October 1 is China's National Day and the Independence Day of Cyprus. Our two countries share not only the same National Day but also a similar mission for national reunification. This is why China has all along firmly supported all efforts by relevant parties in Cyprus and the international community towards the resolution of the Cyprus Problem on the basis of relevant UN resolutions. Despite the current obstacles, we believe that doors to negotiations are still open and that the Cypriots have the will,wisdom and power to overcome the difficulties.
This year marks the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. In the past 69 years, the Chinese people have stood up and become masters of our own destiny. China's economic aggregate grew by nearly 1,000 times, making it world's second largest economy that contributes over 30% to global economic growth. China's poverty population has decreased by 740 million, contirbuting about 70% of global poverty reduction. China's peaceful development has made it an active contributor to world economy, an effective guardian of world peace and order and a staunch supporter and advocate of world equity and justice.
This year we also celebrate the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. A miracle in the history of human developement, China's reform and opening up has been crucial to the country's social and economic transformation by increasing economic growth rate and efficiency and bringing tremendous benefits to the Chinese people. Through it China has stood up,prospered and grown closer to the outside world. China,however,remains the largest developing country in the world with 47 million people still living in poverty. Further reforms are necessary and challenging as we work towards national modernization. China's reforms will not stop. China's doors will remain open.
This year is also the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. China provided this global public product to the international community out of the belief that through the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, China can benefit from a better world and vice versa. We welcome the world aboard the express train of China's development. China hopes to build a community of shared destiny to joiny adress various challenges. China will not engage in trade protectionism out of sheer self-interests, neither will we violate international rules or resort to bullying as we grow stronger. It is the firm belief of the Chinese Government that one who wishes to be established seeks also to establish others. It has been the consistent practice of the Chinese people that we do not do unto others what we do not want others to do unto us.
China and Cyprus enjoy long-term friendship. Our bilateral cooperation in various fields heralds great potential. In recent months, the two governments signed an agreement on mutual recognition of higher education degrees and a bilateral extradition treaty. The National People's Congress of China and the House of Representatives of Cyprus will soon sign a MOU for cooperation between the legislatures. The two sides have been working closely on an intergovernmental MOU on cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The friendship between the Chinese and Cypriot people has been long cherished. China-Cyprus relations have been at the forefront of China-EU relations. I sincerely hope that our two countries and peoples can work together to further deepen political mutual trust, promote economic and trade cooperation, and strengthen cultural exchanges. I strongly believe that China and Cyprus will continue our close coordination in international affairs and support each other on issues involving each other's core interests and major concerns. I look forward to a brighter future for China-Cyprus relations.