|Address by H.E. Consul General Duan Jielong at the Reception Celebrating the 2012 Chinese New Year|
Honorable Frank Chau, Honorary Chairman of ACPPRC,
Honorable Tony Goh, President of AUSCOCO,
Honorable Jennifer Allen, Deputy Director of DFAT New South Wales State Office,
Dear representatives of the Chinese Community, my fellow Chinese friends, representatives of the Chinese business community, dear students,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
“As the rabbit bidding farewell to the past year, the golden dragon is dancing up for the new season.”
The 2012 Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of Dragon, is coming to town.
Tonight, the Chinese Consulate General in Sydney invites all friends to get together at the Consulate General to celebrate the most important traditional festival for all Chinese, home and abroad.
Here, please allow me to extend, on behalf of all my colleagues of the Consulate General, the sincerest festival greeting to everyone. Happy Chinese New Year! I wish everyone success and fortune in the Year of Dragon!
The year of 2011, which just passed, is the opening year of the second decade of this century.
It is also the opening year of China’s 12th Five Year Plan.
In 2011, the Chinese Government and People overcame the negative impact of the Global Financial Crisis, and maintained steady economic growth.
The annual GDP growth rate was 9.2%. China also scored positive progress in many other areas.
Shenzhou VIII spacecraft and Tiangong-1 space lab module successfully completed docking.
The Beidou navigation system was preliminarily accomplished and put into use.
These symbolized China’s new progresses in aerospace cause and attracted world-wide attention.
Regarding people’s livelihood, the public health system reform, housing programs and culture and education causes were also moving forward and growing with unprecedented paces.
It is fair to say, China is now in the best age of all history.
The country is prosperous and the people are at peace.
China is moving toward the bright future of the great rejuvenation step by step.
Meanwhile, we also observed that the international situation is undertaking profound and complex changes.
New dynamics and adjustments are emerging in the international system.
The grinding-in and interaction of international relations will be unfolding on a deeper level.
The status and role of China are increasingly highly regarded by all sides.
However, the risks and challenges China is facing are also on the rise.
Looking into the year 2012, although uncertainties and instabilities do exist in the evolvement of the international situation, and changes may take place, but we still believe that peace, development and cooperation will remain the main themes of the international relations and will be stronger and more solid.
The Chinese government and people will continue to overcome difficulties and promote international cooperation as we always do.
We will follow the path of peaceful development, and are ready to work with all friendly countries and peoples to promote common development, progress, prosperity and peace.
Thanks to the care and support of people from all circles of life in both countries, the China- Australia and China-NSW relationships registered fresh positive progress, which are highlighted in the following three aspects:
First, on high-level political exchanges, CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin paid a successful visit to Australia, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard paid a successful visit to China.
Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Gillard met during the East Asia Summit and reached important consensus on pushing China-Australia relationship toward higher strategic level and wider cooperative fields, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
Bilateral exchange mechanisms, such as the China-Australia strategic dialogue continues to deepen, and exchanges between parliamentarians, political parties, and defense forces made steady progress.
Second, on pragmatic cooperation, bilateral trade volume hit a new height and reached more than 110 billion US dollars in 2011. China’s investment in Australia kept growing, covering not only the energy and resources, but also new fields like agriculture and service sectors.
It is widely acknowledged by visionary people on both sides that, being mutually-beneficial and highly complementary, closer China-Australia cooperation is vital to the continuous prosperity for both economies.
Third, on people-to-people and culture exchanges. In 2011, the Year of Australian Culture in China was concluded in success, and the Year of Chinese Culture in Australia was thenceforth inaugurated, which offered a feast of various cultural activities for people in both countries to appreciate each other’s splendid cultural heritages.
With the support of Chinese and Australian government, representatives of both countries from government departments, business, academia, media, and all walks of life gathered for the first time in Australia for the first session of China-Australia forum, discuss ideas and exchanges with candor.
With the personnel exchanges getting more frequent, China has become the biggest source of tourism revenue for Australia, and remains the biggest origin of overseas students.
As an important and vigorous part of bilateral ties, China-NSW relationship achieved great results last year.
Not long after taking office, Premier O’Farrell led a trade delegation to China, during which he made extensive contacts with all circles, making a forceful push for the pragmatic cooperation between China and NSW.
I was particularly impressed by the enthusiasm of NSW government, business, and academic people in supporting the relationship with China.
I’d like to give a special mention to H.E. Governor Marie Bashir in particular.
Being an old friend of Chinese people, Her Excellency visited China for many times, and offered long-term care and support for the development of China-NSW relationship.
Her Excellency, the Governor has sent her congratulatory message for our reception today, and stressed that it is her heart-felt good wishes for the Chinese community in NSW.
My sincere thanks go to Her Excellency the Governor.
My colleague will later read Her Excellency’s message so that we can all share her good wishes.
Not long ago when Premier O’Farrell and Former Prime Minister Bob Hawk attended our National Day reception, they spoke highly of the recent development of China, and expressed their support for a stronger China-Australia relationship in all fields.
There are so many Australian friends who work to promote our friendly cooperation and exchanges, they’ve made very important contributions to the all-round development of China-Australia relationship as well.
The Chinese communities of Australia, and New South Wales in particular, play a pivotal role in the promotion of China-Australia relations from depth to depth.
One year after my arrival in Sydney, I am deeply moved by the love and care my overseas Chinese friends show to their country of origin.
Though you are all busy with your own business and careers, you never forget to feedback to the communities and contribute to charity undertaking.
Whenever natural disasters happened in you country of origin or in any country in the world, you are there to help and donate.
Many of you are also caring about the development of your hometown, and make donations to build schools, kindergartens, orphanages and homes for elderly.
Numerous charity programs like Eyes on China and ABC Tissue Vision fully exemplified the sense of responsibility of the overseas Chinese community to feedback to their cultural roots.
In Australia, many Australian Chinese make donations to local charity organizations.
They are highly praised and respected by the local community, and established good examples and image for overseas Chinese.
What deserves more respect is that over the years the Australian Chinese community and organizations made untiring efforts and outstanding contribution to the peaceful reunification of China.
It fully reflects the keen aspiration and profound emotion that the New South Wales Chinese community cherished for the development, rejuvenation and reunification of China.
We believe that as long as all Chinese, home and abroad, share the same vision and endeavor as one, the peaceful reunification of China will be unstoppable, and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will be on the way.
The year of 2012 is a very import year for both China’s sustainable development and the deepening of China-Australia relations.
This year, China’s 12th Five Year Plan will enter a crucial stage.
The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China will be convened.
China and Australia will also celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relations.
There will be many important items on the agenda of bilateral relations.
The Chinese Consulate General are willing to work with the Chinese Community and people from all walks of life in New South Wales, and continue to promote the friendship and cooperation between China and Australia, and bring benefits to the peoples of our countries.
At the same time, we will follow the spirit of “people first” and “diplomacy for the people” and continue to provide service to the Chinese community, Chinese companies and students in New South Wales.
We sincerely thank everyone for your long-term support to and care for the work of the Consulate General and I myself.
I hope in the future, we will continue to have your care and help.
Last but not least, I would like to propose a toast,
To the deepening friendship between China and Australia,
To the growing ties between China and New South Wales,
To the good health, happy family and success of everybody here tonight,