Remarks by Minister Wang Xining at the Reception by ACT Chinese Community for the 70th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China

Honourable Mr. Chris Steel, Minister for Multiculture of ACT,

Honourable Ms. Nicole Lawder, Deputy Opposition Leader, and shadow ministers,

Respected Mr. Yan Zhongwang and other leaders of the ACT Chinese Communities,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to join you today to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, hosted by the overseas Chinese communities here in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Australia and Ambassador Cheng Jingye, I would like to extend warmest greetings to everyone present today, and my best wishes go to the entire overseas Chinese community in ACT.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia 47 years ago, the ACT government has been very active in promoting our bilateral relationship and cooperation. The ACT Chinese communities have made contributions to the bilateral relations by serving as a bridge and bond between our two nations. Please accept our hearty appreciation and gratitude.

It is well known to all that, over the past 70 years, China has undergone tremendous change, achieved remarkable development, and made significant contributions to world peace, prosperity and stability, thanks to the unremitting efforts of its people and the leadership of the Communist Party.

Three months ago, I came to Canberra for this new posting. Before that, I worked as an executive of Chaoyang District in Beijing for a year and half. Canberra and Beijing are sister cities, so today I would like to share with you three stories from Chaoyang District of Beijing, which may offer you some insights to China's development today.

The first story is about a factory.

This is Beijing Tianhai Industrial Company, now the largest gas cylinder producer in Asia. Its products are widely used in automotive, natural gas, medical industries. But years ago it was a very low-key factory at this location in Beijing.

To fit in the ongoing country-wide economic upgrading, the company decided to move its manufacturing capacity to multiple venues in neighbouring provinces. As a result, the company's output expanded and quality of its products improved. At the same time, jobs and revenues were brought to the new localities.

The original site of the factory was transformed into a modern and stylish Innovation Park earlier this year. This Tianhai Technology Plaza covers an area of 85,000 square metres, with workshops remodeled into offices and apartments and landscape furnished by rusty leftover machines and newly built fountains and lawns. It will accommodate in full capacity more than 200 companies and 3,000 workers in hi-tech and innovation sector. Naturally Tianhai will make more money from this project.

China's economic growth is shifting from high-speed to high-quality. There are many more companies that have the same experiences with Tianhai. Beijing, as the national capital and a fully-grown metropolis, is leading the transformation by upgrading economic structure and improving industrial productivity. It is also sharing opportunities with other provinces and regions by forming production alliance along the value chain, for the purpose of coordinated and balanced development throughout the country.

The second story is about a canal.

This is Empress Xiao Canal. The famous Empress Dowager of the Liao Dynasty ordered its excavation in 988, which turned out be the oldest man-made river in Beijing. It was once heavily polluted and people living around called it "Milky River". From 2016 to 2018, Chaoyang District, remind you this is where I worked, carried out a "clean and green" project on the canal and made it a wetland park. Today, the canal is once again fish-friendly so the white egrets returned to their millennium-old habitat. The price of the houses along the canal rose by 400 AUD per square metre in six months. In term of absolute size, it is not comparable with Lake Griffin on River Molonglo, but still it is a beautiful sight to behold on the fifth ring road in Beijing.

According to the "Beijing City Master Plan (2016-2035)", China's capital will become a world-class city of enhanced harmony and quality for human settlements, by gradually phasing out non-capital functions, optimizing spatial planning, and promoting sustainable urbanization. The Empress Xiao Canal is one of many rehabilitation projects that will turn rubbish dumps and sewage drains into beautiful parks and gardens.

The purpose of China's development is to provide our people with better lives and to promote our people's comprehensive development. Therefore, governments all around the country attache great importance not only to increasing people's income but also to meeting their aspirations for good health, rich culture, quality education and ecological sustainability. Now people believe in an old saying which reads "Green Mountains and Clean Waters are Gold Mountains and Cash Waters".

The third story is about an artist.

Mdm. Zhao Yuming is a well-known Danxian folk singer in Beijing. Last year, she was awarded "Lifetime Achievement Folk Artist" by the National Federation of Literature and Art. In June this year, she joined the Communist Party of China at the age of 90.

Mdm Zhao began to perform in the streets and markets when she was only ten years old in order to support the family. Her childhood was full of hardship. She says at the Party Membership ceremony that it is the Communist Party of China that lead the people out of poverty and build a good life for everyone. There are many ordinary Chinese citizens like Mdm Zhao who have witnessed the change of times and are convinced of the leading role of the Party in the development of the country. They believe that their sons and daughters and grandchildren and, in Mdm Zhao's case great-grandchildren, will enjoy a better life when they follow the leadership of the Party. For them, the Party is not only their Guardian Angel, but also the Guardian of their Angels.

It is truly commendable for a nonagenarian to become a new Party Member. But there are many more young people who have recently joined the party as they see the future and hope of the country is hinged to this Party. In 2018, 2.05 million new members joined the Party, of which 1.64 million were under the age of 35.

Some Australians who don't know the Party well may ask, "Why so many people would join a Communist Party?" "Isn't Communist Party a devil against people as our media portrays?" "Isn't it guilty to get acquaintance with a Communist?

I believe those Chinese citizens who have joined the Party know the answer well. They know very well that this Party is the vanguard of the Chinese nation and the pioneer for the people's well-being and national rejuvenation. They know very well that, as a party member, they are building a country where people will live in peace and prosperity by achieving constant economic and social development, where every citizen, regardless of gender or age, ethnic or family background, academic or career qualifications, will share the dividend of development in fair manner, where no one will be left unattended, no voice will be left unheard, where mutual benefit and common growth will be achieved together with other countries and peoples through partnership and cooperation, and the future will be shared for mankind as one integral community, where nature will be venerated and preserved, and human beings will share this clean and beautiful earth with other species, including the unfortunately over-populated kangaroos in Canberra.

The Communist Party of China is not a ruthless machine. It is an group of 90 million men and women of blood and flesh, with mind and heart. Like Mdm Zhao, they care dearly about the welfare of the people and the strength of the nation. When I worked in Chaoyang District, all my fellow party members were model workers in their professions, and many of them work either in 996 model, meaning from 9am to 9 pm, 6 days a week, or in 5+2, day+night model, meaning 24 hours on duty the whole year through. They never argue for their human rights. Some party members at senior age volunteered in communal services, in the same way as many of you who work for free for the local Chinese community in Canberra.

Is this party scary? I think it is more scary to denigrate it as something scary. It is more than ignorant to label something we are ignorant about evil, based on which we make hasty judgment.

In this part of the world, the Communist Party of China is often sinfully labeled, and the sympathetic and truth-revealing voices about the Party and the country are often willfully stifled. Is it freedom of speech, or tyranny of ideology?

This concludes my three stories about Beijing.

Beijing and Canberra became sister cities in the year 2000. Beijing embracing high quality development welcomes more high-quality products and services from ACT. Next year, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our sister-city relationship. I hope we will give full play of our economic complementarity and deepen our cooperation so we could present our people a new tale of the two cities.

Although recently there appeared on the media quite a surge of misconception and paranoid hysteria about China, which mirror the bigotry and frenzy in the style of Medieval Inquisition and John Calvin's Geneva, I still firmly believe that the friendly bonds between the Chinese and Australian peoples cannot be severed, and the strong growth of China-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership cannot be deterred. Any political party or government with a sense of responsibility will put the interests of the people first in the same way as the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government do. And the interests of our peoples will only be served by communication, by understanding, by exchange and by cooperation.

History has proved once and again that those who conspire against China-Australia partnership for the sake of their selfish good in disregard of the overall interest of our peoples will see their failure pinned down in the hall of shame. And those who spare no effort in promoting China-Australia friendship and cooperation, including all of you present today, will see their achievements commemorated by posterity in the hall of fame.

Finally, I hope that Overseas Chinese in Australia will continue to support the development of China and its peaceful reunification, integrate better into and contribute more to Australian multicultural society by promoting Chinese culture, and do your part for our bilateral relationship and the friendly exchanges between our two peoples. I also hope that the ACT government and opposition, together with people from all walks of life, will continue to support the healthy and stable development of China-Australia relations.

Thank you very much.


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: 0061-2-62283836
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