October 1st this year is the 56th birthday of the People's Republic of China, a date that will be cerebrated by people all over China. In the hundred-odd years prior to the birth of the New China, the Chinese people had suffered enough from the atrocity and distress by the invasion of foreign enemies and tangled warfare among warlords. It was on this date fifty-six year ago that Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed to the world the birth of New China. It was since this date that the Chinese people have been lifted out of history of humiliation and poverty and move towards stability and prosperity.
Since the end of 1970s, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, who put forward a "three-step" strategic objective for China's development, China has been progressing on the track guided by the policy of "reforming and opening-up". Through over twenty years' endeavor, China has achieved the first two steps and is striving for the third one.
Presently the national economy of China has been growing rapidly. Chinese people have experienced significant improvement of their living standards and the national strength has been on the increase over the years. The building of socialist democratic and legal systems has increasingly been on the improvement. The development of each and every aspect of the society is in full swing.
Since 1979, China's GDP has been growing at an average annual rate of over 9%. In 2004, China's GDP was RMB13, 651.5 billion while the volume of foreign trade reached USD1,154.74 billion. In the first half of 2005, the total of China's import and export topped USD645.03 billion, a 23.2% rise over the same period in 2004. Thanks to the increase of government investment and efforts through all circles of the society, the absolute population living in poverty (namely people with net income per capita less than RMB668) has reduced from 250 million in 1979 to 26.1million in 2004. In fact, Chinese people are getting rich. The net income per capita of rural residents has grown from RMB133 in 1978 to RMB2,936 in 2004 while the disposable income of urban residents per capita increased from RMB343 to RMB9422 over the same period. China today is the fastest growing economy in the world.
Over the past fifty-six years, under the leadership of Chinese Communist Party, Chinese people have rejuvenated our ancient country with 5000 years' history of splendid civilization. Full of life and vigor, a socialist New China attracting worldwide attention is rising from the orient. .
The complete reunification of the motherland is the common aspiration of each and every Chinese people. While persisting in the fundamental policies of "One China, Two Systems" and "Peaceful Reunification", we are ready to do our utmost with the maximum sincerity to seek a peaceful resolution of Taiwan issue. However, only on the basis of adhering to "One China" principle can we further develop the relations across the Taiwan Straits and realize the peaceful reunification. Under no circumstances will China tolerate any "Taiwan Independence" secessionists' attempt to separate Taiwan from China. We entertain a firm belief that through the joint efforts of the whole Chinese people, the complete reunification of our motherland can surely be achieved at an earlier date.
On its way towards modernization, China will continue pursuing foreign policy of "Peace and Development" and vigorously making extensive friends with diverse nations in the world.
Despite the difference in ideologies, political systems, culture and customs, China and Australia share a lot in common. We both are devoted to the safeguarding of peace in the region and the world and are actively pushing forward the friendly cooperation among us. These are the key foundations of the cooperation between China and Australia.
Through mutual efforts, China-Australia relations have been gaining momentum over recent years. Both countries have witnessed frequent exchanges of visits by senior officials and enhanced mutual trust in the political arena. The increasing cooperation in economy and trade is also deepening and expanding.
On this occasion, I would like to express my hearty thanks to those who have contributed to the growth of China-Australia relations, and it is my sincere hope that continuous efforts would be made to facilitate further development of our friendship.
May the People's Republic of China enjoy prosperity and the entire Chinese people enjoy peaceful, ever prosperous and happy life.
The Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Australia