At the State Banquet Hosted by His Excellency the President of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin

Speech of His Majesty King Abdullah II

At the State Banquet Hosted by His Excellency the President of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin

06 December 1999

Your Excellency President Jiang Zemin,
Mrs Jiang,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The warmth and joy that Queen Rania, my delegation, and I have felt since our arrival to Beijing is yet another of the many examples of the great bonds of friendship that my people and country share with China and the Chinese people. And our honour and pride to be amongst you in your great nation is also a testimony of my peoples' great esteem and high regard for China. These sentiments are only equalled by our determination to continue moving ahead in order to achieve, together, further dignity and prosperity.

Your Excellency,

You have been a shining example not only by how you have managed the welfare of a quarter of the inhabitants of our world, but also by how you have excelled in all fields that relate to the progress of humanity. China's role, a role that has spanned the breadth of our planet with breakthroughs in the fields of science and technology, economics and humanities, can only be saluted and applauded.

Your continuous struggle and your open leadership has had the greatest impact on the development of a third world that strives with greater ambition to achieve a better and more prosperous life that is based on cooperation, in order to create a more stable social and economic relationship that can slowly bridge the rift between North and South.

Jordan, Your Excellency, is a country that has been able to make up for the scantiness of its natural resources by relying on and developing the richness of its citizens. For it is the well-trained, able, and competent individual that has been able to make the best of the meagre resources at hand, as we endeavour to provide our people with better opportunities through more developmental programs. These endeavours have included many steps which we have undertaken, chief amongst them a number of new laws that have been ratified and implemented, which have created perhaps one of the most positive investment climates in the world. These laws create a basis to protect investments and include many incentives, amongst them, the Qualified Industrial Zones, whose products enter the United States free from tariffs and quotas, and which only last week witnessed the unveiling of a major Chinese project that will bring the best of China and the best of Jordan together under one roof. We hope that this will be the first of many projects and a shining example for continuous Jordanian-Chinese co-ordination and cooperation.

Our efforts, Your Excellency, which are born from our strong belief in the sanctity of the rights of the individual to live in dignity, freedom and prosperity, are the basis for our commitment to finding a just and lasting solution to all the problems around the world. And it is this commitment that has made us, and will continue to make us, adamant in pursuing every chance towards achieving a just and lasting peace based on the return of land for peace. All land, for a real peace. It is also this commitment that has made us continue to address all international arenas to highlight the plight of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian problem is not just a political one, but also a humane and moral one, which will only be truly solved, and thus bring about a true peace, when addressed in this way. And in this context, Your Excellency, may I say how appreciative Jordan is of China's important role in the UN and on the regional and international fronts. Your important role was most recently exemplified in your selfless and objective stance during Asia's latest economic crisis, which was an example for us all of real regional cooperation. May I also thank you for your principal role in our part of the world, which we have relied on for strength and support.

Your Excellency,

My late father, His Majesty King Hussein, used to say, "the world is divided between those who have wealth and those who have power, and there is a real need to find a middle ground to close the divide and bring stability." With your help, and with the help of many of our friends, we will be able to reinforce the concept of understanding and moderation, and to promote the message of peace throughout the world. And we, in Jordan, will spare no effort to strengthen the dialogue between peoples and civilisations in order to achieve openness, freedom, democracy and the calling of peace. I personally am a believer, not only in taking advantage of situations, but also in the importance of creating them, and it is in this spirit that we are here to discuss with you ways and means to achieve security, stability and prosperity. For you are a great nation that is able to fortify the principles of legitimacy and justice, and we look to you to help us achieve that, and to your support in improving our economic situation through greater bilateral cooperation.

In closing, Your Excellency, I hope that you will give us the honour and opportunity to return your wonderful hospitality by visiting us in Jordan in the near future.

Please join me, ladies and gentlemen, in rising and saluting His Excellency President Jiang Zemin and Mrs Jiang, and the eternal friendship between the two brotherly peoples, and may this relationship soar to even greater heights.

Thank you.