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, called for peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, and advocated building a community with a shared future for mankind. These proposals have received the extensive support of African countries. China and Africa, through our creative explorations for modernization, are giving our answers to the questions of our times, and making joint efforts to advance the great endeavors of win-win cooperation, harmonious coexistence and shared prosperity of civilizations.

            Next year, China will host the FOCAC meeting, where we may come together again and draw up new plans for our development. It is a big gathering that both sides are looking forward to. I am confident that China and Africa will carry forward the traditional friendship, enhance solidarity and coordination, and bolster our cooperation across the board. As we join hands to advance modernization, we will deliver a better future for the Chinese and African people, and set a fine example in the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

            Thank you.

            Enhancing Solidarity and Cooperation To Overcome Risks and Challenges And Jointly Build a Better World

            Editor's note: The following is the full text of a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping read out by Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao at the BRICS Business Forum 2023 on Tuesday.

            Your Excellency President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa,

            Members of the Business Community,

            Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Friends,

            ?

            I wish to extend my warm congratulations on the success of the BRICS Business Forum in South Africa!

            Ten years ago here in South Africa, we BRICS leaders witnessed the birth of the BRICS Business Council. Since then, the Council has stayed true to its founding mission. It has seized opportunities to deepen cooperation, contributing to economic and social development of BRICS countries and helping sustain global economic growth.

            Right now, changes in the world, in our times and in history are unfolding in ways like never before, bringing human society to a critical juncture. Should we pursue cooperation and integration, or just succumb to division and confrontation? Should we work together to maintain peace and stability, or just sleepwalk into the abyss of a new Cold War? Should we embrace prosperity, openness and inclusiveness, or allow hegemonic and bullying acts to throw us into depression? Should we deepen mutual trust through exchanges and mutual learning, or allow hubris and prejudice to blind conscience? The course of history will be shaped by the choices we make.

            An ancient Chinese thinker observed that "following the underlying trend will lead one to success, while going against it can only cause one to fail." We humankind have achieved notable economic development and social progress over the past decades, and that is because we have drawn lessons from the two world wars and the Cold War, followed the historical trend of economic globalization, and embarked on the right path of openness and development for win-win cooperation. Our world today has become a community with a shared future in which we all share a huge stake of survival. What people in various countries long for is definitely not a new Cold War or a small exclusive bloc; what they want is an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys enduring peace, universal security and common prosperity. Such is the logic of historical advance and the trend of our times.

            Ten years ago, I made a proposition of building a community with a shared future for mankind, calling on all countries to build this planet we all call home into a harmonious family. In the face of high winds, choppy waters and even treacherous storms, we in all countries need to uphold the correct views of the world, of history and of our overall interests, and act to translate the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind into reality.

            — We need to promote development and prosperity for all. Many emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs) have come to what they are today after shaking off the yoke of colonialism. With perseverance, hard work and huge sacrifices, we succeeded in gaining independence and have been exploring development paths suited to our national conditions. Everything we do is to deliver better lives to our people. But some country, obsessed with maintaining its hegemony, has gone out of its way to cripple the EMDCs. Whoever is developing fast becomes its target of containment; whoever is catching up becomes its target of obstruction. But this is futile, as I have said more than once that blowing out others' lamp will not bring light to oneself.

            Every country has the right to development, and the people in every country have the freedom to pursue a happy life. With that in mind, I have proposed the Global Development Initiative, with the goal of promoting development for all by the international community and boosting the U.N. 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With the support of many countries, solid gains have been made in pursuing this initiative, with cooperation flourishing in various fields. China will work with all other countries to speed up cooperation under the Global Development Initiative, strengthen drivers of global development, promote the reform of the World Trade Organization in a comprehensive and in-depth manner, meet common challenges together and make life better for people across the world.

            — We need to achieve universal security. Recent years have seen a turbulent world; many countries and regions are plagued by wars and conflicts and many people are displaced. Members of the international community share the pressing hope to eradicate the root cause of conflicts and wars, and find a fundamental way to realize enduring peace and security globally. Facts have shown that any attempt to keep enlarging a military alliance, expand one's own sphere of influence or squeeze other countries' buffer of security can only create security predicament and insecurity for all countries. Only a commitment to a new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security can lead to universal security.

            Last year, I put forward the Global Security Initiative, and it has gained support from over 100 countries and international organizations. China stands ready to jointly pursue this initiative with all others. We should have dialogue and oppose confrontation, forge partnership but not alliance, and pursue win-win outcome and oppose zero-sum game, and work together to build a community of security.

            — We need to stay committed to exchanges among civilizations and mutual learning. One flower alone cannot make a beautiful spring; only blossoming of a rich variety of flowers can bring spring to the global garden. Human civilization is colorful by nature. It is precisely because of their differences in history, culture and system that all countries need to interact with one another, learn from each other, and advance together. Deliberately creating division with the assertion of "democracy versus authoritarianism" and "liberalism versus autocracy" can only split the world and lead to clash of civilizations.

            I have put forward the Global Civilization Initiative, calling for promoting diversity of global civilizations, the common values of humanity, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation. China welcomes all other countries to get involved in cooperation under this initiative. We should encourage different civilizations to bring out their best and flourish together; we should break barriers to exchanges, and renew human civilization.

            ?

            Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Friends,

            As an ancient Chinese philosopher observes, "Change is the nature of the universe." The collective rise of EMDCs represented by BRICS is fundamentally changing the global landscape. EMDCs have contributed as high as 80 percent of global growth in the past 20 years, and their share in the global GDP has increased from 24 percent 40 years ago to more than 40 percent. Just as a line in a Chinese poem reads, "No mountains can stop the surging flow of a mighty river." Whatever resistance there may be, BRICS, a positive and stable force for good, will continue to grow. We will forge stronger BRICS strategic partnership, expand the "BRICS Plus" model, actively advance membership expansion, deepen solidarity and cooperation with other EMDCs, promote global multipolarity and greater democracy in international relations, and help make the international order more just and equitable. The gathering between BRICS countries and more than 50 other countries in South Africa today is not an exercise of asking countries to take sides, nor an exercise of creating bloc confrontation. Rather, it is an endeavor to expand the architecture of peace and development. I am glad to note that over 20 countries are knocking on the door of BRICS. China hopes to see more joining the BRICS cooperation mechanism.

            ?

            Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Friends,

            China stays committed to an independent foreign policy of peace and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. As a developing country and a member of the Global South, China breathes the same breath with other developing countries and pursues a shared future with them. China has resolutely upheld the common interests of developing countries and worked to increase the representation and voice of EMDCs in global affairs. Hegemonism is not in China's DNA; nor does China have any motivation to engage in major-power competition. China stands firmly on the right side of history, and believes that a just cause should be pursued for the common good.

            At present, we Chinese, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, are advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts by pursuing Chinese modernization. Chinese modernization aims to achieve common prosperity, material and cultural-ethical advancement, harmony between humanity and nature, and peaceful development for a huge population. Chinese modernization has created a new form of human advancement and presented a new future of modernization. We hope that other developing countries can draw on the outstanding achievements of human civilization and find their own paths to modernization in keeping with their national conditions.

            Achieving high-quality development is a top priority in China's goal of fully building itself into a modernized country. We are committed to applying a new development philosophy and creating a new development paradigm. In the past decade, China has contributed more than 30 percent of annual global growth. This year, the Chinese economy has maintained the momentum of recovery and growth. China enjoys several distinct advantages: a socialist market economy in systemic terms, a supersize market in terms of demand, a full-fledged industrial system in terms of supply, and abundant, high-caliber labor force and entrepreneurs in terms of human resources. The Chinese economy has strong resilience, tremendous potential and great vitality. The fundamentals sustaining China's long-term growth will remain unchanged. The giant ship of the Chinese economy will continue to cleave waves and sail ahead.

            China will remain an important opportunity for the world's development. Our door is wide open to anyone who wants to engage in cooperation with us. As a supersize economy, China will remain firm in advancing high-standard opening-up. We will continue to expand market access, cut the negative list for foreign investment, and further open the modern services sector. We will steadily improve the business environment, provide national treatment to foreign-invested enterprises, foster a world-class, market-oriented business environment governed by a sound legal framework, and build a globally-oriented network of high-standard free trade areas. We will continue to advance ecological conservation, accelerate the building of a Beautiful China, actively and prudently move toward carbon peak and carbon neutrality, and pursue all-round green transition in economic and social development. Going forward, as it endeavors to achieve modernization for its more than 1.4 billion people, China will surely contribute even more to the global economy and provide even more opportunities for the global business community.

            ?

            Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Friends,

            A formidable mission is a magnificent and glorious mission. As long as we work in unity and strengthen cooperation, we will not be intimidated by any risk or challenge on the way ahead, and we will surely steer the giant ship of human development to a brighter future!

            Thank you.

            ?

            SOURCE: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

            ?

            Full Text: Remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 15th BRICS Summit

            President Xi Jinping delivers an important speech titled "Seeking Development Through Solidarity and Cooperation and Shouldering Our Responsibility for Peace" at the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug 23, 2023. The 15th BRICS Summit was held in Johannesburg on Wednesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

            JOHANNESBURG - Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the 15th BRICS Summit on Wednesday.

            Following is the full text of Xi's remarks:

            Seeking Development Through Solidarity and Cooperation and Shouldering Our Responsibility for Peace

            Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping

            President of the People's Republic of China

            At the 15th BRICS Summit

            Johannesburg, August 23, 2023

            Your Excellency President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa,

            Your Excellency President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva,

            Your Excellency President Vladimir Putin,

            Your Excellency Prime Minister Narendra Modi,

            I am very pleased to join you in Johannesburg for the important discussions on BRICS cooperation and development. It is especially significant that the BRICS Summit is held in Africa for the third time. I wish to thank President Ramaphosa and the South African government for the thoughtful arrangements.

            We gather at a time when the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation. It is undergoing major shifts, division and regrouping, leading to more uncertain, unstable and unpredictable developments.

            BRICS is an important force in shaping the international landscape. We choose our development paths independently, jointly defend our right to development, and march in tandem toward modernization. This represents the direction of the advancement of human society, and will profoundly impact the development process of the world. Our track record shows that we have consistently acted on the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, and taken BRICS cooperation to new heights in support of our five countries' development. We have upheld fairness and justice in international affairs, stood up for what is right on major international and regional issues, and enhanced the voice and influence of emerging markets and developing countries. BRICS countries invariably advocate and practice independent foreign policies. We always address major international issues based on their merits, making fair remarks and taking fair actions. We do not barter away principles, succumb to external pressure, or act as vassals of others. We BRICS countries share extensive consensus and common goals. No matter how the international situation changes, our commitment to cooperation since the very beginning and our common aspiration will not change.

            We gather at a crucial time to build on our past achievements and open up a new future for BRICS cooperation. We should navigate the trend of our times and stay in the forefront. We should always bear in mind our founding purpose of strengthening ourselves through unity, enhance cooperation across the board, and build a high-quality partnership. We should help reform global governance to make it more just and equitable, and bring to the world more certainty, stability and positive energy.

            -- We should deepen business and financial cooperation to boost economic growth. Development is an inalienable right of all countries, not a privilege reserved for a few. The world economic recovery remains shaky, with less than 3 percent of growth for the year as estimated by some international institutions. Challenges for developing countries are even more formidable, hampering their efforts to realize the Sustainable Development Goals. We BRICS countries should be fellow companions on the journey of development and revitalization, and oppose decoupling and supply chains disruption as well as economic coercion. We should focus on practical cooperation, particularly in such fields as digital economy, green development, and supply chain, and bolster economic, trade and financial exchanges.

            China will set up a China-BRICS Science and Innovation Incubation Park for the New Era to support the deployment of innovation results. Under the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation mechanism, we will explore the establishment of a BRICS Global Remote Sensing Satellite Data and Application Cooperation Platform to provide data support for agriculture, ecological conservation and disaster reduction in various countries. China will also work with all parties to jointly establish a BRICS Framework on Industrial Cooperation for Sustainable Development as a platform of industrial coordination and project cooperation in implementing the United Nations (U.N.) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

            President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pose for a group photo during the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug 23, 2023. The 15th BRICS Summit was held in Johannesburg on Wednesday. [Photo/Xinhua]

            -- We should expand political and security cooperation to uphold peace and tranquility. As a Chinese saying suggests, "Nothing is more beneficial than stability, and nothing is more detrimental than turmoil." The Cold War mentality is still haunting our world, and the geopolitical situation is getting tense. All nations long for a sound security environment. International security is indivisible. Attempts to seek absolute security at the expense of others will eventually backfire. The Ukraine crisis has evolved to where it is today because of complex reasons. What is pressing now is to encourage peace talks, promote deescalation, end the fighting, and realize peace. No one should add fuel to the fire to worsen the situation.

            BRICS countries should keep to the direction of peaceful development, and consolidate the BRICS strategic partnership. We need to make good use of the BRICS Foreign Ministers' Meeting, the Meeting of High Representatives on National Security and other mechanisms, support each other on issues concerning our respective core interests, and enhance coordination on major international and regional issues. We need to tender good offices on hotspot issues, pushing for political settlement and lowering the temperature. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a new area of development. BRICS countries have agreed to launch the AI Study Group of BRICS Institute of Future Networks at an early date. We need to enable the Study Group to play its full role, further expand cooperation on AI, and step up information exchange and technological cooperation. We need to jointly fend off risks, and develop AI governance frameworks and standards with broad-based consensus, so as to make AI technologies more secure, reliable, controllable and equitable.

            -- We should increase people-to-people exchanges and promote mutual learning between civilizations. There are many civilizations and development paths in the world, and this is how the world should be. Human history will not end with a particular civilization or system. BRICS countries need to champion the spirit of inclusiveness, advocate peaceful coexistence and harmony between civilizations, and promote respect of all countries in independently choosing their modernization paths. We need to make good use of such mechanisms as the BRICS seminar on governance, the BRICS forum on people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and the Women Innovation Contest to deepen people-to-people exchanges and strengthen the bond between our peoples.

            China would like to propose that BRICS countries expand cooperation on education, enhance the role of the BRICS alliance for vocational education, explore and set up a cooperation mechanism on digital education, and foster a paradigm of all-round cooperation on education. In addition, we also need to strengthen exchanges on traditional cultures and promote the renewal of fine traditional cultures.

            -- We should uphold fairness and justice and improve global governance. Strengthening global governance is the right choice if the international community intends to share development opportunities and tackle global challenges. International rules must be written and upheld jointly by all countries based on the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter, rather than dictated by those with the strongest muscles or the loudest voice. Ganging up to form exclusive groups and packaging their own rules as international norms are even more unacceptable. BRICS countries should practice true multilateralism, uphold the U.N.-centered international system, support and strengthen the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, and reject the attempt to create small circles or exclusive blocs. We need to fully leverage the role of the New Development Bank, push forward reform of the international financial and monetary systems, and increase the representation and voice of developing countries.

            I am glad to see the growing enthusiasm of developing countries about BRICS cooperation, and quite a number of them have applied to join the BRICS cooperation mechanism. We need to act on the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation to bring more countries into the BRICS family, so as to pool our wisdom and strength to make global governance more just and equitable.

            Colleagues,

            The ancient African continent is a reservoir of simple yet profound wisdom. As an African proverb puts it, "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together." The philosophy of Ubuntu, which believes that "I am because we are," highlights the interdependence and interconnectedness of all peoples. Similarly, harmonious coexistence has been the aspiration of the Chinese nation for thousands of years. China is ready to work with BRICS partners to pursue the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, enhance the strategic partnership, and deepen cooperation across the board. As fellow BRICS members, we should meet our common challenges with a shared sense of mission, shape a brighter future with a common purpose, and march together on the journey toward modernization.

            Thank you.

            Xi's signed article published on S. African media

            BEIJING -- A signed article by Chinese President Xi Jinping titled "Sailing the Giant Ship of China-South Africa Friendship and Cooperation Toward Greater Success" was published Monday on South African media as he is going to attend the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg and pay a state visit to South Africa.

            An English version of the article, carried by The Star, Cape Times, The Mercury as well as Independent Online, is as follows:

            Sailing the Giant Ship of China-South Africa

            Friendship and Cooperation Toward Greater Success

            Xi Jinping

            President of the People's Republic of China

            At the invitation of President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, I will soon make a state visit to the Republic of South Africa and attend the 15th BRICS Summit. It will be my sixth visit to the promising land of the "rainbow nation". South Africa is home to the great statesman Nelson Mandela, and it boasts the richest tourist resources, the longest road network, the biggest securities exchange, and the busiest airports and harbors in Africa. The country exudes unique charm with the perfect amalgam of the ancient and the modern, and of nature and culture.

            Each of my visits to South Africa gave me new impressions. But the deepest is invariably the brotherly sentiments we have toward each other. Our friendship has traversed a long span of time. As early as in the mid-20th century, the newly founded People's Republic of China lent firm support to the South African people in fighting apartheid, and stood with the African National Congress as comrades and friends. Our friendship has defied the obstacles of mountains and oceans. Facing the sudden onslaught of COVID-19, China was among the first to provide anti-pandemic supplies to South Africa, reaffirming our special brotherhood. More recently, China also provided to the country emergency power equipment. Over the past 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, our relationship has achieved leapfrog development--from a partnership to a strategic partnership, and then to a comprehensive strategic partnership. It is one of the most vibrant bilateral relations in the developing world. Our relationship has entered a "golden era", enjoying broad prospects and a promising future.

            In recent years, President Ramaphosa and I have maintained close communication through visits, meetings, phone calls and letters. We jointly explore cooperation opportunities, pursue development, and stand up to common challenges. Our strategic mutual trust has been deepening steadily. We give each other firm support on issues involving our respective core interests and major concerns, and maintain coordination on major international and regional issues. We work together to practice true multilateralism and push for the building of a more just and equitable international order.

            South Africa was the first African country to sign the Belt and Road cooperation document with China. It has been China's biggest trading partner in Africa for 13 years in a row, as well as one of the African countries with the largest stock of Chinese investment. The pie of bilateral cooperation is getting bigger. South Africa's wines, rooibos tea, and aloe vera gels are trending products in China. Many Chinese companies are expanding their operation and at the same time taking more social responsibilities in South Africa. Automobiles and home appliances with Chinese brands yet made in South Africa are very popular among local consumers, and are now owned by numerous South African households. South African companies are also racing to invest in the Chinese market to seize the abundant business opportunities, and they have made important contribution to China's economic growth.

            South Africa's Ubuntu philosophy advocates compassion and sharing. It resonates well with the values of Confucianism--"love the people and all beings and seek harmony among all nations". In 2015, I participated in the Year of China activities in South Africa, and witnessed the gratifying achievements of our Year of China/South Africa programs. Last April, the faculty and students of the Confucius Institute at Durban University of Technology wrote me a letter in Chinese, expressing their fondness for the Chinese culture and thanking China for the valuable opportunities provided to young Africans chasing their dreams. I find it very heart-warming. Indeed, these vibrant people-to-people exchanges enhance the empathy between our peoples, and enable our friendship to be passed down from generation to generation.

            The China-South Africa relationship is standing at a new historical starting point. It has gone beyond the bilateral scope and carries increasingly important global influence. During my forthcoming visit, I look forward to working with President Ramaphosa to chart the plan for a new chapter of our comprehensive strategic partnership.

            China and South Africa should be fellow companions sharing the same ideals. As an ancient Chinese saying goes, "A partnership forged with the right approach defies distance; it is thicker than glue and stronger than metal and rock." We need to increase our experience sharing on governance, and firmly support each other in independently exploring a path to modernization that suits our respective national conditions. We should fear no hegemony, and work with each other as real partners to push forward our relations amid the changing international landscape.

            China and South Africa should be pacesetters for solidarity and cooperation. We will succeed because of our biggest strengths in high economic complementarity and the solid foundation for cooperation. We need to further synergize development strategies, promote stronger cooperation in infrastructure, digital economy, scientific and technological innovation and energy transition, and ensure that more people of our two countries will benefit from the development outcomes. China welcomes more South African products to its market, and encourages more Chinese companies to invest and do business in South Africa as an effort of support for South Africa's target to double its inbound investment over the next five-year period.

            China and South Africa should be inheritors of China-Africa friendship. We need to leverage the all-round, multi-tiered and institutionalized mechanisms for people-to-people exchanges between our two countries, and continue to advance exchanges and cooperation in culture, tourism, education, sports, media, universities, sub-national governments and the youth. We must keep the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation as alive and strong as ever across the vast lands of China and Africa.

            China and South Africa should be champions of our common interests. What the world needs today is peace, not conflict; what the world wants is coordination, not confrontation. China and South Africa, as natural members of the Global South, should all the more work together to appeal for greater voice and influence of developing countries in international affairs, promote accelerated reform of international financial institutions, and oppose unilateral sanctions and the "small yard, high fence" approach. We should jointly safeguard our common interests.

            The BRICS Summit is another important agenda during my visit to South Africa. This is the third time for the Summit to take place on this continent brimming with vibrancy and hope. I still have vivid memories of the Summit in the picturesque Sanya, China's Hainan Province, when South Africa made the formal debut as a member of the BRICS family. Over the past 12 years, South Africa has made important contributions to the development of BRICS cooperation mechanism, further substantiating BRICS cooperation and extending its influence. Now more and more countries are knocking on the door of BRICS, aspiring to join our cooperation. This is a testament to the vitality and influence of the BRICS cooperation mechanism. China is ready to work with fellow BRICS partners to act on the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, build consensus on important issues, carry forward our tradition of independent diplomacy, and resolutely uphold international equity and justice. We will urge the international community to refocus on development issues, promote a greater role by the BRICS cooperation mechanism in global governance, and make the voice of BRICS stronger.

            It has been ten years since I put forth "sincerity, real results, amity and good faith" as the principles for China to develop its relations with Africa. The past decade has witnessed our joint pursuit of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, and the completion and handover of a host of projects including the Africa CDC Headquarters, the Foundiougne Bridge in Senegal, the Nairobi Expressway and the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, renewing China-Africa friendship across the vast lands of China and Africa.

            In face of the profound changes unseen in a century, a strong China-Africa relationship and productive China-Africa cooperation will provide more fresh impetus to global development and ensure greater stability of the world. This is an international responsibility and historical mission entrusted to the 2.8 billion Chinese and African peoples. We will convene a China-Africa Leaders' Dialogue. I will work with African leaders to bring more active, effective and sustainable development initiatives to Africa, expand cooperation in agriculture, manufacturing, new energy and digital economy, and facilitate Africa's economic integration, industrialization and agricultural modernization. China will continue to work for substantive progress in African Union's joining of the G20 this year, and looks forward to a greater role by African countries and the AU in international and regional affairs.

            As an ancient Chinese poem goes, "With high tide and tailwind, it is time to sail a smooth ride." Looking ahead into the next 25 years, the giant ship of China-South Africa friendship and cooperation will sail forward, and we will make even greater progress in the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era as well as the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

            Full text: Toast by Chinese President Xi Jinping at welcoming banquet of Chengdu Universiade opening ceremony

            President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan host a banquet in Chengdu, capital city of Southwest China's Sichuan province, to welcome guests attending the opening ceremony of the Chengdu FISU World University Games, July 28, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

            CHENGDU -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan on Friday hosted a banquet in Chengdu, capital city of Southwest China's Sichuan province, to welcome guests attending the opening ceremony of the Chengdu FISU World University Games.

            Following is the full text of the toast by President Xi:

            Toast by H.E. Xi Jinping

            President of the People's Republic of China

            At the Welcoming Banquet of

            The Opening Ceremony of

            The Chengdu FISU World University Games

            Chengdu, July 28, 2023

            Distinguished Colleagues,

            Distinguished FISU Acting President Leonz Eder,

            Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Friends,

            It is a great pleasure to join you in Chengdu for the 31st World University Games in the blossoming summer. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, and in the name of my wife and myself, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all our distinguished guests!

            The Chengdu FISU World University Games will officially open tonight. China has committed itself to organizing a streamlined, safe and splendid games. In spite of COVID-19 and other adverse factors, we have acted vigorously to fulfill our solemn pledge for a successful World University Games and to make new contributions to the cause of international youth sports.

            Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Friends,

            Since its inception, the World University Games has always been a celebration of youth, solidarity, and friendship.

            -- We should bring together young people from around the world to promote world peace and development with the power of youth. While the key to state-to-state relations lies in close bonds between peoples, efforts to this end must start from the youth. The younger generation motivated by ideals and responsibilities are the future of mankind as well as the hope of the lofty pursuit of peace and development. China will work with FISU and all participating delegations to make the Chengdu Games a grand sports event that will present the charms of China, the vibe of our times and the beauty of youth, and facilitate mutual understanding among young people from around the world, so as to provide new impetus for the progress of mankind.

            -- We should carry forward the spirit of the World University Games to stand up to global challenges in solidarity. Sixty-two years ago, Dr. Paul Schleimer, founding president of FISU, described the World University Games as a gathering of friendship. This characterization, together with the values of friendship, fraternity, fair play, perseverance, integrity, cooperation and application championed by FISU, has not only guided the sports activities of university students around the world, but also inspired us to navigate the changes of the world, of our times and of the course of history. We should promote solidarity through sports, build up positive energy across the international community, join hands to tackle global challenges such as climate change, food crisis and terrorism, and shape a better future through cooperation.

            -- We should deepen exchanges and mutual learning to promote harmony without uniformity in the spirit of inclusiveness. Civilizations take different forms, making the world colorful and diverse. Young people are full of vitality. They can and should be able to view diversity from an equal, inclusive and friendly perspective, and see different cultures with an attitude of mutual appreciation and mutual learning. The Chengdu Games should be an opportunity for us to champion the common values of humanity and write a new chapter in building a community with a shared future for mankind.

            Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Friends,

            In ancient times, the metropolis of Chengdu, known as Yi, was famous for its magnificent landscape and rich culture. This historical and cultural city has long been a hub of exchanges connecting China to the rest of the world, like a pearl on the southwestern Silk Road. Today, Chengdu is one of the most dynamic and happiest cities in China. Thanks to its inclusiveness, the city has continued to prosper economically and thrive culturally since it was founded over 2,300 years ago. I encourage you to tour the city, to experience and share firsthand the multifaceted manifestations of the Chinese path to modernization.

            Now, I would like to propose a toast,

            To the success of the Chengdu Games;

            To solidarity and friendship among all peoples in the world; and

            To the health of all distinguished guests and your families.

            Cheers!

            Full text of Xi's address at SCO summit

            BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the 23rd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) via video conference here on Tuesday.

            The following is the full text of the address:

            Staying True to Our Founding Mission and Advancing Unity and Coordination to Realize Greater Development

            Statement by H.E. Xi Jinping

            President of the People's Republic of China

            At the 23rd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

            July 4, 2023

            Your Excellency Prime Minister Narendra Modi,

            Distinguished Colleagues,

            I wish to thank India for hosting the meeting of the Council of Heads of State as the current president of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

            At this meeting, we are going to welcome Iran as a full member and sign the memorandum of obligations on the membership of Belarus. This will manifest the vitality of our SCO family. I offer my congratulations to the two countries.

            Colleagues,

            Ten years ago, in view of the changes of the world, of our times and of the trajectory of history, I opined that mankind, living in the same global village, are increasingly becoming a community with a shared future in which everyone's interest is closely interlinked. Since then, the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind has gained extensive recognition and support from the international community, and has been transforming from an idea to action and a vision to reality. At the forefront of this trend is the SCO, upholding this very concept and the Shanghai Spirit to build an SCO community with a shared future.

            -- We have followed our fine tradition of standing together through thick and thin, as passengers in the same boat should do, and we have firmly supported each other in standing up for our respective core interests. We have become trustworthy partners on our paths to development and national rejuvenation.

            -- We have acted out the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, accommodated each other's legitimate security concerns, and responded to both traditional and nontraditional security challenges. Together we have safeguarded peace and tranquility in the region, and fostered a favorable environment for countries in the region to pursue development and prosperity.

            -- We have embraced the development philosophy of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared growth, synergized our national development strategies and regional cooperation initiatives, and nurtured new growth areas for our cooperation in economy and trade, connectivity, energy, agriculture, finance, and innovation. This has helped promote coordination in our economic development.

            -- We have carried forward the spirit of good-neighborliness, and advocated equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness between civilizations. We have called for peaceful coexistence and harmonious development of different civilizations, and expanded people-to-people and cultural cooperation. We have enhanced the popular support for our state-to-state relations.

            -- We have upheld international fairness and justice, and opposed hegemonic, high-handed, and bullying acts. We have enlarged the circle of friends of our Organization, and built partnerships featuring dialogue instead of confrontation, cooperation instead of alliance. This has strengthened the progressive forces for world peace and stability.

            Colleagues,

            The world today is undergoing both transformation and upheaval; changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace; human society faces unprecedented challenges. Unity or split, peace or conflict, cooperation or confrontation -- these are the questions raised again by our times. My answer is this: the people's wish for a happy life is our goal, and peace, development and win-win cooperation are the unstoppable trends of the times.

            The SCO has been growing stronger in recent years. This means development opportunities as well as unprecedented risks and challenges. As the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore put it, "The sea of danger, doubt and denial around man's little island of certainty challenges him to dare the unknown." We must rise to the call of our times, keep in mind our founding mission, and stay in unity and coordination to bring more certainty and positive energy to world peace and development. To this end, I wish to make the following proposals:

            First, we should keep to the right direction and enhance solidarity and mutual trust. Since its founding over 20 years ago, the SCO has withstood the test of the changing international landscape, and kept moving in the right direction of promoting solidarity, mutual trust, development and cooperation. We have accumulated valuable experience, and achieved hard-won development gains. Facts have shown that as long as we bear in mind the larger picture, shoulder our responsibilities and remain undisturbed by all sorts of distractions, we will be able to protect and promote the security and development interests of our member states.

            We should step up strategic communication and coordination, bridge differences through dialogue, and replace competition with cooperation. We should truly respect each other's core interests and major concerns, and firmly support each other's endeavor for development and rejuvenation. We should keep in mind the overall and long-term interests of our region, and make our foreign policies independently. We must be highly vigilant against external attempts to foment a new Cold War or camp-based confrontation in our region. We must resolutely reject any interference in our internal affairs and the instigation of "color revolutions" by any country under whatever pretext. The future of our development must be held firmly in our own hands.

            Second, we should maintain regional peace and safeguard common security. Sustaining peace and security in this region is our common responsibility. China stands ready to work with all sides to implement the Global Security Initiative, promote the settlement of international disputes through dialogue and consultation, and encourage political settlement of international and regional hotspots, so as to forge a solid security shield in our region.

            We need to upgrade SCO security cooperation, and continue to conduct joint operations. We should crack down hard on the forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism such as the "East Turkistan" elements, drug trafficking, and cyber and transnational organized crimes. We should move faster to strengthen the mechanisms for our law enforcement and security cooperation, and expand cooperation in the nontraditional security fields, including digital, biological and outer space security. We should continue to utilize platforms such as the mechanism of coordination and cooperation among Afghanistan's neighbors to increase humanitarian support to Afghanistan, and encourage the Afghan authorities to establish a broad-based and inclusive political structure and embark on the path of peace and reconstruction.

            Third, we should focus on practical cooperation and expedite economic recovery. Promoting economic growth is a common task for all countries in the region. China stands ready to work with all sides to implement the Global Development Initiative, keep to the right direction of economic globalization, oppose protectionism, unilateral sanctions and the overstretching of national security, and reject the moves of setting up barriers, decoupling and severing supply chains. We should make the pie of win-win cooperation bigger, and ensure that more development gains will be shared more fairly by people across the world.

            We need to enhance the connection of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with development strategies of various countries and regional cooperation initiatives. We should further promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, speed up the development of port infrastructure and regional and international logistic corridors, and ensure stable and smooth functioning of regional industrial and supply chains. Ten years ago I proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, and on its tenth anniversary, China will hold the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. I welcome your participation. We should work together to broaden the Belt and Road as a "path of happiness" benefiting the whole world.

            China proposes that the SCO scale up local currency settlement between member states, expand cooperation on sovereign digital currency, and promote the establishment of an SCO development bank. China is ready to share market opportunities and development experience, and implement the capacity-building program to empower young professional farmers. China will carry out digital technology training programs in collaboration with the China-SCO Big Data Cooperation Center, and host an SCO national green development forum.

            There are already a number of ministerial meeting mechanisms under the SCO framework for practical cooperation in various areas. China has also established cooperation platforms such as the local economic and trade cooperation demonstration area, and the demonstration base for agricultural technology exchange and training. We should make full use of these mechanisms and platforms to help us tackle the vexing issues in our practical cooperation and facilitate high-quality development of SCO economies.

            Fourth, we should strengthen exchanges and mutual learning and forge closer bonds between our peoples. All nations in the region aspire to see harmonious development of different civilizations. We welcome all sides to work together to implement the Global Civilization Initiative, promote inclusiveness and coexistence among all civilizations, and increase mutual understanding and friendship among all nations.

            We should further deepen cooperation in education, science and technology, culture, health, sport and media, support the work of non-official organizations such as the SCO Committee on Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, and organize more events for people-to-people exchanges. In the coming three years, China will provide SCO member states with 1,000 International Chinese Language Teachers Scholarships, offer 3,000 "Chinese Bridge" summer camp opportunities, and invite 100 young scientists to China for scientific research exchanges. China will also host events on rural revitalization and climate response. Your participation will be most welcome.

            Fifth, we should practice multilateralism and improve global governance. All countries in the region pursue fairness and justice. We should advocate the common values of humanity, uphold the UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law, and oppose hegemonism and power politics. We should make global governance more just and equitable, and advance modernization of the entire humanity through collective efforts to promote equal rights, equal opportunities and fair rules for all. We should support more SCO engagements with observer states, dialogue partners and other regional and international organizations such as the UN, and jointly promote world peace, drive global development and safeguard the international order.

            Colleagues,

            The Chinese people are rallied behind the Communist Party of China to pursue Chinese modernization. It is the modernization of a huge population, of common prosperity for all, of material and cultural-ethical advancement, of harmony between humanity and nature, and of peaceful development. With these main attributes, it has created a new form of human advancement. China hopes to share new development opportunities with SCO members and all countries around the world through its achievements in modernization, and together make the world a better place.

            Colleagues,

            China congratulates President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on assuming the presidency of the Council of Heads of State, and will work with all member states to actively support Kazakhstan's presidency.

            A just cause finds great support, and a journey with many companions gets far. The SCO's development accords with the trend of our times and goes along with the direction of human progress. Through our joint efforts, it will definitely grow from strength to strength.

            Thank you.

            Full text of Xi Jinping's congratulatory letter to first Forum on Building up China's Cultural Strength

            BEIJING -- The following is the full text of Xi Jinping's congratulatory letter to the first Forum on Building up China's Cultural Strength.

            On the occasion of the opening of the first Forum on Building up China's Cultural Strength, I would like to express my warm congratulations on behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee!

            Our Party has been committed to securing new successes in developing socialist culture. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Party has attached great importance to cultural development in national governance, furthered understanding of rules about cultural development, and promoted cultural inheritance and development. Solid progress has been made in building China into a country with a strong socialist culture.

            We must fully implement the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, better shoulder new cultural missions, increase confidence in our own culture, adhere to the approach of openness and inclusiveness, uphold fundamental principles and break new ground, and inspire the cultural creativity of the whole nation. Standing at a new historical starting point, we will continue to promote cultural prosperity, build a leading country in culture, develop a modern Chinese civilization, keep promoting exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, and provide cultural strength for building a stronger country and achieving national rejuvenation.

            Xi Jinping

            June 7, 2023

            ?

            Working Together for a China-Central Asia Community with a Shared Future Featuring Mutual Assistance, Common Development, Universal Security, and Everlasting Friendship

            President Xi Jinping chairs the first China-Central Asia Summit and delivers a keynote speech in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, on Friday. DING HAITAO/XINHUA

            Keynote Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China at the China-Central Asia Summit 19 May 2023

            Distinguished Colleagues,

            Ladies and Gentlemen,

            Friends,

            I'd like to welcome you all to Xi'an for the China-Central Asia Summit to explore together ways for closer cooperation between China and the five Central Asian countries.

            Xi'an, known as Chang'an in ancient times, is an important cradle of the Chinese civilization and nation. It is also the starting point of the ancient Silk Road on the east end. Over 2,100 years ago, Zhang Qian, a Han Dynasty envoy, made his journey to the West from Chang'an, opening the door to the friendship and exchanges between China and Central Asia. With their joint endeavor of hundreds of years, Chinese and Central Asian peoples made the Silk Road expand and prosper, a historic contribution to the interaction, integration, enrichment and development of world civilizations. The Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai once wrote, "In Chang'an we meet again, worthy of more than a thousand pieces of gold." Our gathering in Xi'an today to renew our millennia-old friendship and open up new vistas for the future is of very important significance.

            Back in 2013, I put forward the initiative of jointly building a Silk Road Economic Belt during my first visit to Central Asia as Chinese president. Over the past decade, China and Central Asian countries have worked closely together to fully revive the Silk Road and actively deepen future-oriented cooperation, steering our relations into a new era.

            The China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway that runs across Tianshan Mountain, the China-Tajikistan expressway that defies the Pamir Plateau, and the China-Kazakhstan crude oil pipeline and the China-Central Asia Gas Pipeline that traverse the vast desert — they are the present-day Silk Road. The China-Europe Railway Express operating around the clock, the endless streams of freight trucks, and crisscrossing flights — they are the present-day camel caravans. Entrepreneurs seeking business opportunities, health workers fighting COVID-19, cultural workers delivering messages of friendship, and international students pursuing further education — they are the present-day goodwill ambassadors.

            The China-Central Asia relationship is steeped in history, driven by broad actual needs, and built on solid popular support. Our relations are brimming with vigor and vitality in the new era.

            Colleagues,

            Transformations of the world unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace. Changes of the world, of our times, and of the historical trajectory are taking place in ways like never before. Central Asia, the center of the Eurasian continent, is at a crossroads connecting the East and West, the South and North.

            The world needs a stable Central Asia. The sovereignty, security, independence and territorial integrity of Central Asian countries must be upheld; their people's choice of development paths must be respected; and their efforts for peace, harmony and tranquility must be supported.

            The world needs a prosperous Central Asia. A dynamic and prospering Central Asia will help people in the region achieve their aspiration for a better life. It will also lend strong impetus to global economic recovery.

            The world needs a harmonious Central Asia. As a Central Asian saying goes, "Brotherhood is more precious than any treasure." Ethnic conflicts, religious strife, and cultural estrangement are not the defining feature of the region. Instead, solidarity, inclusiveness, and harmony are the pursuits of the Central Asian people. No one has the right to sow discord or stoke confrontation in the region, let alone seek selfish political interests.

            The world needs an interconnected Central Asia. Blessed with unique geographical advantages, Central Asia has the right foundation, condition and capability to become an important connectivity hub of Eurasia and make a unique contribution to the trading of goods, the interplay of civilizations and the development of science and technology in the world.

            Colleagues,

            At the virtual summit commemorating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Central Asian countries held last year, we jointly announced our vision of a China-Central Asia community with a shared future. It was a historic choice made for the fundamental interests and bright future of our peoples in the new era. In building this community, we need to stay committed to four principles.

            First, mutual assistance. It is important that we deepen strategic mutual trust, and always give each other unequivocal and strong support on issues concerning our core interests such as sovereignty, independence, national dignity, and long-term development. We should work together to ensure that our community features mutual assistance, solidarity, and mutual trust.

            Second, common development. It is important that we continue to set the pace for Belt and Road cooperation and deliver on the Global Development Initiative. We should fully unlock our potentials in traditional areas of cooperation such as economy, trade, industrial capacity, energy and transportation. And we should forge new drivers of growth in finance, agriculture, poverty reduction, green and low-carbon development, medical service, health, and digital innovation. We should work together to ensure that our community features win-win cooperation and common progress.

            Third, universal security. It is important that we act on the Global Security Initiative, and stand firm against external attempts to interfere in domestic affairs of regional countries or instigate color revolutions. We should remain zero-tolerant to the three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and strive to resolve security conundrums in the region. We should work together to ensure that our community features no-conflict and enduring peace.

            Fourth, everlasting friendship. It is important that we implement the Global Civilization Initiative, carry forward our traditional friendship, and enhance people-to-people exchanges. We should do more to share our experience in governance, deepen cultural mutual learning, increase mutual understanding, and cement the foundation of the everlasting friendship between the Chinese and Central Asian peoples. We should work together to ensure that our community features close affinity and shared conviction.

            Colleagues,

            Our Summit has created a new platform and opened up new prospects for China-Central Asia cooperation. China will take this as an opportunity to step up coordination with all parties for good planning, development and progress of China-Central Asia cooperation.

            First, we need to strengthen institutional building. We have set up meeting mechanisms on foreign affairs, economy, trade and customs, as well as a business council. China has also proposed establishment of meeting and dialogue mechanisms on industry and investment, agriculture, transportation, emergency response, education, and political parties, which will be platforms for all-round mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries.

            Second, we need to expand economic and trade ties. China will take more trade facilitation measures, upgrade bilateral investment treaties, and open "green lanes" for streamlined customs clearance of agricultural and sideline products at all border ports between China and Central Asian countries. China will also hold a live-streaming sales event to further promote Central Asian products, and build a commodities trading center. All this is part of an effort to push two-way trade to new heights.

            Third, we need to deepen connectivity. China will strive to increase the volume of cross-border cargo transportation, support the development of the trans-Caspian international transport corridor, enhance the traffic capacity of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway and the China-Tajikistan-Uzbekistan highway, and move forward consultations on the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway. China will seek to modernize the existing border ports at a faster pace, open a new border port at Biedieli, promote the opening of the air transportation market, and build a regional logistics network. China will also step up the development of China-Europe Railway Express assembly centers, encourage capable enterprises to build overseas warehouses in Central Asian countries, and build a comprehensive digital service platform.

            Fourth, we need to expand energy cooperation. China would like to propose that we establish a China-Central Asia energy development partnership. We should expedite the construction of Line D of the China-Central Asia Gas Pipeline, expand trade in oil and gas, pursue cooperation throughout the energy industrial chains, and strengthen cooperation on new energy and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

            Fifth, we need to promote green innovation. China will work with Central Asian countries to conduct cooperation in such areas as improvement and utilization of saline-alkali land and water-saving irrigation, build together a joint laboratory on agriculture in arid lands, and tackle the ecological crisis of the Aral Sea. China supports establishing high-tech firms and IT industrial parks in Central Asia. China also welcomes Central Asian countries to participate in special cooperation programs under the Belt and Road Initiative, including programs on sustainable development technologies, innovation and start-up, and spatial information science and technology.

            Sixth, we need to enhance capabilities for development. China will formulate a China-Central Asia special cooperation program for poverty reduction through science and technology, implement the "China-Central Asia technology and skills improvement scheme", set up more Luban Workshops in Central Asian countries, and encourage Chinese companies in Central Asia to create more local jobs. To bolster our cooperation and Central Asian development, China will provide Central Asian countries with a total of 26 billion RMB yuan of financing support and grants.

            Seventh, we need to strengthen dialogue between civilizations. China invites Central Asian countries to take part in the "Cultural Silk Road" program, and will set up more traditional medicine centers in Central Asia. We will speed up establishment of cultural centers in each other's countries. China will continue to provide government scholarships for Central Asian countries, and support their universities in joining the University Alliance of the Silk Road. We will ensure the success of the Year of Culture and Arts for the Peoples of China and Central Asian Countries as well as the China-Central Asia high-level media dialogue. We will launch the "China-Central Asia Cultural and Tourism Capital" program, and open special train services for cultural tourism in Central Asia.

            Eighth, we need to safeguard peace in the region. China is ready to help Central Asian countries strengthen capacity building on law enforcement, security and defense, support their independent efforts to safeguard regional security and fight terrorism, and work with them to promote cyber-security. We will continue to leverage the role of the coordination mechanism among Afghanistan's neighbors, and jointly promote peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan.

            Colleagues,

            Last October, the Communist Party of China successfully held its 20th National Congress, which laid out the central task of realizing the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and advancing rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. It is a grand blueprint for China's future development. We will strengthen theoretical and practical exchanges with Central Asian countries on modernization, synergize our development strategies, create more opportunities for cooperation, and jointly advance the modernization process of our six countries.

            Colleagues,

            There is a proverb popular among farmers in Shaanxi province, "If you work hard enough, gold will grow out of the land." In the same vein, a Central Asian saying goes, "You get rewarded if you give, and you harvest if you sow." Let us work closely together to pursue common development, common affluence, and common prosperity, and embrace a brighter future for our six countries!

            Thank you.

            Full text of Xi Jinping's keynote speech at China-Central Asia Summit

            President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote address at the China-Central Asia Summit held in the city of Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province on Friday, May 19, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

            XI'AN -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday delivered a keynote speech at the China-Central Asia Summit held in the city of Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

            The following is the full text of the speech:

            Working Together for a China-Central Asia Community with a Shared Future

            Featuring Mutual Assistance, Common Development, Universal Security, and Everlasting Friendship

            Keynote Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping

            President of the People's Republic of China

            At the China-Central Asia Summit

            19 May 2023

            Distinguished Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, Friends,

            I'd like to welcome you all to Xi'an for the China-Central Asia Summit to explore together ways for closer cooperation between China and the five Central Asian countries.

            Xi'an, known as Chang'an in ancient times, is an important cradle of the Chinese civilization and nation. It is also the starting point of the ancient Silk Road on the east end. Over 2,100 years ago, Zhang Qian, a Han Dynasty envoy, made his journey to the West from Chang'an, opening the door to the friendship and exchanges between China and Central Asia. With their joint endeavor of hundreds of years, Chinese and Central Asian peoples made the Silk Road expand and prosper, a historic contribution to the interaction, integration, enrichment and development of world civilizations. The Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai once wrote, "In Chang'an we meet again, worthy of more than a thousand pieces of gold." Our gathering in Xi'an today to renew our millennia-old friendship and open up new vistas for the future is of very important significance.

            Back in 2013, I put forward the initiative of jointly building a Silk Road Economic Belt during my first visit to Central Asia as Chinese president. Over the past decade, China and Central Asian countries have worked closely together to fully revive the Silk Road and actively deepen future-oriented cooperation, steering our relations into a new era.

            The China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway that runs across the Tianshan Mountain, the China-Tajikistan expressway that defies the Pamir Plateau, and the China-Kazakhstan crude oil pipeline and the China-Central Asia Gas Pipeline that traverse the vast desert -- they are the present-day Silk Road. The China-Europe Railway Express operating around the clock, the endless streams of freight trucks, and crisscrossing flights -- they are the present-day camel caravans. Entrepreneurs seeking business opportunities, health workers fighting the COVID-19, cultural workers delivering message of friendship, and international students pursuing further education -- they are the present-day goodwill ambassadors.

            The China-Central Asia relationship is steeped in history, driven by broad actual needs, and built on solid popular support. Our relations are brimming with vigor and vitality in the new era.

            President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote address at the China-Central Asia Summit held in the city of Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province on Friday, May 19, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

            Colleagues,

            Transformations of the world unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace. Changes of the world, of our times, and of the historical trajectory are taking place in ways like never before. Central Asia, the center of the Eurasian continent, is at a crossroads connecting the East and West, the South and North.

            The world needs a stable Central Asia. The sovereignty, security, independence and territorial integrity of Central Asian countries must be upheld; their people's choice of development paths must be respected; and their efforts for peace, harmony and tranquility must be supported.

            The world needs a prosperous Central Asia. A dynamic and prospering Central Asia will help people in the region achieve their aspiration for a better life. It will also lend strong impetus to global economic recovery.

            The world needs a harmonious Central Asia. As a Central Asian saying goes, "Brotherhood is more precious than any treasure." Ethnic conflicts, religious strife, and cultural estrangement are not the defining feature of the region. Instead, solidarity, inclusiveness, and harmony are the pursuits of the Central Asian people. No one has the right to sow discord or stoke confrontation in the region, let alone seek selfish political interests.

            The world needs an interconnected Central Asia. Blessed with unique geographical advantages, Central Asia has the right foundation, condition and capability to become an important connectivity hub of Eurasia and make unique contribution to the trading of goods, the interplay of civilizations and the development of science and technology in the world.

            President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote address at the China-Central Asia Summit held in the city of Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province on Friday, May 19, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

            Colleagues,

            At the virtual summit commemorating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Central Asian countries held last year, we jointly announced our vision of a China-Central Asia community with a shared future. It was a historic choice made for the fundamental interests and bright future of our peoples in the new era. In building this community, we need to stay committed to four principles.

            First, mutual assistance. It is important that we deepen strategic mutual trust, and always give each other unequivocal and strong support on issues concerning our core interests such as sovereignty, independence, national dignity, and long-term development. We should work together to ensure that our community features mutual assistance, solidarity, and mutual trust.

            Second, common development. It is important that we continue to set the pace for Belt and Road cooperation and deliver on the Global Development Initiative. We should fully unlock our potentials in traditional areas of cooperation such as economy, trade, industrial capacity, energy and transportation. And we should forge new drivers of growth in finance, agriculture, poverty reduction, green and low-carbon development, medical service, health, and digital innovation. We should work together to ensure that our community features win-win cooperation and common progress.

            Third, universal security. It is important that we act on the Global Security Initiative, and stand firm against external attempts to interfere in domestic affairs of regional countries or instigate color revolutions. We should remain zero-tolerant to the three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and strive to resolve security conundrums in the region. We should work together to ensure that our community features no-conflict and enduring peace.

            Fourth, everlasting friendship. It is important that we implement the Global Civilization Initiative, carry forward our traditional friendship, and enhance people-to-people exchanges. We should do more to share our experience in governance, deepen cultural mutual learning, increase mutual understanding, and cement the foundation of the everlasting friendship between the Chinese and Central Asian peoples. We should work together to ensure that our community features close affinity and shared conviction.

            President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote address at the China-Central Asia Summit held in the city of Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province on Friday, May 19, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

            Colleagues,

            Our Summit has created a new platform and opened up new prospects for China-Central Asia cooperation. China will take this as an opportunity to step up coordination with all parties for good planning, development and progress of China-Central Asia cooperation.

            First, we need to strengthen institutional building. We have set up meeting mechanisms on foreign affairs, economy, trade and customs, as well as a business council. China has also proposed establishment of meeting and dialogue mechanisms on industry and investment, agriculture, transportation, emergency response, education, and political parties, which will be platforms for all-round mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries.

            Second, we need to expand economic and trade ties. China will take more trade facilitation measures, upgrade bilateral investment treaties, and open "green lanes" for streamlined customs clearance of agricultural and sideline products at all border ports between China and Central Asian countries. China will also hold a live-streaming sales event to further promote Central Asian products, and build a commodities trading center. All this is part of an effort to push two-way trade to new heights.

            Third, we need to deepen connectivity. China will strive to increase the volume of cross-border cargo transportation, support the development of the trans-Caspian international transport corridor, enhance the traffic capacity of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway and the China-Tajikistan-Uzbekistan highway, and move forward consultations on the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway. China will seek to modernize the existing border ports at a faster pace, open a new border port at Biedieli, promote the opening of the air transportation market, and build a regional logistics network. China will also step up the development of China-Europe Railway Express assembly centers, encourage capable enterprises to build overseas warehouses in Central Asian countries, and build a comprehensive digital service platform.

            Fourth, we need to expand energy cooperation. China would like to propose that we establish a China-Central Asia energy development partnership. We should expedite the construction of Line D of the China-Central Asia Gas Pipeline, expand trade in oil and gas, pursue cooperation throughout the energy industrial chains, and strengthen cooperation on new energy and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

            Fifth, we need to promote green innovation. China will work with Central Asian countries to conduct cooperation in such areas as improvement and utilization of saline-alkali land and water-saving irrigation, build together a joint laboratory on agriculture in arid lands, and tackle the ecological crisis of the Aral Sea. China supports establishing high-tech firms and IT industrial parks in Central Asia. China also welcomes Central Asian countries to participate in special cooperation programs under the Belt and Road Initiative, including programs on sustainable development technologies, innovation and start-up, and spatial information science and technology.

            Sixth, we need to enhance capabilities for development. China will formulate a China-Central Asia special cooperation program for poverty reduction through science and technology, implement the "China-Central Asia technology and skills improvement scheme", set up more Luban Workshops in Central Asian countries, and encourage Chinese companies in Central Asia to create more local jobs. To bolster our cooperation and Central Asian development, China will provide Central Asian countries with a total of 26 billion RMB yuan of financing support and grant.

            Seventh, we need to strengthen dialogue between civilizations. China invites Central Asian countries to take part in the "Cultural Silk Road" program, and will set up more traditional medicine centers in Central Asia. We will speed up establishment of cultural centers in each other's countries. China will continue to provide government scholarships for Central Asian countries, and support their universities in joining the University Alliance of the Silk Road. We will ensure the success of the Year of Culture and Arts for the Peoples of China and Central Asian Countries as well as the China-Central Asia high-level media dialogue. We will launch the "China-Central Asia Cultural and Tourism Capital" program, and open special train services for cultural tourism in Central Asia.

            Eighth, we need to safeguard peace in the region. China is ready to help Central Asian countries strengthen capacity building on law enforcement, security and defense, support their independent efforts to safeguard regional security and fight terrorism, and work with them to promote cyber-security. We will continue to leverage the role of the coordination mechanism among Afghanistan's neighbors, and jointly promote peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan.

            Colleagues,

            Last October, the Communist Party of China successfully held its 20th National Congress, which laid out the central task of realizing the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and advancing rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. It is a grand blueprint for China's future development. We will strengthen theoretical and practical exchanges with Central Asian countries on modernization, synergize our development strategies, create more opportunities for cooperation, and jointly advance the modernization process of our six countries.

            Colleagues,

            There is a proverb popular among farmers in Shaanxi Province, "If you work hard enough, gold will grow out of the land." In the same vein, a Central Asian saying goes, "You get rewarded if you give, and you harvest if you sow." Let us work closely together to pursue common development, common affluence, and common prosperity, and embrace a brighter future for our six countries!

            Thank you.

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