Speech by Consul-General Zhao Jian at the China Alumni Evening

Mr Tim Ada, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources,

Mr Liu Guoqiang, President of Australian Tertiary Chinese Teachers Association,

Teachers and Students,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

Welcome to the Chinese Consulate for the China Alumni Evening. Joining us today are recipients of Victorian government scholarships for China and Chinese government scholarships and winners of the Chinese Bridge Competition. It is the love of the Chinese language and culture that have brought us together today. We also owe it to the Victorian government who has been very supportive of the people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Australia.

In fact, the Victorian government introduced the Hamer Scholarship in 2012 and the Victorian Young Leaders to China Program in 2013, which have respectively sponsored nine rounds of young Victorians and about a thousand high school students to study in China. Last year, partnering with the China Education Association for International Exchange, the Economic Development Department established the Study Melbourne Language and Internship Program, under which over 20 students will go to study in China each year. On our part, the Chinese government also offers some scholarships to Victorian candidates every year. All this has made the circle of China alumni bigger and bigger.

By learning Chinese and visiting China, you can gain a better and deeper understanding of the Chinese culture, Chinas development and the Chinese people. China, both an ancient and modern country, is experiencing rapid changes. The Chinese people are working hard to pursue a better life. And committed to reform, opening up and win-win cooperation, we are ready to work with friends in other countries to build a better world. I believe that the experiences of studying in China will be an important fond memory of your life.

Being Australias second largest state in both population and economy and the cultural capital and education state, Victoria has always played a significant role in promoting Australia-China exchanges and cooperation. Thanks to our joint efforts, China has become Victorias largest trading partner, largest source of international students and largest source of tourist receipts. The Victorian government is committed to building a long-term partnership with China on the basis of mutual respect and mutual trust, creating an favourable environment for our cultural and educational exchanges. More recently, in another show of its confidence and vision about Victoria-China relations, the Victorian government signed an MOU on Belt and Road cooperation with China, making Victoria the first Australian state to formally participate in the Belt and Road” cooperation.

As the Chinese saying goes, “the key to sound state-to-state relations lies in amity between the people, and the key to amity between the people lies in mutual understanding. We hope that more young Australians will have the chance to study in China, and more young friends from both sides will engage in bilateral exchanges and cooperation and contribute to China-Australia friendship.

To conclude, I hope you will take tonights opportunity to renew friendship and make new friends while enjoying the Chinese food. Have an enjoyable evening!

Thank you.

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