Speech delivered by Chinese President Jiang Zemin at the University of Cambridge on October 22.1999
Students and Faculty, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I would like to thank you, Sir Alec Broers, Vice-Chancellor, for the invitation, which brings me to the famous Cambridge University.
It gives me great pleasure to be together with young friends in a discussion on how mankind should rise up to the challenge in the new century and build a better future.
Cambridge University is a world-renowned university with a history of more than 700 years. It has nurtured great scientists, thinkers and poets such as Newton, Bacon, Milton, Byron and Darwin, who made outstanding contribution to the progress of mankind.
Today, Cambridge University, which has produced more Nobel Prize winners than any other university, still takes a significant place among all the institutions of higher learning in the world.
Over fifty years ago when I was a university student, many young Chinese students were longing for an opportunity to come and study in Cambridge.
This university began its contacts with China as early as the beginning of the last century.
A hundred years ago, Cambridge started the Chinese language course.
The late Dr. Joseph Needham of Cambridge University enjoyed a high prestige in the Chinese academic circles.
He devoted his entire life to the writing of Science and Civilization in China, a monumental work for study on ancient Chinese science and technology and cultural achievements.
For 100 years, many Chinese scholars, best represented by Mr. Hua Luogeng, an outstanding Chinese mathematician, have traveled long distances to study in Cambridge.
Today, the Chinese academic community still maintains good exchanges and cooperation with Cambridge.
This has played a positive role in and exerted a sound influence on enhanced cultural exchanges and friendship between the Chinese and British people and progress in science and technology as well as in thinking.
n the 20th century, mankind has created material and spiritual wealth unmatched by any other time in history.
Regrettably, it is also in these 100 years that humanity has experienced unprecedented hardships, particularly the havoc of the two world wars.
However, it is always the people of the world that make and write world history. In this sense, justice will inevitably prevail over evil, light over darkness and progress over backwardness. Mankind will undoubtedly keep on overcoming difficulties and obstacles, blaze new trails and steadily move forward to a better future.
The 21st century is approaching. The people of the world still face many tough challenges, but definitely they also see enormous opportunities for development.
So long as the people of the world work in unison and form a strong force to tackle all challenges, mankind with its civilization will continue to march forward against all odds. like a ship braving the wind and the waves. People of different countries have traversed different roads of historical development. Each nation with its own cultural background, social system and value, will continue to lead a life in its own way.
The world is colorful and diversified.
People of different countries have traversed different roads of historical development. Each nation with its own cultural background, social system and value, will continue to lead a life in its own way.
This diversity is the very reason why the world is full of competition, vigor and innovation.
Countries should enhance exchanges and understanding, and move ahead together on the basis of mutual respect and equality. They should not allow the diversity to be a barrier to their forward march, still less should they deliberately provoke confrontation and conflict.
To respect and develop the diversity of world civilization and identify therefrom common interests are a great driving force propelling human society forward.
Here, I want to share with you some of my thoughts on China's development, in the hope that it will give you a better understanding of my country.
The People's Republic of China has just celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Fifty years are but a brief moment for Chinese civilization that has been going on for more than 5,000 years.