Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Cheng Jingye at the Reception for the 69th National Day
20 September 2018, Canberra

Distinguished Ms Frances Adamson, Secretary of DFAT,

Excellencies,

Dear guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It’s a great pleasure to have all of you here today, joining us in celebrating the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

The past 69 years has witnessed tremendous progress in China, with the country becoming the world’s second largest economy and the life of over 1.3 billion people significantly improved. Integration between China and the rest of the world has never been closer than today.

Now China has entered a new era. The 19th CPC National Congress held last October drew a grand blueprint for turning China into a great modern socialist country in all respects. To achieve this objective, we will adhere to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, stay on our own development path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and keep reforming and opening up.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up. As the second revolution of modern China, reform and opening up has both profoundly changed China and greatly influenced the world. In its 40 years of reform and opening up, China has not only developed itself, but also contributed to the global well-being. In the new era, we will firmly advance reform across the board. By following the new development vision, we will strive to build up a modern economic system, deepen the supply-side structural reform and speed up the innovation-driven development strategy.

Meanwhile, we will stay committed to opening up and build a new pattern of external cooperation. As President Xi Jinping emphasized at the Boao Forum for Asia this year, China’s door will open even wider. We are carrying out a number of major measures, including significantly broadening market access, creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening protection of intellectual property rights, and expanding imports. This November, we will host the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, another step to open up the Chinese market. With the implementation of all these measures, China will enter a new phase of opening up, which would create more opportunities to the world.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a momentous step by China to expand opening-up and external cooperation. Over the five years since its initiation, the initiative is becoming an unfolding reality thanks to the warm response and wide support from the world. With more than 100 countries and international organizations now on board and a large number of projects launched, the BRI has promoted the economic and social development of relevant participating countries. A strong momentum of global collaboration for BRI is emerging.

Facts have proven that BRI is neither a “debt trap” nor a predatory quest for resources. Still less is it designed to create closed bloc or sphere of influence. Instead, it is an initiative for peace, cooperation and openness, a platform for China to work with other countries to achieve development and win-win cooperation. We have full confidence in the future of BRI.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972, huge progress has been made in exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia. It not only contributed to the economic development of both countries, but also brought tangible benefits to the two peoples. The history of the past 46 years shows that, as long as both sides stick to the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit, our bilateral relations can always deepen and expand itself on the right track.

China always believes that, a sound and stable China-Australia relationship serves the long-term and common interests of both countries, as well as the peace, stability and prosperity of our region.

I hope the two sides could further enhance mutual understanding, deepen political mutual trust, view each others’ development from a comprehensive, objective and rational perspective, and properly handle our differences.

I hope the two sides could fully capitalize on the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), further expand trade and investment cooperation. China will continue to improve its investment environment, welcoming more Australian businesses to invest in China. It expects Australia could also build a fair and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese investment. Cooperation under the BRI would add new impetus to the bilateral economic and trade relations.

I hope the two sides could further strengthen people-to-people exchanges, through closer cooperation in the fields of tourism, education, culture and others.

I hope the two sides will maintain committed to upholding the multilateral trading system and resisting protectionism, and work together towards the early conclusion of the Regional Cooperation Economic Partnership.

In short, I hope the China-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership could be enriched continuously with our joint efforts.

This year marks the 200 anniversary of Chinese immigration to Australia. A few months ago, the Chinese community in Sydney and Melbourne held grand gatherings to celebrate the event. Over the years, Chinese-Australians have made significant contributions to Australia’s economic and social development and its multiculture. They have also played a unique role in deepening exchanges and cooperation between our two countries and the two peoples.

As former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said at the UNSW in early August, “Modern Australia is unimaginable without the talented and dynamic contribution of Australians of Chinese descent”. The Chinese community is undoubtedly an valuable asset of China-Australia relationship, which ought to be cherished. I would like to take this opportunity to pay my highest consideration to all of them.

What I would also like to mention is that, as the China-Australia relations continue to grow in recent years, an increasing number of Chinese citizens are coming to Australia to do businesses, travel and study. The Chinese Embassy and Consulate Generals have always been committed to providing active consular services and necessary assistance to them. We’ve published the latest handbook on consular protection recently. I hope this update handbook will be helpful for the Chinese citizens to have a more convenient and safer stay in Australia.

Lastly, may I propose a further toast:

To the 69th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China;

To the friendship and cooperation between China and Australia.

Cheers!

Thank you.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Commonwealth of Australia
Address: 15 Coronation Drive, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
Tel: 0061-2-62283999, Fax: 0061-2-62283990
E-mail: chinaemb_au@mfa.gov.cn
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