Speech by Consul General Long Zhou at the Reception in celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

2nd September 2019, Hobart

Your Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC, Governor of Tasmania, and Mr. Richard Warner,

Hon. Will Hodgman MP, Premier of Tasmania,

Hon. Sir Guy Green AC KBE CVO, Former Governor of Tasmania,

Mr. Rufus Black, Vice Chancellor of the University of Tasmania,

Mr. Tim Ault, Director, Tasmania State Office DFAT,

Mr. Wang Xinde, President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Tasmania,

Mr. Brian Chung, President of Chinese Community Association of Tasmania,

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

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,    

Good evening! I’m delighted to have you all at our reception in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Let me begin by extending my heart-felt thanks and sincere appreciations to all the friends who have the unfailing care and support of  China’s development, China-Australia and China-Tasmania friendship.

Today, we gather here to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It is fair to say that the past 70 years have been extremely phenomenal and extraordinary. Our nation has made tremendous achievements, hard-won and never seen before in history.

With 70 years of relentless efforts, the Chinese people have turned China from a poor and backward agricultural country into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial manufacturer, and the largest trader in goods. Indeed, China has become the largest trading partner and largest export market of nearly 130 countries and regions. The GDP of China in 2018, reaching over US $13 trillion, is 175 times as many as that of New China 70 years ago.

China has become an important engine of the global economy, contributing about 30% of the world economic growth annually on average in recent years. Our global competitiveness and innovation capacity have increased significantly. In just a few decades, some 800 million people in China have been lifted out of poverty and a middle income population of over 400 million has been cultivated.

By 2020, all people living below the current poverty line will be taken out of poverty, the first time in our history. The aspirations for a prosperous and strong country, national rejuvenation and happiness of the Chinese people are becoming a reality.

After 70 years of development, China now stands at a historic new point. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with President Xi Jinping at its core, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. Nearly 1.4 billion Chinese people are striding forward on the new journey of great national rejuvenation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today’s world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. How will a stronger China engage the rest of the world? It is not only a question that many foreign friends have concerns about, but also a question to be answered by China.

Firstly, we will focus on managing our own affairs well. With all we have achieved in the past 70 years, we are fully aware of where we stand. China’s GDP per capita ranks around 70th in the world, and natural resources per capita in China is lower than average in the world. Apparently, disparities still exist in development between rural and urban areas, between regions. Unbalanced and inadequate development clearly cannot meet our people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. This is the No.1 issue yet to be addressed.

China, the largest developing country in the world, is still confronted with many difficulties and challenges. Pursuing development meeting people’s aspirations for a better life remains our top priority.

We have a long way to go. We will continue to follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, focus on running our own affairs well, maintain strategic focus and confidence in response to external uncertainties, and promote coordinated economic, political, cultural, social and ecological advancement.

Secondly, we will stay true to the path of peaceful development. Knowing too well the agonizing sufferings inflicted by wars and conflicts, the Chinese people deeply cherish a peaceful and stable life. Pursuing peaceful development is not an act of expediency, but rather a long-term strategy which is deeply rooted in peace-loving tradition of the Chinese nation.

No matter how the international situation changes or how developed it may become, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.

We will remain committed to working with all other countries to build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.

We will firmly uphold the international laws and basic norms governing international relations.

We will join hands with others to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.

Thirdly, we will continue to promote all-round opening-up. As President Xi Jinping has reaffirmed on many occasions, China’s door will only open wider to the world. At the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the G20 Osaka Summit, President Xi announced further steps towards opening market, expanding imports and improving business environment, and welcomed all interested partners to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.

China will continue to stand for multilateralism and free trade, and will expand opening-up to promote the high-quality development. A more open China will bring more opportunities, and make greater contributions to the world rather than pose a threat or a challenge.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As countries of great importance in the Asia-Pacific, China and Australia share broad common interests in maintaining peace and stability, and promoting common development and prosperity.

Our two countries have no historic grievances or conflicts in fundamental interests. Our economies are highly complementary. It’s in the fundamental interest of our two countries and peoples to strengthen mutual understanding and trust, properly manage differences based on equality, mutual respect, and mutual benefit, thus promoting the China-Australia relations back on the right track.

Two months ago, I have had the pleasure to meet with H.E. the Hon. Governor Kate Warner, Hon. Premier Will Hodgman and representatives from all works of life during my first official visit to Tasmania. I was deeply impressed by the enchanting scenery, the enthusiastic people and the enthusiasm showed by the State Government and the broader society for developing our friendly relations. The Chinese side appreciates the resolution and efforts of the Tasmanian Government led by the Premier Will Hodgman to promote the cooperation between China and Tasmania. Although China and Tasmania may be at a significant distance geographically, the cooperation in the areas of economy, trade, culture and education have achieved fruitful results. That means distance will never be a problem. At present, China has become Tasmania’s largest trading partner, largest source of overseas students and international tourist receipts.

This year also marks the fifth anniversary of President Xi’s visit to Tasmania. The cooperation between China and Tasmania has reached at a new starting point. I believe that with our joint efforts, the exchange and cooperation between us will be pushed towards a higher level.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Chinese community is an integral part of the multicultural Australian society and makes important contributions to the economic and social development of Tasmania. I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to you all for caring about the development of China and promoting the friendship between China and Australia. I also hope that the Chinese community will continue to work hard, pay back to the local community and serve as linking bridge, contribute more to the friendship between our two countries and mutual understanding between our two peoples.

To conclude, may our great motherland be prosperous and stable, and the Chinese people live joyfully in peace!

May the friendship between our two peoples last forever!

May the health, happiness and prosperity be with all friends present!

Thank you.

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