BEIJING - On the eve of the 70th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China which falls on Tuesday, leaders around the world hailed its great strides in national development and enormous contributions to global peace and growth.
"I am witness to the tremendous development of China," said former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin in a recent interview with Xinhua. "I saw China becoming proud of herself."
Raffarin, who first came to China in 1970 and has frequently visited it later, recalled that in the past, he saw families of four to five people, sometimes more, living in one room. "Nowadays, comforts of modern housing are present everywhere," he said. "You feel a major change - people, especially young people, look confident."
Thai Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said he first visited China about 40 years ago and found something new every time he travelled to the country afterwards.
China has made great accomplishments in such fields as science and technology, arts and culture, education, medicine and social welfare, he said.
Milo Djukanovic, president of Montenegro, told Xinhua that "China has really shown that it has founded its vision of development on reforms and openness, as well as a flawless analysis of the social circumstances in China itself, and it clearly saw its opportunities, possibilities, needs and wishes."
"I believe the essence of the Chinese success is reform and opening up, as well as its integration into the global economy. This is why I think that this kind of China's development is well-founded," Djukanovic said.
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen noted that with its land area less than 10 percent of the world's total, China feeds nearly 20 percent of the world's population.
"This is an achievement that should not be overlooked, and it is a great achievement under the leadership of the Communist Party of China," he said.
"Besides the development of its own country, China has played an important role in maintaining peace and in bringing prosperity to the region and the world," added the Cambodian leader.
Noting that China has helped Cambodia construct more than 3,000 km of roads throughout the country and eight large-scale crossing bridges, Hun Sen said China's assistance with Cambodia's infrastructure construction has helped boost Cambodia's economy vigorously.
China is willing to help with Africa's bid for prosperity, said President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea. "We welcome China's help."
"We take pride in our relationship with China," Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Ishtaye told Xinhua, hailing China's long-running aid and consistent support for Palestine.
In 2013, China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with other parts of the world along the ancient Silk Road trade routes and beyond.
So far, China has signed BRI cooperation documents with more than 160 countries and international organizations, and related joint efforts have borne rich fruit.
"For this initiative, I attended two meetings in 2017 and April 2019, and I've seen that more and more countries have participated in the BRI," Hun Sen said.
In Raffarin's eyes, the BRI "is a great project of international cooperation," alongside other Chinese efforts to promote multilateralism and tackle climate change.
"In this world of interdependence, we must expand our thinking beyond all forms of nationalism to assume our common destiny. For all this, China will remain useful to the world," he said.