Speech by Consul-General Zhao Jian at the 2018 Australia-China Youth Dialogue
2018/11/21

2 November 2018, Melbourne  

The Hon Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria,

Young Friends from China and Australia,

Good afternoon.

It is an honour for me to join you at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Australia-China Youth Dialogue.

Since its inception in 2010, the Dialogue has served as a platform for young talents from different sectors in China and Australia to meet and exchange views with each other, building bridges for inter-cultural exchanges and long-term friendship.

Many of you present here today have been personally involved in China-Australia cooperation in various fields. The brainstorming you are going to have here will contribute positively to the development of our relations and you are the reason why we are full of confidence about a future of enduring friendship and mutually-beneficial cooperation between our two countries.  

Since China and Australia established diplomatic relations in 1972, considerable progress has been made in our exchanges and cooperation, which has spurred our respective economies and brought real benefits to our people.

China has been Australias largest trading partner, largest export market and largest source of import for many years in a row. As things now 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. The young people have become important participants, contributors and beneficiaries in the development of China-Australia cooperation.

This year, the Dialogue is held in Melbourne, Victoria. Being Australias 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. Thanks to our joint efforts, China is now Victorias largest trading partner, largest source of international students and largest source of tourist receipts.

Recently, Victoria and China signed an MOU on Belt and Road cooperation, making Victoria the first Australian state to formally participate in the Belt and Road cooperation.

With some big-name innovation-driven Chinese companies like Alibaba and Didi coming to Melbourne to open offices and over 60 Victorian businesses going to Shanghai to attend the first China International Import Expo to be held on 5 November, the long-term partnership between China and Victoria based on mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefit is growing from strength to strength and contributing more to our common development and prosperity.

Youth are our hope and future. You have great potential not only to pursue personal development but to fulfill the important missions of the times. You have not only great dreams but the ability to make dreams come true.

 I hope you will rise to the responsibility and opportunities of the times and fully leverage your vitality, creativity and capability to make greater accomplishments in your respective areas. I also hope you will maintain your enthusiasm and support for China-Australia friendship and do more to promote the sound and steady development of China-Australia relations.

To conclude, I wish the Dialogue a complete success!

Thank you.

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