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Speech by H.E. Consul General Duan Jielong at the Reception celebrating the 63rd National Day of the People's Republic of China
25 September 2012, Sydney

2012-10-09

The Hon. Barry O’Farrell, MP, Premier of New South Wales,

The Hon. Tom Bathurst, Chief Justice of New South Wales,

Mr. John Robertson MP, Leader of the New South Wales Opposition,

The Hon. Victor Dominello MP, Minister for Citizenship and Communities,

Ms Virginia Greville, State Director DFAT NSW State Office,

Consul General Richard Morris of United Kingdom, Dean of NSW Consular Corps, and my Consular Corp Colleagues,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please allow me begin by thanking everyone for joining us at today’s reception celebrating the 63rd National Day of the People’s Republic of China. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between China and Australia, a significant milestone that deserves our joint retrospection and celebration.

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, especially under the guidance of the reform and opening-up policy enacted by the late Mr. Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese Government and people, with freedom of mind and pioneering spirit, combined successful foreign development experience and mode with China’s own reality, find a socialist development road with Chinese features. Today, China has won world-wide recognition with its achievements in all its undertakings, and greatly lifted the living standard of its people. China maintained steady growth momentum and became an important engine for the world economic recovery. The ratio of contribution of the Chinese economy to the world growth was estimated at over 20%.

Here, I would like to point out that what China has achieved would not have happened without the support and help of all countries including Australia. Today, the friendly cooperation between China and Australia is far beyond the boldest prediction in the past. 40 years ago, our bilateral trade was less than 100 million US dollars. Today it is over 100 billion, which grew by 1000 times. At the birth of our diplomatic relationship, there was hardly any exchange of visits between us, now there are over 153 million Chinese students studying in Australia, and over one million passengers shuttling to-and-fro between China and Australia. More and more Chinese tourists fly over the ocean, see the amazing landscape and beautiful scenery of Australia and experience the friendly people and diverse culture here. I am confident that a China moving gradually toward prosperity alongside a peaceful development road will benefit our own people and people around the world, including the Australian people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There is an old saying in China that "One generation plants the trees, under whose shade another generation rests." Today’s full-bloom China-Australia relationship should firstly be attributed to our state leaders who made the decision with vision 40 years ago and opened the gate of friendship for our peoples. It should also be attributed to personages from all walks of life in our two countries including political, business and academic communities, who committed themselves to promoting and expanding our bilateral relations for four decades. You may recognize some of them from the photo displayed alongside the corridor, and some of them are here with us today. It was them who paved the foundation for and enriched the content of our relations. As the Chinese Consul General in Sydney, I offer you my deepest respect and gratitude.

I want to stress that the reason why China-Australia relationship can move forward amid various challenges lies in the fact that our two countries made unremitting efforts in the following aspects and turned them into highlights and common ground in our relationship.

In political relations, we acted in the spirit of mutual respect and seeking common grounds while shelving differences, and continuously promoted our mutual trust to new levels. China and Australia both have unique histories and cultures. We may have different political systems and values as well as divergent development paths and stages, but we both hold stakes in world peace and development. There are too many reasons that we strengthen communication and trust, expand friendship and cooperation, and create conducive conditions for the prosperity, well-being, peace and stability of the region and the world at large.

In business, we built mutually-beneficial and win-win ties. China and Australia are highly complementary to each other in industrial mix and resource endowment. We are important trading partners to each other. Australia is a major supplier of iron ore, coal, and LNG for China, which strongly supported the modernization drive of China. Meanwhile, China’s import from Australia and investment in Australia helped Australian household increased income by tens of thousands of Australian dollars annually and created tens of thousands of jobs in Australia. Our exchanges and cooperation in broad areas brought real benefits to our peoples.

Culturally, we learn from each other. Culture is the soul of a nation. In China we always say that the friendship of nations lies in the friendship between peoples. Cultural exchanges build soul and emotional links between peoples, and serve the understanding and trust between nations. Not long ago, China and Australia held cultural years for each other, which yielded amazing fruits. We have every reason to believe that with deepening mutual understanding between our peoples, China and Australia will have a strong people-to-people link that connects hearts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China-Australia relationship scored brilliant achievements in the past 40 years. In the next 4 decades, our region will draw more and more global attention with the growing prosperity of the Asia-Pacific. As two major countries of this region, our bilateral ties have a bright prospect. My colleagues and I have confidence, resolution and patience for that. Our confidence derives from that fact that China and Australia do not have any pending historical issues or conflict of immediate interests. Our resolution comes from the fact that there are many influential and visionary people from both countries that commit themselves to the promotion and deepening of bilateral ties. Our patience lies in the belief that all differences, history, culture, mentality and habit, etc. will be bridged by time itself.

Although we hear a lot praises about the “China speed”, but we also learn to appreciate a relative complex and patience-demanding decision-making mechanism. As long as we approach each other with mutual respect and equality, there is no difficulty that we can not overcome, and no gap that we can not bridge.

In China, the age of forty is called “the age of no puzzlement”. It means that a people at this age will have enough learning and cultivation to resist temptations and stay on the right track. I believe forty years of growth has also brought China-Australia relationship on a track that will no longer derail from win-win cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As the Chinese Consul General in Sydney, I need to report to you the fruitful progress of China-New South Wales relationship in this year. Many Chinese official delegations including the delegation headed by Mr. Wang Yang, Member of the Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party and Secretary of CPC Guangdong Committee, paid successful visits to New South Wales, and strengthened their relationship with New South Wales. Premier Barry O’Farrell made his second visit as the premier of New South Wales to China, and deepened practical cooperation with several Chinese provinces and municipalities. So far New South Wales has built close cooperative ties with the three most developed municipalities of China, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. At the same time, Many Chinese companies made or expanded investment in New South Wales. More and more Chinese provinces and cities come to New South Wales for cooperation opportunities. Bilateral cooperation constantly moves toward higher level and broader sphere. I am fully confident that, as the strongest economy of Australia, New South Wales has broad and firm common ground and bright prospect in its cooperation with China. My colleagues and I will remain committed to the deepening of China-NSW comprehensive practical cooperation, and serve and promote bilateral exchanges. We also offer our heart-felt appreciation to the political, business, academic and cultural communities of New South Wales. I would like to give the special thanks to the New South Wales government and Council of City of Sydney for your support to the work of Consulate General and I myself.

Last but not least, I would like to propose a toast,

To the friendship and cooperation between the Chinese and Australian people,

To the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between China and Australia,

To the health of our guests and friends,

Cheers!

Thank you!

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