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Statement by Consul General Dong Zhihua at the Gala Dinner Celebration for the 70th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China by West Australian Chinese Community
2019/09/15

( 10 September 2019, Perth Optus Stadium)

 

Hon. Mark McGowan, MLA, Premier of Western Australia,

Hon. Liza Harvey, MLA, leader of the Opposition,

Hon. Paul Papalia, CSC MLA, Minister for Tourism; Racing and Gaming; Small Business; Defence Issues; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests,

Ms Dewi Tobing, Dean of the Consular Corps and Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia,

Hon. Pierre Yang MLC, Government Whip in the Legislative Council,

Leaders and members of WA Chinese associations and community,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today is very special. Leaders from more than 40 associations and organizations of the WA Chinese community with a total of more than 700 people sitting at 70 tables, gather here tonight to celebrate the 70 anniversary of the People's Republic of China. This is an unprecedented demonstration of the unity and enthusiasm of the WA Chinese community in presenting their congratulations for the 70th Birthday of the new China. As the Chinese Consul General to Perth, I feel overwhelmed and honored to be present today and share the joy and pride with you. It will be a once in a life time memory for many of us.

Let me thank the organizing committee for the excellent preparation of this glamorous event. Especially those leaders and members of different associations, as represented by WA Chamber of Commerce, and many volunteers for your contribution and participation. I know you have put a lot of time and energy into this endeavor during the past months, and have been so devoted whole-heartedly to it. Congratulations! You made it and I am very proud of all of you!

I am very happy to see that Premier McGowan, Ms. Liza Harvey, Leader of the opposition and Minister Papalia as well as other VIPs present today. It reflects the importance attached and support by the State government to the WA Chinese community. I take it also as another manifestation of a strong multicultural society here in WA and of the long and strong relationship between WA and China.

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

70 years ago, on 1 October 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong solemnly declared the founding of the People's Republic of China at Tiananmen Square in Beijing and the Chinese people has ever since stood up as a sovereign and independent nation after over a hundred years of humiliation, hardship and suffering from colonialism, imperialism and foreign aggression. Over the past 70 years, through the relentless efforts of the Chinese people and under the strong leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, China has made the historical transformation from an extremely poor and backward rural country to the second largest economy in the world, with total economic output reaching 90 trillion RMB (13.7 billion US dollars) this year. Today China has become the world's biggest trader of goods, the biggest tourism market and a major trading partner with over 130 countries.

People's life has gone through profound transformation with per capita GDP surpassing 9000 US dollar this year. The 1.4 billion Chinese people are marching forward on the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics towards the Chinese Dream of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

During the past 70 years, China's economic and social development greatly benefited from the reform and opening up and the more than 60 million overseas Chinese have played outstanding role and made tremendous contribution in this process, through promoting trade and investment, facilitating business cooperation, and bringing in funding as well as advanced technological and management skills. They are also an important force in establishing bridges between China and the outside world, sowing the seeds of friendship through promotion of cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The contribution and support by overseas Chinese will never be forgotten by their home country and the Chinese people.

This year also marks the 190 anniversary of Chinese immigrants arrival in Western Australia. There are 140,000 ethnic Chinese in WA. During the past 4 months since I arrived, I have been deeply impressed by your profound love of China and your great passion in promoting Sino-Australia friendship. As China grows stronger and opens its door wider to the world, the Chinese community also thrives and becomes more active in making contributions to the economic and social development on this land as well as the vibrant multicultural society here. Today's gathering not only showcase the strength and unity of Chinese community, but also boost my confidence in stronger WA-China bond on the way ahead.

I would also like to thank the WA state government led by Premier Mcgowen for its long-term support to the development and well-being of the Chinese community. Just about two weeks ago, Western Australia's first ever Asian Engagement Strategy was released, which sent a strong and positive signal for WA's future with Asia, including that with China. In the last 20 years, the proportion of Western Australia's population born in Asia more than doubled from around 4% to over 10 %, with Chinese among the fastest growing diaspora communities. I am glad that the state government takes these communities as powerful partners in deepening connectivity and influence in Asia, as well as attracting business investment, tourism and international students.

I am confident that with the vision and action taken by the McGowen government, the Chinese community will grow and flourish with new opportunities and more favorable environment. It is my sincere hope that the Chinese community will interact and mingle even more closely with different local communities, and poll your strength together in building a diversified economy for a even more prosperous and harmonious WA, a beautiful land you choose to stay and call home.

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In 20 days, on 1 October, the Chinese people will hold a grand parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing to celebrate an extraordinary journey by the Chinese people during the past 70 years. It is a time for all the overseas Chinese to share the glory and pride of the Chinese nation and their country of origin.

Going forward, China will take an even more responsible approach, be even more open and inclusive, and strive to achieve even higher quality of growth, make greater contributions to the development and common prosperity of the world. We hope that the WA Chinese community will join this new journey in China's reform and opening up, and continue to play an active role in promoting friendship, mutual understanding and practical cooperation between WA and China, towards the vision presented by President Xi Jinping in building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Last but not least, I would like to propose a toast to the prosperity of the People's Republic of China and the happiness of the Chinese people! To a even stronger Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and Australia! To the friendship between our two countries and peoples! To the prosperity of WA and its Chinese community!

Cheers.

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