Speech by Consul General LONG Zhou at the Reception on Occasion of Assumption of Office and in Celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year


(15 February, Melbourne Park Hyatt)

Hon. Robin Scott, Minister for Veterans and Assistant Treasurer, Representing the Premier of Victoria and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs,

Hon. Colin Brooks, Speaker of Victorian Legislative Assembly,

Hon. Bruce Atkinson, State Parliament member , Representing the Opposition Party,

Hon.Ted Baillieu, Former Premier of Victoria,

State Parliament members and City Councillors,

Ms. Su Junxi, President of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Victoria,

Ms. Teresa Chung, President of Chinese Masonic Society Melbourne Lodge,

Colleagues from the Consular Corps,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Good evening!I would like to extend warm welcome and sincere thanks to you all for joining us tonight. It gives me great pleasure to meet you after my arrival in Melbourne 5 days ago. As we usher in the Chinese New Year, I’d like to extend my New Year wishes to you all!

In the past year of 2018, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core, the Chinese Government has firmly implemented the new development concept. We have taken new strides in the reform and opening up, and remarkable achievements have been made in various fields. The economy has progressed steadily. China’s GDP grows by 6.6% year-on-year and contributes more than 30% to world economic growth. The living standards of the Chinese people continue to improve. Over the past year, 10 million more people have been lifted out of poverty.

China's advances over the past year have been made by the Chinese people through vision, hard work, courage, reform, innovation, and mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries, and China has embarked on the right path that fits its conditions and keeps with the trend of the times.

2018 is also a very important year for China-Australia relations. We firmly believe that China and Australia are important partners of each other. China and Australia have far more common interests than differences. Promoting sound and steady development of China-Australia relations on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit, serves the common interests of the two countries and peoples.

In 2018, the exchanges and cooperation between China and states of Victoria and Tasmania grew rapidly and strongly and have become successful example of the development of bilateral ties between our two countries. China has been Victoria and Tasmania’s largest trading partner, important source of investment and largest source of overseas students and international tourism revenue. Victoria and China signed the MOU on "Belt and Road" cooperation. More than 60 Victorian companies participated in the first China International Import Expo. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Chinese New Year Concert has been successfully held for 6 consecutive years and has become the premier Chinese New Year event in Melbourne. The number of Chinese students studying in Victoria and Tasmania has increased to 90,000. More and more Australian young people are learning Chinese or studying in China. The Chinese New Year celebrations in the two states have attracted more people.

These achievements will not be possible without the commitment and hard work of the Government of Victoria, the Government of Tasmania and friends from different social sectors. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all of you for promoting our exchanges and cooperation over the years and for your great assistance and support of the work of my predecessors and that of the Consulate General.

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. This year is also crucial in our endeavor to build China into a moderately prosperous society in all respects. China’s reforms will never stop, and its doors will open ever wider. An opener and more dynamic Chinese economy would bring about huge development opportunities to the rest of the world, including Victoria and Tasmania.

This year, we will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of sister-province relationship between Jiangsu and Victoria, and the 5th anniversary of President Xi Jinping's visit to Tasmania.

2019 will see new opportunities of expanding and deepening cooperation between China, Victoria and Tasmania. That will require us work together shoulder-to-shoulder. In the new year, my colleagues and I will do our utmost, together with friends from all walks of life in Victoria and Tasmania, to take the exchanges and cooperation between China and the two states to new heights, and make greater contribution to the development of China-Australia relations.

Wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Pig!

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