I. Secretary Wang Guangya, what is the main background and special purpose of this party?
2008 is in no way an ordinary year to each of the Chinese people. We suffered from pains caused by severe natural disasters including snow storm and earthquake, but more importantly enjoyed happiness of the realization of our century-old dream of hosting the Olympic Games and launch of Shenzhou 7. Meanwhile, the international situation continued experiencing profound and complicated changes. The deteriorating financial crisis and political turmoil in many countries had added greater unstable and uncertain factors in the international relations. All of our diplomatic leaders and staffs forged ahead and accomplished a series of major diplomatic tasks concerning Tibet, Taiwan, earthquake relief, Olympic Games and the Asia-Europe Meeting, which were highly recognized by the Central Party Committee, the State Council and the entire Chinese people. 2008 also marked the 30th anniversary of reform and opening, and over the three decades China’s diplomatic undertaking has surged forward with great momentum. Such a special historical background also makes our party gala today especially significant.
The achievement and harvest of Chinese diplomacy in 2008, if any, should be first of all attributed to the strong leadership of the Central Party Committee and the State Council. The presence of State Councilor Dai Bingguo today fully reflects the great attention paid by the Central Party Committee and the State Council to diplomatic undertaking and their long-term care and love for our diplomatic staffs.
Here, I’d like to thank all the diplomatic leaders and staffs for their hard work throughout 2008, and my special gratitude goes to the front-line staffs of overseas Chinese embassies and consulates who, far away from the motherland and families, have worked selflessly for the interest of the country. There is quite a number of diplomatic staffs working in regions with tough conditions and torn by wars. They have overcome unimaginable difficulties and sacrificed time with their families, health and even life for their beloved diplomatic undertaking.
Today, there are only about 400 family members of overseas diplomatic staffs at the party, but you represent more than 2,500 of overseas diplomatic staffs and their around 10,000 family members. If the diplomatic staffs were called “soldiers not in uniform”, their families will be a special group of “servicemen’s families”. As strong supporters behind the diplomatic staffs, they are devoted to the diplomatic undertaking silently without any grumble. Half of the military exploit belongs to them. I sincerely want to say “thank you” to all of them.
2009 will embrace the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and its diplomatic undertaking. The international situation remains complex, and our diplomatic work will face new opportunities and challenges and even more arduous tasks. The entire diplomatic force will continue to resolutely implement the diplomatic route, principles and polices set by the Central Party Committee, carefully study and practice the scientific concept of development, carry forward the diplomatic undertaking with greater enthusiasm and morale, open new prospects for the Chinese diplomacy and make bigger contributions to ensuring the stable and relatively fast growth of the Chinese economy, creating a sound external environment for the all-round building of a well-off society and maintaining world peace and development to repay the Party and the people.
II. Could Secretary Wang briefly introduce the current state of Chinese diplomatic force?
The Chinese diplomatic undertaking has developed and diplomatic force grown rapidly since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, especially 30 years ago when reform and opening was launched. At present, China has altogether 260 overseas diplomatic agencies with more than 4,800 diplomatic staffs worldwide.
Over the years, under the strong leadership of the Central Party Committee, the entire diplomatic force has implemented the diplomatic route, principles and policies firmly, safeguarded the national interest resolutely, promoted China’s bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation actively, practiced the concept of “diplomacy for the people” faithfully and made outstanding contribution to China’s modernization and peaceful reunification. Due to the special nature of diplomatic work, about half of the career of diplomatic staffs has to be spent abroad. Many of them have worked in extremely harsh conditions over years, endured the tests of abominable natural environment, nuclear pollution, terrorist attack or even war and suffered from pains of being far away from their families. There have emerged a large number of advanced individuals and collectives among them. In the interest of time, I only give you one example. The Chinese embassy in Bolivia is located on the plateau with nearly 4,000 meters above sea level and the only one of the 260 embassies and consulates abroad in class-five harsh region which is even called by western countries the “tomb of diplomats”. Under such an environment, all the comrades in the embassy have kept a motto – “higher standard on highland and full spirit albeit scarcity of oxygen” which is well known to almost all the diplomatic staffs. Facts show our diplomatic staffs are a politically reliable and trustworthy force capable of fighting hard battles.
Today, the form and content, the width and depth of our diplomatic work have all changed profoundly and diplomacy is extending into wider areas. New situation and tasks have raised higher requirement on the diplomatic force, and it has become an urgent and strategic task of the Party and the country to strengthen the construction of diplomatic force. The Party Committee of the foreign ministry, as required by the Central Party Committee, will follow the principles of producing revolutionary, young, knowledgeable and professional diplomats, emancipate mind, conduct reform and innovation and push for the development of high-quality diplomatic staffs with comprehensive skills and professionalism.
Dear journalist friends, I’m deeply grateful for your report of today’s event. Diplomacy in China is for the people and serves the entire Chinese people. I want to express heartfelt gratitude to people of all walks of life and the entire Chinese nation for their understanding, care and support for the diplomatic undertaking over the years through your report. I hope you will continue to pay close attention to and support Chinese diplomacy, and your valuable suggestions and opinions on our work are sincerely welcomed.