Consul General Zhao Jian' Remarks at the Reception Marking the 67th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China


Hon. Robin Scott MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Finance

Hon. Bruce Atkinson MLC,

Hon. Telmo Languiller MP,

Hon. John Brumby,

Hon. Ted Baillieu,

Mrs. Inga Peulich MP, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Shadow Minister for Scrutiny of Government

Distinguished members of the parliament and city councilors,

Colleagues of the Consular Corps,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening!

And warm welcome to the celebration marking the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Please allow me to take this opportunity to give my heartfelt gratitude to friends who have contributed and are contributing to the friendly cooperation between China and Australia. Without your valuable support and great efforts, our cooperative relations couldn’t have been as fruitful as they are today.

China, during the past 67 years, has gone through remarkable changes. Today’s China stands as the world’s second biggest economy, the biggest trader of goods and the third largest direct overseas investor. 38 years of reform and opening-up have lifted over 700 million people out of poverty and significantly improve the livelihood of its 1.3 billion people. China’s per capita GDP is now close to 8,000 US dollars. In the first half of this year, the growth rate of China’s economy was 6.7%, which was among the fastest in major economies, and very remarkable for a US$ 10 trillion economy. Today’s 6-7% growth actually generates more than US$ 800 billion in economic volume, equivalent to a medium-sized economy in the world. China remains an important engine to world economic growth, contributing about 25% to global growth.

The World’s second largest economy as it is, China remains a developing country, and much awaits to be done in modernization. China will continue to take development as the top priority, implement the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, and maintain medium-to-high growth of our economy for a long time to come. China will steadfastly deepen reform in an all-round way, with an emphasis on supply-side structural reform, and continues to expand opening-up. At the same time, China will continue to exercise law-based governance and promote equity and sharing of development outcomes. we will make the pie of economic development bigger and ensure that people get a fair share of it. China will continue to pursue a win-win strategy of opening-up, and will promote development by upholding peace. China’s development has benefited from the international community, and we are ready to provide more public goods to the international community. China has proposed the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and has initiated the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China is ready to seek synergy between the development strategies of different nations, enhance complementarities between our economies, so that we can share development opportunities and promote mutual prosperity.

In early September, China hosted the G20 summit in Hangzhou. The theme of the summit was “Toward an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”. With this theme, world leaders reached common ground and put forward a series of major initiatives and measures to strengthen macro policy coordination, find new ways of growth, improve global economic and financial governance, revitalize international trade and investment, the two engines of global growth, and pursue common development. This consensus will undoubtedly help the world economy move along a path of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and Australia are both important members of the Asia-Pacific family. Although different in cultural traditions, social systems and stages of development, our two peoples cherish deep friendship towards each other, and our countries are both focused on economic development and livelihood improvement. We both strive to promote stability and prosperity of our region. A strong China-Australia relationship is in the fundamental interest of both nations. During President Xi Jinping’s successful state visit to Australia in 2014, our two countries decided to build a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. And in the following year, the signing and implementation of ChAFTA gave strong impetus to our mutual cooperation, and opened up a wider door to long-term prosperity of our two countries.

As Australia’s second most populated state, and well-known for its vibrant economy, top-class education, cutting-edge technology and rich culture, Victoria enjoys many advantages in developing friendly cooperation with China. China has been Victoria’s largest trading partner and largest source of international students for many years in a row. And in recent years, China tops the chart of Victoria’s international visitor’s expenditure. In the first half of this year, we have noted a downward trend for exports of many states and Australia as a whole, but Victoria’s export to China grew by 6.7% and our two-way trade grew by 7.6%. This is a clear demonstration of the win-win nature of our economic and trade relations. It also shows that there is great potential in our partnership.

China and Australia are not only business partners, we should also be good friends who respect and trust each other. That actually is what the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership means. As Premier Andrews often puts, our relations are beyond transactions, we need to build on mutual understanding and trust. For years, Victoria has been fostering understanding and people to people links between the two sides, with the visionary Victorian Young Leaders to China program being a great success. In this past April, the Victorian government laid out a blueprint for comprehensive cooperation with China in its new China Strategy. In June, the Governor Her Excellency Linda Dessau visited China. Last week, Premier Andrews just wrapped up his second official visit to China successfully. All of these will strongly propel the all-round cooperation between Victoria and China.

As the cultural capital of Australia, Melbourne and Victoria have always played an important role in the people-to-people relations between China and Australia. Chinese tennis player Li Na won her “best Australian Open victory” in Melbourne, ushering in a new chapter of China-Australia sports exchanges. Last year’s Qianlong Emperor exhibition jointly organized by the Palace Museum and the NGV brought some 70,000 visitors together. The three-year-old Chinese New Year Concert by MSO and Maestro Tan Dun has developed into a cultural brand for Melbournians. To build on these successes, the China National Peking Opera Company will bring its master piece to Melbourne in the coming November, and the National Ballet of China will join Asia TOPA next March. Besides, more and more people in China are interested in Melbourne Cup, and are developing a love for Australian football… The list goes on and on. In one word, more exchanges, more understanding and our two peoples will be drawn close with each other.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

September is the golden autumn for Beijing and the promising spring for Melbourne. This is also a time of harvest and a time of hope for our bilateral relationship. As China’s new Consul General to Melbourne, I am, since my arrival last month, overwhelmed with the passion of Victorian People towards China. I also felt the strong force for further and more extensive cooperation between Victoria and China. I am ready to join hands with you in promoting the win-win China-Victoria ties, and in contributing to the healthy and stable development of China-Australia relations.

In conclusion, let me propose a toast--

To the health of everyone,

To the prosperity of our two countries and happiness of our two peoples and

To China-Australia friendship!


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