Source: 中国日报网    2014-04-03  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

Your majesties King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, President Herman Van Rompuy, Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner Maria Damanaki, Governor Carl De Caluwe, Mayor Renaat Landuyt, President Mandasca de Vico, Rector Jorg Monar, diplomatic envoys, faculty members and students, ladies and gentlemen, friends, good morning.

It is a great pleasure for me to come to the College of Europe and meet with faculty members and students. First of all, my warm greetings and best wishes to you and all those in Europe who have shown interest in and support to the development of China.

In the Flemish language, Bruges means a bridge. A bridge not only makes life more convenient, it could also be a symbol of communication, understanding and friendship. I have come to Europe to build, together with our European friends, a bridge of friendship and cooperation across the Eurasian continent.


Before coming here, I visited a Volvo planting Gent together with King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. Volvo Car Gent, the largest car manufacturer in Belgium, has become a model of economic and technological cooperation between China, Belgium and Sweden. it has actually set up a bridge linking Chinese investment with European technology. What it leads to is mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.

The College of Europe was created after the end of World War Two, as a result of people's reflection of the war and their yearning for peace. Human history has far too often been haunted by the spectre of war. Having suffered by the calamity of World War Two, people in Europe began to think over the past misery and started to unite under the leadership of statemen like Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman in the joint pursuit for lasting peace and prosperity.

Today, after more than 50 years of development, the College of Europe has not only served as an important think tank for the European Union but also become the cradle of political elites of Europe. In the words of President Van Rompuy, the college has always been at the heart of European integration, as it is in itself an expression of the faith of Europe born out of the ruins of war.

Faculty members and students, in 1949 when the College of Europe was established, the People's Republic of China was founded, heralding a new historical era in development of the Chinese nation.

Later in 1975, late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and Sir Christopher Soames acting on the assessment of the world situation then, decided that China and the European economic community should establish diplomatic relations. The day China and the EU have a comprehensive strategic partnership, we have established dialogue and a consultation mechanism in over 60 areas. Our trade last year reached 559.1 billion U.S. dollars. Over 5 million visits are exchanged each year. And about 300,000 of our students are studying overseas, either in Europe, or in China. The relationship between China and EU has become one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world.

Having said that we should not forget that there's still great room for the growth of China-EU relations, and the potential is yet to be fully tapped. To move our relationship forward, China needs to know more about Europe, and Europe needs to know more about China. For any country in the world, the past always holds the key to the present, and the present is always rooted in the past. Only when we know where a country has come from, could we possibly understand why the country is what it is today. And only then could we realise to which direction it's heading. So let me use this opportunity to describe to you what a country China is.

I hope it will be helpful to you as you try to observe, understand and study China. Of course, a thorough account of the country would be too big a topic for today. So as president Van Rompuy said, China and Europe are two big books they can never finish reading. So I will just focus on the following few features of China.

First, China has a time honored civilization. Of the world's ancient civilizations, the Chinese civilization has spanned over 5,000 years and continued uninterrupted to this day. The Chinese characters, invented by our ancestors several millennia ago, are still being used today. Over 2,000 year ago, there was an era of great intellectual accomplishment in China, which is referred to as the period of 100 masters and schools of thought. Great thinkers such as Laotze, confucius and Motze, to name just a few, explored wide range of topics from the universe to the earth, and from men's relations with nature, to relations amongst human beings, and to that between the individuals and society. The extensive and profound schools of thoughts they established covered many important ideas, such as the moral injuction of fidelity to one's parents and brothers, and to the monarch and friends. The sense of propriety, justice, integrity and honor, the emphasis on benevolence and kindness towards fellow human beings and believe that men should be in harmony with nature, follow nature's course, and constently pursue self perfection. These values and teachings still carry a profound impact on Chinese people's way of life today, underpinning the unique value systems in the Chinese outlook of the world, of society, and of life itself. And this unique and time honored intellectual legacy, has instilled a strong sense of national confidence in the Chinese people, and nurtured a national spirit with patriotism at a very core.

Second, China has gone through many vicissitudes. Several thousand years before the industrial revolution, China had been leading the world in economic, technological, and cultural development. However, feudal rulers of the 18th and 19th centuries closed the door of China in boldful ignorance. And China was since left behind in the trend of development and subdued to a semi-colonial and semi-fuedal society. As a result of incessant foreign invasions thereafter, China experienced a great social turmoil, and its people had to live a life of extreme detestation. Poverty prompted a call for change, and people experiencing turmoil are aspired by stability. After a hundred years of persistent and unyielding struggle, the Chinese people, sacrificing of loss of tens of millions lives, ultimately took their destiny back to their own hands. Nevertheless, the memory of foreign evasions and bullying has never been erased from the minds of Chinese people. And that explains why we cherish so dear the life we live today. The Chinese people want peace, we do not want war. This is the reason why China follows an independent foreign policy of peace. China is committed to non-interference to other countries’ internal affairs. And China will not allow others to interfere in its own affairs. This is the position that we have upheld in the past. It is what we will continue to uphold in the future.


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