Speech by Consul-General Zhao Jian at the Reception Marking the 69th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China
2018/09/28

Melbourne, 26 September 2018  

Hon Philip Dalidakis MLC, Minister for Trade and Investment Representing the Premier of Victoria,

Hon Bruce Atkinson MLC, President of Victorian Legislative Council,

Hon Colin Brooks MP, Speaker of Victorian Legislative Assembly,

Hon Inga Peulich MLC, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs Representing the Leader of Opposition in Victoria,

Hon Luke Donnellan MP, Minister for Roads and Road Safety and Ports,

Hon Robin Scott MP, Minister for Finance and Minster for Multicultural Affairs,

Hon Robert Clark MP, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations and Shadow Minister for Counter Terrorism,

Hon Michael Gidley MP, Shadow Assistant Minister for Small Business, Investment, Jobs and Trade,

Hon Hong Lim MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Asia Engagement,

Hon Telmo Languiller, Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly,

Hon Andrew Robb, Former Federal Minister for Trade,

City Councilors,

Former Mayors,

Colleagues from the Consular Corps,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Good evening!

A warm welcome to you all to our reception celebrating the 69th birthday of the People’s Republic of China.

To begin with, I wish to express sincere thanks and pay high respects to all the friends who have cared about and supported Chinas development and China-Australia friendship.  

The past 69 years since the founding of the New China have seen tremendous changes in our country. The hard-working Chinese people have blazed a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics that has turned China from a poor backward agricultural country into the world's second largest economy, largest trader in goods and second largest import market and lifted hundreds of millions of people out poverty, writing a splendid chapter in our history of national development.

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held last year ushered in a new era for socialism with Chinese characteristics. It drew up a blueprint for building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and instilled new vitality into China's effort to achieve shared prosperity with the rest of the world. Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the more than 1.3 billion Chinese people are working tirelessly to realize the Chinese dream of great national rejuvenation.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. What we have achieved in past four decades are truly remarkable, which has not only enhanced the Chinese people's living standards, but also contributed significantly to the prosperity and stability of the world. Contributing about 30% of the world economic growth annually on average in the past decade, China has become a key anchor and engine of the global economy.

In April this year, at the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a solemn commitment that "China's door of opening-up will not be closed and will only open even wider". He also announced a number of new measures to open China further, including considerably easing the market access, creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening protection of intellectual property rights and taking the initiative to expand import from other countries.

Earlier this month, the 2018 Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was successfully held in Beijing. This is a historic meeting aimed at enhancing practical cooperation and promoting common development between China and Africa, and has demonstrated to the world the sincere wish and firm resolve of China to make greater contributions to the international community.

This coming November, China will host the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai, a major move of China to reaffirm its firm support for trade liberalization and actively open its market to the world. It will be a new platform that offers new opportunities for the rest of the world to access the Chinese market.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the "Belt and Road" initiative put forward by President Xi. Over the past five years, the implementation of the BRI, which follows the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and share benefits, has opened up broad prospects for win-win cooperation between China and the world. Although it originated in China, it belongs to the world and will bring worldwide benefits. It is an initiative of peace, cooperation, openness and bright future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Both China and Australia are countries of great importance in the Asia-Pacific, sharing broad common interests in maintaining peace and stability and promoting common development and prosperity of the region. The development of bilateral relations over the past 46 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties has brought real benefits to people on both sides.

China has been Australia's largest trading partner, largest export market and source of import for many years in a row. As things stand, there are more than two million mutual visits between us each year, about 200 thousand Chinese students are studying in Australia, and nearly 8,000 Australian students have gone to study in China under the sponsorship of the New Colombo Plan initiated by the Australian government. All this has not come easily. We should cherish what we have achieved and work to meet the common aspiration of our people for closer friendship and cooperation. To that end, we need to steer our relations along the right track of development by treating each other with respect, constantly enhancing mutual understanding and mutual trust, and expanding common ground and areas of cooperation.

Being Australia's second largest state in both population and economy and the cultural capital and education state, Victoria is in a unique position to develop cooperation with China. And all the successive Victorian governments have put China relations high on their agenda. Now China has become Victorias largest trading partner, largest source of international students and largest source of tourist receipts.

Since Premier Andrews came into office, he has made four fruitful visits to China, and his government has made impressive progress in implementing the new China Strategy, further taking forward Victoria's exchanges and cooperation with China in all fields.

The Chinese side highly appreciates the Victorian government's vision of building long-term partnership with China on the basis of mutual respect and mutual trust and making Victoria the gateway connecting China and Australia. I'm confident that with joint effort, China-Victoria exchanges and cooperation will thrive with greater vigor and vitality.

The Chinese community here is an integral part of the multicultural Australian society. Not long ago, the Chinese community and people of all walks of life in Victoria jointly commemorated the 200 years of Chinese immigration to Australia. Over the past two centuries, they have worked hard in defiance of all the hardship and toil, and made a real effort to integrate into the Australian society while carrying on the fine traditions of the Chinese culture. To their credit, they have made unique and important contributions to the economic and social development and cultural diversity of Australia, and played a positive role in promoting the development of China-Australia relations. I hope that the Chinese community here will continue to serve as a linking bridge between China and Australia and contribute more to the common development of our two countries and the deepening friendship between our two peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Recent years have seen profound changes in the international landscape. Yet peace and development remain the defining features of the times, and openness and cooperation the call of the day. On our part, China stays committed to the path of peaceful development and the win-win strategy of opening-up, and remains as determined as ever to maintain world peace, promote global development and uphold the international order. We are ready to work together with Australia and other countries to build a new type of international relations and a community of shared future for mankind to create an even better world.

To conclude, let us extend best wishes for the continued prosperity of China and Australia, the well-being and happiness of the Chinese and Australian people, and the deepening friendship between our two countries and peoples.

Thank you!

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