Home > Embassy Information > Ambassador's Remarks
For Peace We Defend
-Speech by Ambassador Chen Yuming at Society & Defence Breakfast Seminar
2014/04/06

(April 3, 2014)

Dear friends,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning. Every time when I come to Gamla Stan, I am deeply attracted by its classic elegance and charm. This cradle of a forever-young nation merges history and modernity.

It urges me to reflect on our two countries today. Sweden's social welfare system marked by its high integrity and efficiency has become a role-model, while the ancient China is reforming and improving its people's democracy, its huge market oriented economy and strong national defence for peace.

35 years ago, China started its course of reform and opening-up, keeping pace with the historic trend for peace and development.

But China is still a developing country.

China has achieved a total GDP volume of 9100 billion US dollars, but the per capita GDP is only 6000. We see "made in China" products everywhere in the world, but our per capita export volume is only one tenth of Sweden's.

Unbalanced development, insufficient innovation are our most prominent problems. The aging population and "middle-income trap" are challenging.

Up-grading our development path is the only way out.

The People's Republic is only 60 years young. We have the courage for reform and we will succeed.

So, what should we do?

Let me share with you China's blue-print for the future.

China has decided to further deepen its reform in an all-round way, to develope our market economy and modernize our governance system and governance capability.

Sweden pioneered "People's Home", while China is practicing "people first" governance.

Domestically, we are promoting multi-entities of social governance, an extensive and multi-layered system of democracy.

We are reforming our judicial system, making judgment of cases even more independent.

We are optimizing the Government structure and reforming the rules for government vehicles and official residences, so that the saved money can be spent on public services procurement. The aim is clear: spend more on providing service with more streamlined human resources.

We are speeding up urban-rural integration, improving people's well-being, maintaining social justice and dynamics.

We are reducing government intervention to the market and resources distribution.

We are promoting non-public economy and mixed economy, and meanwhile building green economy, saving energy and reducing emission, practicing transparent budget, and promoting domestic consumption.

Internationally, along with Sweden and other countries, we support free trade and globalization, speed-up opening the market, such as service sector. The reform to interest rates and exchange rates are also on the way.

Together we will achieve more successful cooperations such as the stories of Volvo and Huawei.

Now we are glad to see first achievements of reform and we know that more is on the way.

Over the past 2 years, China maintained its financial stability. The number of Government approvals has been reduced by 400 each year.

The basic medical insurance system now covers all the population, and the service sector is nearly 50% of the whole economy.

our annual industrial energy consumption has been reduced by 4%, while the economic growth rate is maintained at 7.5%, and the total GDP this year is expected to approach 10 trillion US Dollars.

The Chinese people's average income has grown by 9% which means a increase of 10 million people getting new jobs each year and another 10 million rural population getting rid of poverty each year.

Each year, 60 million more rural population have safe water to drink, 5 million more affordable housing units were built and high-speed railway-in-service has reached 11 thousand kilometers, ranking the longest in the world.

In the meantime, China is also modernizing its military forces in conformity with its international standing and roles.

Firstly, I wish to stress that, throughout history, China have had a security culture regarding "peace as most valuable". The basic concept is "taking neighbors as friends and partners".

As President Xi Jinping said, on his recent trip to Europe, that, may I quote, " Chinese people treasure peace and hope to seek, maintain and enjoy peace together with other nations in the world". He also said that the sleeping lion, which Napoleon once described, has "waken up, but what the world see is a peaceful, friendly and civilized lion". "The Chinese people is focused on doing a good job of their own, and they are also ready to do all they can to contribute to world peace and development".

Secondly, as an old Chinese saying goes: "without defence, no country can stand among nations and no nation can be safe".

I know that Sweden understands, as you have come through a history as both a strong military power and a country of neutrality.

China has always pursued a national defence policy that is defensive in nature.

We never seek hegemony and, at the same time, never tolerate bullying. Our history as a semi-colonial country has passed. The critical factor for our military development today is the security environment surrounding us.

On the one hand, as one of the countries with the biggest number of neighbors and the longest land borders, China is yet to be unified and has a complicated strategic environment.

On the other hand, most of the land borders disputes have been resolved peacefully, but we are still faced with complicated problems of marine security.

Thirdly, China's national defence had long been short-funded and the increases of the military investment in the recent years are mainly compensatory.

In 2014, China's defence budget is increased to 130 billion US Dollars. But it is only one fifth of the US'.

China's military forces are yet to be fully mechanized and the equipments for the Navy and the Airforce are still lagging behind major powers of the world.

Meanwhile, we are faced with serious challenges of upgrading our military IT systems. The transformation towards joint operations, civil-military integration and military professionalization has only started when the intelligent, the unmanned, and space technology has become state of the art and we have to catch up.

To achieve a "leapfrog development" for the Chinese military forces, the cost would be huge.

I heard that the Swedish armed forces often finds itself stretched with the current 40 billion Krones for its 20 thousands man. If this ratio was proportionated to the Chinese military of 2.3 million people, we would need 4000 billion Krones, which is 5 times more than China's the current military spending.

Finally, this world has never been entirely peaceful. After the cold war, we see regional conflicts increased rather than reduced.

We know that Sweden has a fine tradition and strong participation in peace-keeping. Up to now, you have dispatched over 100 thousand people-times and made great contributions to maintaining world peace.

As a big and responsible country, China has been actively fulfilling its due obligations.

We have dispatched a peace keeping force of more than 20 thousand people-times, ranking number 1 among the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Over the recent years, we have also played our roles in maritime escorts and international rescue.

China has also been active participants in joint exercises, drills and other cooperations of various forms which have been helpful in promoting dialogue and mutual understanding.

History has proved that a trigger-happy country is doomed to perish no matter how big its size.

History will prove that China is a country of responsibility and a constructive force for peace.

Thank you!

Suggest To A Friend:   
Print