Statement by Mr. RUAN Dewen, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Chinese Embassy to the Kingdom of Tonga, on the occasion of the Chinese New Year, Spring Festival
First of all, please allow me to extend my heartfelt wishes for a joyous and prosperous Year of the Dragon. May the Chinese new year bring you health, wealth and happiness.
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, holds profound cultural significance for the Chinese people both at home and abroad. And last year it became a United Nations holiday. It marks the beginning of a new lunar year, symbolizing renewal, hope, and the promise of a fresh start. Families gather together to celebrate this auspicious occasion, sharing festive meals, exchanging gifts, and take part in age-old traditions of unity and harmony.
In the Chinese zodiac, each year is associated with a specific animal, embodying unique characteristics and attributes. And among 12 animals, the dragon is the only legendary animal.The Year of the Dragon symbolizes auspiciousness,strength, and wisdom. Those who born in the year of the Dragon are renowned for their charisma, vigor, and wisdom.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The year 2023 saw China continuing to be a key engine for the development of world economy. China’s GDP grew by 5.2%, among the fastest of the world's major economies.
With the adjustment of China’s economic structure in recent years, the Chinese economy has become more digitalized and resilient. Investment in high-tech industries increased by 10.3% last year, and “the new three”, namely, new energy vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, and photo-voltaic products grew at a higher speed.
The Chinese economy has become greener and more sustainable, which is conducive to the global efforts of fighting against climate change. The International Energy Agency recently published a report, estimating that by 2028, nearly 60 percent of the world’s electricity from renewable energy will be generated in China. China's new energy vehicles (NEVs) ownership surpassed 16 million, more than half of the global total. China’s forest coverage rate has nearly doubled from 12 percent in the 1980s to over 24 percent today, contributed to one-fourth of the global afforestation increase.
In the realm of foreign affairs, China remains steadfast in promoting world peace and development. Recently, the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs reaffirmed the noble goal of building a community with a shared future for humanity. To realize this goal, China advocates an equal and orderly multipolar world and an universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization. In practice, by promoting connectivity in infrastructure and economic development, the Belt and Road Initiative seeks to create new pathways for trade, investment, and cultural exchange for participating countries. And through initiatives such as the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and Global Civilization Initiative, China actively contributes to the advancement of global governance, security, and sustainable development.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The enduring friendship between China and Tonga stands as a cornerstone of our bilateral relations, based on Tonga’s firm adherence to one-China principle,rooted in the comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development. A few months ago, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between our two countries. In the past 25 years, significant progress has been made in various fields, from infrastructure development, economic and technological cooperation to education and cultural exchanges. China remains committed to deepening our partnership with Tonga, tapping into the vast potential for collaboration in agriculture, aquaculture, infrastructure, education, health, tourism, and climate change.
Cultural exchange continues to play a vital role in strengthening the bonds of friendship between our two peoples. The rich and colorful Tongan culture, with its vibrant traditions and heritage, serves as a source of inspiration and admiration for Chinese people. I am confident that, through extensive cultural exchange and dialogue, we can foster greater mutual understanding and building bridges of friendship that transcend vast oceans and bring our hearts together.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As we embark on the long journey ahead, let us seize the opportunities with optimism and determination,and navigate the challenges with resilience and resolve. Let us work hand in hand to build a community with a shared future for mankind, a future of prosperity, cooperation, and harmony for generations to come.
In conclusion, I would like to extend again my heartfelt wishes to you all for a joyous and memorable Chinese New Year. May the Year of the Dragon bring you abundance, prosperity, and fulfillment. Happy Chinese New Year. Mālo ‘aupito.