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

Hon. Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria,

Hon. Michael O’Brien, Leader of the Opposition,

Hon. Ted Baillieu, Former Premier of Victoria,

Hon. Bruce Atkinson, Member of the Victoria Legislative Council,

Other Members of the Victorian Parliament,

Members of the Parliament of Australia,

City Councilors and former Mayors,

Friends from the Consular Corps,

Leaders and Members of the Chinese Community

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening! Tonight, on this auspicious occasion, we gather here to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Over the past 70 years, our nation has made tremendous achievements, hard-won and never seen before in history. Our nation has made historical transformation in terms of social productivity and composite national strength.

Our 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. The GDP of China in 2018, reaching over US $13 trillion, is 175 times as many as that of New China 70 years ago.

Our infrastructure has been steadily improved. Emerging industries such as digital economy are thriving. Our global competitiveness and innovation capacity have been increased significantly.

Over the past 70 years, our nation has delivered initial prosperity to its people who were once struggling to meet their basic living needs. 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.

Our people’s employment, education and medical care have been continuously improved. The average life expectancy in China has gone up from about 35 in 1949 to 77 in 2018.

Over the past 70 years, our nation has increasingly integrated itself into the world. From restoring its lawful seat in the UN to taking an active part in UN peacekeeping, addressing the climate change and other hotspot issues, from acceding to the WTO to putting forward the Belt and Road Initiative, China has spared no efforts to safeguard world peace, contribute to global cooperation, and uphold international order.

Meanwhile, we are fully aware of where we stand. 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.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After 70 years of development, China now stands at a historic new point. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade 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.

The achievements of past 70 years have proved that the path China follows-- socialism with Chinese characteristics suited to its own national circumstances, is the right choice.

This is a choice of history, embodying the common will of nearly 1.4 billion Chinese people, and will surely lead the nation to great rejuvenation. We will unswervingly advance along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, thus eventually realizing peaceful national reunification and great national rejuvenation.  

The achievements of past 70 years have proved that China’s development is an opportunity for the world as well. In recent 10 years, China has played its part in helping restore global recovery, contributing to over 30% of global growth.

Now the Belt and Road Initiative has become a platform of opportunities and a road to prosperity for all countries. We will continue to champion free trade multilateralism. On top of the steps already taken recently, we will break new ground in opening-up and delivering high-quality development. We will continue sharing more development opportunities with all countries in the world while pursuing its own development.

The achievements of past 70 years have proved that pursuing peaceful development is the correct way forward. We will stay committed to peaceful development, to working with all other countries to build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind, thus creating a world that enjoys lasting peace and common prosperity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This years also marks the 47th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia.

What brought two countries together 47 years ago? As for me, it should be the long-history friendship and exchanges between two peoples, the common pursuit of our two countries for prosperity and development, as well as the common responsibility of two countries for maintaining regional prosperity and world peace and progress.

Today’s world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. The fundamentals of the relationship remain unchanged, and shouldn’t be changed. What has changed though, is that our two countries’ interests are more closely intertwined. We have a higher stake in each other's future.

We shall allow mutually beneficial cooperation rather than disputes and differences to define the current China-Australia relations. We shall let mutual respect and mutual trust rather than bias, suspicion or misjudgment to determine the future of our relations.

We are confident that our two countries and two peoples have enough wisdom, courage and sense of responsibility to promote the bilateral relations back on the right track, and create a better future for two peoples and the world.

As Premier Andrews said, Victoria-China relationship is beyond transactions, and built on trust and friendship. I couldn’t agree more.

In recent years, our friendly relations have developed smoothly and rapidly with remarkable results. This would not happen without the joint efforts of both sides built on mutual benefit and mutual understanding. This would not happen without the vision and determination of the Victorian Government led by the Premier Andrews. This would not happen without the strong support by two main parties and the broader society, as well as a broad basis of public opinion.

The Belt and Road Cooperation has opened a new chapter in our relations. I believe that with our joint efforts, the exchange and cooperation in such fields as education, health care, culture and sports, livable city and the Belt and Road Initiative between us will be pushed towards a higher level.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over the past 70 years, while integrating into and paying back to the local community, overseas Chinese have kept the motherland in mind, supported and participated the opening-up reform and development of China in active engagement. 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 here will continue to work hard, pay back to the local community, serve as linking bridge, and contribute more to the friendship between our two countries and mutual understanding between our two peoples.

To conclude, I wish our great motherland prosperity and peace, the friendship between our two peoples last forever, all friends present here tonight health, happiness and prosperity.  

Thank you.

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