Speech by Consul General Zhao Jian at the 160th Anniversary of the Great Walk from Robe to Victoria by Chinese Gold Miners
2017/06/02
 

Honorable Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria,

Honorable Matthew Guy MP, Leader of Opposition of Victoria,

Honorable Robin Scott MP, Minister Multicultural Affairs,

Mr. Hong Lim MP,

Members of Victorian Parliament,

Leader of the Chinese Community,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great privilege to attend this ceremony which is held to welcome the walkers from Robe, and to commemorate the great walk 160 years ago by tens of thousands of Chinese immigrants. I would like to take this opportunity to express sincere thanks to the organizers, participants and sponsors of this great event.

The great walkers of 160 years ago, through their perseverance, diligence, sacrifice and dedication, opened up a remarkable history of Chinese immigrants in Victoria and in Australia. That is a great heritage not only for their later generations, for the Chinese communities here, but also for Australia, for China and for China-Australia relations.

Among the participants of the walk in the past 20 days, there are people of the local Chinese communities, and also people of other ethnic groups in Australia. This is a respect to the glorious and arduous history of the Chinese settlement in Australia, a recognition of the Chinese people’s contribution and achievement in Australian society, and a support and confidence for the China-Australia relations today.

160 years have passed, and great changes have taken place in Australia, in China and in China-Australia relations. Multiculturalism is now deeply rooted in Australian society and people’s mind. China is making great strides towards building a society of moderate prosperity in a comprehensive way. China and Australia had established a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014 during President Xi Jinping’s historic state visit to Australia. This year, we will celebrate the 45th anniversary our diplomatic ties. The economic, cultural and people-to-people links between our two countries have become closer and closer. China has become Australia’s largest trading partner, biggest source of international students, and biggest source of international tourist revenue. The two-way people-to-people visits reached 2 million and there are nearly 200,000 Chinese students studying in Australia.

Victoria plays a leading role in China-Australia relations. 10 days ago, Premier Andrews made another very successful visit to China. He attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at the invitation of the Chinese government. He also held constructive and fruitful talks with China’s senior officials in Beijing and other cities. We believe our friendship and cooperation based on mutual understanding, mutual trust and mutual benefit will be lifted to a new high.

At the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, President Xi Jinping elaborated on the Silk Road Spirit, the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit. This is a spirit that encourages us to promote the Belt and Road cooperation, it is also a spirit that guides us to develop friendly and cooperative relations with foreign countries including Australia.

160 year ago, Chinese immigrants came to Victoria, the “New Gold Mountain”, in pursuit of better life. 160 years later, the pursuit of better future and common prosperity are linking our two peoples together more closely, and promoting us to engage in more frequent and fruitful exchanges and cooperation. I believe, with this treasured heritage of the Great Walk between us, with the common pursuit for prosperity and happiness, and with the joint efforts from all circles of our societies, our two countries can surely build a even brighter future for our two peoples.

Let me thank again the organizers, participants and sponsors of this great event today.

Thank you.

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