Remarks by Consul-General HE Lanjing at the Gala Dinner Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Australia and the 2023 Chinese New Year
2023-01-19 09:39

Remarks by Consul-General HE Lanjing at the Gala Dinner Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Australia and the 2023 Chinese New Year

(17 Jan 2023, Adelaide Convention Center)

His Excellency Mr. XIAO Qian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Australia,

The Hon. Peter Malinauskas MP, Premier of South Australia,

Members of Parliament, City Councillors,

Consular Corps Colleagues ,

Dear local Chinese,

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Good evening!

Now we are only four days away from the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Rabbit. Once again, the Chinese Consulate-General in Adelaide is more than happy to co-host a Gala Dinner with the State Government of South Australia to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia and the Chinese lunar new year. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate-General in Adelaide, I would like to extend my warm welcome to all distinguished guests here to our gala dinner and my special thanks go to His Excellency Mr. XIAO Qian, Chinese Ambassador to Australia who is making his first official visit to South Australia from Canberra especially for today’s event. 

In Chinese traditional culture, the year 2023 is the year of the Rabbit. The gentle and witty rabbit represents vigorous vitality and is a symbol of good luck and happiness. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere new year wishes and greetings to all of you and, through you, to all local Chinese, Chinese enterprises, Chinese students, as well as all dear friends in South Australia, wish you every happiness and all the best for the Year of the Rabbit! 

The Chinese Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival of the Chinese nation. It is an important moment for family reunion, to reflect on the past and to look forward to the future.

Over the past year, China has met challenges head-on and moved forward with greater resolve. 

Under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, the Chinese people have made great achievements through unremitting efforts and hard work. The Chinese economy has enjoyed sound development. In 2022, GDP for the whole year is expected to exceed 120 trillion RMB yuan, about $25 trillion AU dollars. Despite a global food crisis, China has secured a bumper harvest for the 19th year in a row, putting us in a stronger position to ensure the food supply of the Chinese people. The science and technology has reached a new level. China's space station was fully completed.  C919, China's first large passenger aircraft, was delivered. And the Baihetan hydropower station, the second largest one in the world, went into full operation.

Last October, the Communist Party of China successfully convened its 20th National Congress and an ambitious blueprint has been drawn for advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. China's development will not only benefit the Chinese people, but also create more development opportunities for countries around the world, including Australia.

Over the past year, the relation between China and Australia has been steering direction on the right track, and setting out on a new journey.

The year 2022 marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia. Over the past 50 years, our two countries and two peoples have benefited a lot from our friendly cooperation. In the past few years, China-Australia relationship encountered difficulties and setbacks. Since the new Australian Labor Party Government came into power in May 2022, our two sides have reaffirmed our commitment to the positioning of the comprehensive strategic partnership, held a series of high-level meetings and reached many important consensus. Lots of celebrations of the 50th anniversary of China-Australia diplomatic relations have been held both in China and Australia. Both sides are taking these activities as good opportunities to review the past and to look into the future, so as to inject more positive energy to push China-Australia relations back on the right track and developing forward.

In last November, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese held a positive and constructive meeting in Bali, which has charted the course for the future development of the China-Australia relations. Last December, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong visited Beijing and conducted the sixth round of China/Australia Foreign and Strategic Dialogue with the Poliburo member, State Councilor and then Foreign Minister, Mr. Wang Yi, which once again boosted our confidence in improving China-Australia relations. 

Over the past year, China and South Australia has been enhancing mutual understanding and deepening practical cooperation. 

The friendly cooperation between China and South Australia is an integral part of China-Australia relations. China and South Australia have highly complementary economies and a solid foundation for cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The sister-state relationship between Shandong and South Australia has already gone through over 36 years. 

With the joint efforts of both sides, the practical cooperation and friendly exchanges in economy, trade, culture and other areas have maintained a sound momentum. China has been South Australia's largest trading partner, largest export destination, largest source of imports and the top origin for international students for many consecutive years. The friendly cooperation in various fields between China and South Australia has given a strong push to the economic development of both sides and brought tangible benefits to both peoples.

Since taking office in March, 2022, the new State Government under the leadership of Premier Malinauskas has attached great importance to developing friendly relations with China. On many important occasions, the Premier has reaffirmed the State Government’s firm position on developing relations with China and stressed the importance of strengthening friendly cooperation with China, especially with Shandong Province. 

The co-hosted Chinese New Year Dinner by our Chinese Consulate-General and the State Government every year is a vivid epitome of the friendship between our two sides and has become a highlight and unique name card around Australia. It fully demonstrates the State Government gives priority to developing its relations with China, to the traditional Chinese culture and the local Chinese community.  I sincerely hope and strongly believe that South Australia will play a more active role in promoting China-Australia friendship and cooperation in the future. 

Over the past year, our local Chinese and Chinese communities have remained committed to promoting the economic and social development, and multicultural prosperity of South Australia. At the same time, they have held series of 50th anniversary celebrations to express their keen expectations for the improvement of China-Australia relations. 

Together with the Premier, I attended some of the celebrating events and was deeply impressed. Tonight, we have selected several artistic performances from the "Aussies Sing Chinese Songs" event, hoping you will enjoy the show.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all dear friends from all circles for your dedication and positive contributions to strengthening the friendly relations between China and Australia and practical cooperation between China and South Australia all along. 

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, 

China has embarked on a new journey and been advancing with great confidence toward the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a modern socialist country in all respects. And China will unswervingly pursue high-quality development and high-standard opening-up. In the year of 2023, our Consulate-General will continue to strengthen communication and cooperation with the State Government and people from all circles to promote our cooperation in various fields like economy, trade, culture and people-to-people exchanges to a new level, and to make greater contributions to the improvement and development of China-Australia relations.  At the same time, we will as always act on the principle of "putting people first and diplomacy for the people" and provide quality services to all local Chinese, Chinese enterprises and Chinese students. 

At last, I wish China-Australia relations a brighter future!

I wish the practical and friendly cooperation between China and South Australia more fruitful results!

I wish all of you and your family good health, happiness and the best of luck in the Year of the Rabbit!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Thank you!

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