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The Foreign Minister's Speech at The Chinese Embassy on the Occasion of The 60th Anniversary of The Establishment of Dipplomatic Relations between Denmark and China

Foreign Minister Lene Espersen’s speech at the Chinese Embassy’s Reception on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between Denmark and China on May 11th 2010.

Ambassador Xie, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by saying that I am extremely pleased to be here today to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Denmark and China. I would also like to thank Ambassador Xie for the invitation to address this distinguished audience – and thank you for your kind words about the relationship between Denmark and China. As you know, the Danish Government attaches enormous importance to this relationship, and I fully agree with you that the relations between Denmark and China are strong, on the right track and developing rapidly.

Let no one be in any doubt that this 60-year anniversary is an important milestone for our two coun¬tries. Therefore, I am also proud to host a reception later today at Eigtveds Pakhus, which is located just opposite the Foreign Ministry, to celebrate the Sino Danish rela¬tions. Here I will talk about some of the key developments that have marked our relationship over the years. For now, I will limit myself to a few words about the astounding achievements of China and the importance of strong diplomatic ties.

The rise of China is changing the world. Since 1978, when the Reform and Opening Up Process was launched, millions of Chinese have been lifted out of poverty and into prosperity. China is now very much a force to be reckoned with. The impressive growth rates, which China has been able to maintain despite the severe economic headwind that many other countries are facing today, constitute a helping hand to a global economy that still struggles to overcome the financial crisis. Your continued economic growth is good news both for developed countries like Denmark and for poor, developing countries as well. Indeed, the domestic success of China brings benefits to the world as a whole.

It has almost become a truism among politicians and journalists, but it deserves to be said nevertheless. China has truly become a global power and no major issue affecting the international community today can be solved without the involvement of China. Whether we have to deal with climate change, nuclear proliferation, financial stability, regional conflicts or trade policy, the world needs strong and active Chinese involvement. I believe that it is a fair assessment to say that Chinese leaders have accelerated China’s global involvement in recent years and that you are now playing a political role more in tune with your tremendous economic clout.

I firmly believe that we need more China in the world and not less. The Danish Government welcomes strong Chinese engagement in peacekeeping operations; we welcome Chinese involvement in the push for free trade and in the efforts to ensure a peaceful resolution of the conflict on the Korean peninsula. And of course, let me be perfectly frank with you, the world also needs China’s continued efforts to reach a globally binding agreement about climate change on the basis of the Copenhagen Accord.

These are key areas, where the international community has benefited from China’s engagement in recent years and where there is scope for further engagement and an even stronger co-operation between China, the US and Europe. On this happy occasion, I am pleased to reconfirm our commitment to increase and further strengthen our dialogue and cooperation with China about these and other important issues. This goes for our bilateral dialogue as well as the dialogue between the European Union and China, where Denmark is also a partner.

Denmark and China have enjoyed different paths to development, and we have different political systems. We do not always agree, but we have a friendship based on mutual respect. This friendship – together with the longstanding diplomatic ties, which we celebrate today – has made it possible for us to address also difficult issues in a frank and at the same time constructive manner.

The Danish diplomatic presence in China today is larger than in any other country in the world, and we greatly value the networks that this diplomatic presence yields. I am sure that I speak for everyone present here today Ambassador Xie, when I say that it is in no small measure thanks to your personal efforts and amazing diplomatic skills that the political, cultural and commercial ties between our two countries have gone to new heights. It is thanks to your involvement that important contracts have been signed, that Chinese investors have managed to find Danish partners, that sensitive questions have been clarified and that potentially disruptive disputes have been resolved. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally and to thank your hardworking colleagues for these efforts.

I am convinced that Denmark and China have a strong and solid basis for the continued development of our partnership in the years to come. I am equally convinced that both sides will be able to reap big benefits from such an evolving partnership. Let me therefore conclude my speech by proposing a toast to the continued friendship between China and Denmark.

Cheers. “Ganbei”.

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