|Remarks at the Reception Celebrating 2019 Chinese Lunar New Year|
Distinguished guests, dear friends,
Good evening! I am very delighted to get together with you today to celebrate the traditional Chinese Spring Festival. In just a few days, we will bid farewell to the Year of the Dog that represents loyalty and courage, and usher in the Year of the Pig that symbolizes prosperity and well-being. On behalf of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Sydney, I would like to extend our most sincere New Year’s greetings to you all.
Over the past year, China has scored new achievements in its economic and social development. We celebrated the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up. The national economy has performed within an appropriate range, and China’s GDP has reached 90 trillion RMB (equivalent to approximately 13.28 trillion US Dollars) with an annual growth rate of 6.6%, the fastest among the world's top five economies. The Chinese people’s living standards continued to improve, and another 10 million rural residents have been lifted out of poverty. At the recent gathering to commemorate the 40th anniversary of issuing the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan, Chinese President Xi Jinping made the historical conclusion that “The motherland must and will be reunited”, and proposed to explore a Taiwan Solution under “One Country, Two systems” as well as the important initiative of carrying out democratic consultation across the Strait, setting a new tone for future development of the Cross-Strait relations.
Over the past year, China has made new progress in pursuing the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. China has continued to develop friendly and cooperative relations with other countries, deeply engaged in global governance, firmly upheld multilateralism and unswervingly safeguarded the rule-based international order. With a view to promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, China has hosted four major diplomatic events including the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, Shanghai Cooperation Organization Qingdao Summit, the China-Africa Cooperation Forum Beijing Summit and the First China International Import Expo. In 2018, China has actively promoted the “Belt and Road” Initiative, and another 60-plus countries and international organizations signed the cooperation documents with China, raising the total number of such documents to over 150.
Over the past year, China-Australian relations have undergone important developments. Both sides have reinforced their understanding that it is in the fundamental interest of both countries and both peoples to promote sound and stable development of China-Australia relations on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. In 2018, the Chinese side continued to deepen its cooperation with New South Wales in areas such as economy and trade, culture, education, tourism, science and technology and so on, and we have achieved fruitful results. China remains the largest trading partner, the largest source country of import and the largest source country of tourists and international students for New South Wales. The New South Wales government and businesses have actively participated in the First China International Import Expo in Shanghai, highlighting the significant potential for our mutually beneficial cooperation.
Over the past year, we have celebrated together the 200th anniversary of Chinese migration to Australia. For many years the Chinese communities have worked with diligence, integrated successfully into the local society, and spread actively the Chinese culture, thus making important contributions to Australia’s development and the friendly relations between our two countries. Many local councils are organizing various Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, which has reflected the New South Wales people’s affection of the Chinese culture and their respect for the Chinese community.
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,
2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Over the past 70 years, the Chinese people have made great efforts under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and successfully found a path of development that is in line with its national conditions, i.e. the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. China will continue to implement the new principles of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development, accelerate transformation of its development mode, carry out supply-side structural reform and achieve high-quality development of its economy, so that the Chinese people will have a stronger sense of fulfillment and happiness. We will continue to pursue the path of peaceful development, stay committed to the strategy of opening-up for win-win results, and achieve common development and prosperity with the rest of the world. In 2019, China will host diplomatic events including the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the Second China International Import Expo, which will inject more positive energy into the building of an open world economy.
President Xi Jinping pointed out in his 2019 New Year Speech that “2019 will see both opportunities and challenges, requiring us to work together shoulder to shoulder”. In the new year, the Chinese Consulate General will continue to uphold the principles of “putting people first and conducting diplomacy for the people”, and provide support and assistance to the Chinese community, Chinese students studying in New South Wales and Chinese enterprises and institutions here. 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the sister province/state relationship between China’s Guangdong Province and New South Wales, which was the first of its kind between China and Australia. We look forward to working with our colleagues and friends in New South Wales to further promote friendly exchanges and practical cooperation between China and New South Wales, in particular between Guangdong and New South Wales, in order to make more contribution to the development of China-Australian relations.
Finally, I wish you all good health, happiness, prosperity and the best of luck in the Year of the Pig.
Happy New Year.