The Acting President of the Republic, Mr Demetris Syllouris, at the reception to honour the National Day of China

It is an immense pleasure for me to be here and to celebrate with you an auspicious event: The 67th anniversary of the National Day of the People’s Republic of China.

Aside from its historic importance, the anniversary is also momentous for another reason: It made the Chinese people masters of their own destiny and China free of foreign interference and interventions, both long overdue. Such accomplishments did not arrive easily, as they demanded enormous sacrifices.

The importance of Chinese independence can hardly be stressed. The role your country has been playing in global affairs, Mr Ambassador, has been recognized by many, and rightly so. There is an additional dimension to this observation, since China is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Its constructive role in world affairs acquires more weight and substance, given that we live in turbulent times: Intolerance, animosity, hate and terrorism have entered into the vocabulary of many and are often translated into acts of violence aimed at the core of our beliefs and values, while casting considerable doubt onto our very existence.

Cyprus has every reason to celebrate the anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. Aside from many common elements our two nations share, like the struggle for national independence, freedom and dignity, Cyprus has often relied on China’s support to defend its inalienable rights, when their value and very existence was questioned. The strong and unbreakable bond, which has been formed by our two countries, has withstood the test of time. It is reinforced every day.

This December marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries, an event that demands its special recognition and appropriate celebration.

China has always been a trustworthy and reliable friend, on whose assistance we can always count. During times of dire need, like the Turkish invasion in 1974 and, more recently, following the severe financial crisis, China was there to offer more than just mere words of encouragement. It is for this reason that we look forward to further forging and strengthening our friendship and cooperation, especially in areas like investments and tourism, to name just two. The visit to China by President Anastasiades, in October last year, and that to Cyprus in December of the same year by the Foreign Minister, Mr Wang Yi, are significant steps to that effect.

Cyprus and China have come a long way since acquiring their independence. The path has not been easy, quite the contrary. It has been arduous in extremely demanding circumstances. This said, I believe we have every right to look forward with optimism to better days, when our huge sacrifices shall prove not to have been in vain.

Let us all raise our glasses and drink to the well being, progress and prosperity of the Chinese people, wishing them and their leadership a most happy anniversary.

Source: Press and Information Office.