Ambassador Tan Jian's Speech at the Reception Celebrating the 74th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China


Distinguished guests, 

Dear friends, Ladies and gentlemen,


A very good afternoon to all of you.   

It is my third year in the Netherlands, yet the first face-to-face National Day Reception. 

Thank you for coming and my warmest welcome to you all.  

(On China’s Developments)

This year marks the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.

Sea changes have taken place in China since then.

Some examples:

● Its per capita GDP was less than USD 100 in 1949, more than USD 12,000 now, not to mention three times increase of the population.  

● China has lifted more than 850 million people out of poverty in the past four decades, a historical accomplishment of humanity.

● China is now the second largest economy, the main trading partner of over 140 countries and regions,

Its development is nothing short of a miracle.

These days there have been negative reporting and pessimistic projections on China’s economy.

Allow me to share some of my views on this issue.

In the first half this year, China’s economy grew by 5.5%.

According to the IMF World Economic Outlook updated last month, China’s economy is expected to grow by 5.2% this year, accounting for one third of global growth.

China was and still is the main engine for global economic recovery and growth.

Literally, China is producing more batteries and electric vehicles, good for the environment, for consumers, and growing the economy.  

The strong resilience, ample potential and strong vitality of the Chinese economy in the long run stay unchanged.

Its economic fundamentals remain sound.

The Chinese economy has been generally on an upward trajectory.

China will continue to pursue the route of building socialism with Chinese characteristics, at the same time learning from others, believing in the mutual learning between civilizations.

China remains firmly committed to and will NOT waver in its state policy of reform and opening up to the outside world, only deeper and wider.

China will further promote private business and attract foreign investment.

It aims for high quality growth and is taking on the hard task of structural reform, to achieve consumption- and innovation-driven green development.

China has a population of 1.4 billion, a middle-income group as strong as 400 million that is ever expanding -- a huge market for itself as well as for the rest of the world.

(On China’s Foreign Policy)

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our world today is confronted with unprecedented challenges, like the climate change, which require unprecedented cooperation.

China is for peace, for development, for cooperation;

China is for globalization, for multilateralism, for free trade.

President Xi Jinping has put forward the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative.

They are not for geopolitical competition, but for global cooperation.

The sea level could be rising. We are in the same boat, and need to have a stronger sense of community for a shared future.

China is the second largest contributor to the UN regular budget and peacekeeping budget, to the budget of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Second largest, America first, of course (laugh).

Over the past three years, the major work of me and my colleagues in the mission is to promote bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation;

And to get across the message that China is part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Not an easy job. Yet I am optimistic.

Today, September 21, is the International Day of Peace.

We Chinese love peace.

The Chinese started to build the Great Wall more than two thousand years ago, to defend not to attack.  

In the early 15th century, Admiral Zheng He made 7 maritime expeditions, 87 years earlier than that of Christopher Columbus, reaching as far as the Africa continent. NO colonization ensued.

The Chinese invented the gunpowder, less used for fighting more for fireworks and fire crackers.

Of course, it could be dual-use, more than the semiconductors, and must be placed under Wassenaar regulation (laugh).

Seriously speaking, looking back at the one thousand year’s history, I could not recall that China has done anything harming the interest of Europe.

And there is no fundamental conflict of interest between China and Europe.

I am, therefore, optimistic about China-EU relations.  

(On Bilateral Relations)

It has been more than 400 years since Chinese and Dutch peoples established contacts through the maritime silk road.

Last year, 2022, marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level between China and the Netherlands.

Our trade volume has grown from 69 million US$ in 1972 to over 130 billion US$ in 2022.

Such a big jump could be an unbreakable record.  

In the first 8 months of this year, the export from the Netherlands to China reached to US$ 10 billion, up by 20%.  

The Netherlands is China’s second largest trading partner within the EU.

China is one of the Netherlands’ largest trading partners outside the EU.

Among all the EU countries, the Netherlands is the largest destination of Chinese investment, and the second largest source of investment to China.

Sino-Dutch relationship is defined, by President Xi Jinping and His Majesty King Willem-Alexander in 2014, as an open and pragmatic partnership for comprehensive cooperation.

Openness and pragmatism are the most salient features of this relationship, which, we hope, will help overcome the challenges, like how to ensure the stability of the global supply chain, seeing each other as partners, not rivals.

China will continue to promote exchanges at the levels of leaders, ministers, senior officials.

My Embassy will continue the good relations with the business, good working relations with the government, and enhance dialogues with the parliament and the media. And we will reach out to the people and local governments.

(On Travel)

Now that we are out of the woods of the pandemic, no more restrictive measures on travel. Everything is back to normal.

Let’s resume visits, renew network and make up for the loss caused by Covid.  

Since the start of the year, delegations of China central and local governments are coming to the Netherlands, so are the Chinese business people and the tourists.

The Shanghai Ballet has been in the Netherlands for two weeks, and its performance of classic Swan Lake was a big hit. Worth watching!

We also welcome you to China!

I wish to take this opportunity to reassure that, my Embassy will provide all the necessary assistance to facilitate visa application, making it easier and faster.

(On Panda)

In 2017, two giant pandas, Wu Wen“武雯” and Xing Ya“星雅”, arrived in the Netherlands.

In 2020, the beloved baby panda cub Fan Xing “梵星”was born.

Having lived here for three years, this superstar Fan Xing is leaving for China very soon, as she needs to make new friends and have her own family and babies. Her parents will stay on in the Netherlands.

The video clip of the happy life of the pandas here in the Netherlands are being played on the screen.

These pandas are “ambassadors of friendship”.

I know they are more popular than me, and I am happy to share my “ambassadorship” title with the pandas.

I hope people could see we Chinese as pandas, bamboo-eating, non-predatory, rather than the sleeping lion, or 800-pound gorilla.

I may sound a bit political.

Well, I am basically a political animal, according to Aristotle (laugh).


Ladies and gentlemen,

Last year China and the Netherlands celebrated the Golden Jubilee.

We will continue to work together with the Netherlands to maintain the momentum of cooperation, expand it, and build trust.

I am hopeful for the next 50 years.

I wish to propose a toast:

To the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China,

To the development of the Sino-Dutch relations,

To the strengthening of international cooperation,  

To the health and happiness of you all,  

Cheers! Proost!

Thank you. Dank je wel.