Speech by Consul-General Zhao Jian At the Teachers' Day Reception
2017-09-26 12:36

(8 September 2017)  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Good evening!

Welcome to the Chinese Consulate-General for the Teachers’ Day Reception.

As you know, we celebrate the Teachers’ Day in China on 10 September. Let me take this opportunity to wish all the educators in Victoria a happy Teachers’ Day and extend, in particular, our heartfelt thanks and respects to everyone present here for the great efforts you have made in promoting the Chinese language teaching in Victoria and the educational exchanges and cooperation between our two countries.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of China-Australia diplomatic relations. Over the past 45 years, thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, our friendly relations and cooperation have grown from strength to strength. In 2014, President Xi Jinping paid a successful state visit to Australia, during which our two countries established comprehensive strategic partnership, taking bilateral relations to a new height. The visit by Premier Li Keqiang in the first half of this year has boosted our exchanges and cooperation in a wide range of areas.

It is also good to see that the Victorian government has always attached great importance to developing relations with China. The successful visits to China by Premier Andrews this year and last year have further deepened our friendship and cooperation.

Educational exchanges are an important part of China-Australia relations. As an education state and the cultural capital of Australia, Victoria has been leading other states in advancing educational, cultural and people-to-people exchanges with China. During Premier Andrews’ visit to China last year, a cooperation MOU was signed between the Victorian state and the Chinese Ministry of Education. And the number of Chinese students studying in this state has exceeded 70,000. Victoria has also engaged in diverse forms of exchanges with Chinese primary and secondary schools. It each year receives nearly one thousand pupils from Jiangsu, its sister province, for study tours, and has sent a large number of talented young people to study in China under the Hamer Scholarship and Young Leaders Program offered by the Victorian government.

Furthermore, Victoria is the leading state in promoting the Chinese language teaching in Australia. The Camberwell Grammar School introduced the Chinese course as early as in 1958, the first in Australia. Now there are 4 Confucius institutes, 16 Confucius classrooms and 5 universities offering Chinese courses in Victoria. In 2016, the number of students learning Chinese in Victorian public schools reached 72,716, making Chinese the second largest foreign language taught in the state, only after Italian.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

An important reason that China-Australia relations have grown steadily over the years is that it meets the shared interests of the two countries and the common aspirations of the people for greater mutual understanding and friendship. We would not have come this far without the support of our governments at all levels. We also owe it to the concerted efforts of people from all walks of life on both sides, including all of you present here.

Looking ahead, the development of China-Australia relations needs more dedicated people like you who know both cultures well and are committed to bilateral exchanges and cooperation. In this respect, a lot can be done in the educational sector.

We in the Consulate-General will continue to work with you for the common development of our two countries and the deeper exchanges, cooperation and friendship between our two peoples.

Thank you!

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