Speech by Consul-General Zhao Jian at the Chinese New Year Reception of the Chinese Consulate-General in Melbourne
2018-02-27 11:28

Hon Julian Hill MP, Federal Member for Bruce and Co-Chair of the Australia-China Parliamentary Group,

Hon Hong Lim MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Asia Engagement Representing the Victorian Government,

Hon Bruce Atkinson MLC, President of Victorian Legislative Council,

Hon Inga Peulich MLC, Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Shadow Minister for Scrutiny of Government Representing the

Victorian Opposition Leader,

City Councilors,

Leaders and Members of the Chinese Community,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Good evening!

Welcome to the Chinese Consulate-General in Melbourne to jointly celebrate the Chinese New Year. As we wrap up the Year of the Rooster, we will soon usher in the Year of the Dog. On behalf of my colleagues in the Consulate-General, I wish to extend festive greetings and best wishes to all members of the Chinese community, the Chinese students and staff members of the Chinese enterprises in Victoria and Tasmania.

The Chinese New Year is the most important traditional festival in the Chinese culture. Greetings like Guo Nian Le or Happy Chinese New Year are heart-warming for the Chinese, for it is a time for families and friends to get-together to thank and wish each other well and to celebrate what has been achieved in the past year and look forward to another year of prosperity.

The year 2017 is a landmark year for Chinas development. The Communist Party of China successfully held the 19th National Congress, which adopted the Xi Jinpings Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as our action guide and formulated a  blueprint for Chinas development from now through the middle of the century, marking a new era in our effort to build socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Last year, Chinas economy continued to shift toward quality growth. Our GDP grew by 6.9% to exceed RMB 80 trillion or USD 12 trillion, over 13 million urban and rural jobs were created nationwide, another 10 million-plus rural poor were lifted out of poverty, and we moved more quickly toward green, low-carbon and sustainable development.

Last year, we successfully hosted the 1st Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which fostered greater synergy for implementing the Belt and Road initiative and shared more development opportunities with other countries. We took an active part in global governance, and worked hard to promote an open world economy and advance economic globalization in a way that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all.

Last year also marked the 45th anniversary of China-Australia diplomatic relations and witnessed new progress in Chinas cooperation with Victoria and Tasmania.

Although China and Australia differ in political system, cultural traditions and level of development, we have broad common interests in maintaining regional stability, promoting common development and pursuing a better life. What has been achieved in our relationship in the past 45 years has not come easily. It is the result of the far-sight and vision of the statesmen of the older generation and hard efforts of the governments and people of all walks of life in both countries. It deserves to be cherished dearly by both sides.

Going forward, it is important that we take an objective view of each others development strategy and pathway, treat each other with respect and sincerity, work to enhance mutual understanding and trust and expand exchanges and cooperation to steadily move forward bilateral relations.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Chinas reform and opening-up policy and is the first year after the 19th Party Congress. We will continue to deepen reform and open wider to the outside world, advance toward the goal of building China into a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and deliver a better life for the Chinese people so that they will have a stronger sense of happiness, security and fulfillment.

We will continue to strengthen our friendly cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, promote a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, and build a community of shared future for mankind together with the people of other countries to jointly create a brighter future of the world.

Dear Friends,

The Chinese community constitutes an important part of the Australian society. Over the past nearly two centuries, they have made great contributions to the nation-building, development as well as social harmony and progress of Australia with their hard work and wisdom.  

Meanwhile, the overseas Chinese have always treasured their blood ties and cultural bonds with their country of origin. Either during the hard struggle of the Chinese people against foreign invasion for national independence in the modern times, or during the momentous reform and opening-up and modernization drive of contemporary China, the overseas Chinese, including those in Australia, have done a lot to help, making historical contributions.

Australia today is a mature multicultural society, and China has embarked on a new journey toward building a modern socialist country. I hope and I am confident that the Chinese community here will create more success stories on this beautiful land of southern hemisphere and contribute more to the continued prosperity of Australia. I am also confident that they will continue to support Chinas peaceful reunification, the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the deepening friendship between the Chinese and Australian people.

Before I conclude, I want to say a few words to the Chinese business people and Chinese students in Australia. I wish you every success in your respective eadeavours. And I believe that China in the new era will present you with a broad stage with endless opportunities!

Finally, I wish all of you a Happy New Year and all the best for the Year of the Dog! And wish China-Australia relations greater development in the years ahead!

Thank you!

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