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Statement by Consul General Dong Zhihua at the Official Opening Ceremony for Perth Chinese New Year Fair 2020

(2 Feburary 2020, North Bridge)

Honourable Mark McGowan, MLA, Premier of Western Australia,

Honorable Bill Marmion MLA, Deputy Leader of the Opposition,

Mr Andrew Hammond, Chair Commissioner, City of Perth,

Honourable Sue Ellery MLC , Minister for Education and Training, Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council,

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

Honorable Michelle Roberts MLA, Minister for Police; Road Safety,

Mr Dean Nalder MLA, Shadow Treasurer, Shadow Minister for Finance; Energy,

Dr Mike Nahan, Shadow Minister for Planning; Asian Engagement,

Mr David Michael MLA, Government Whip,

This is the first time I join you for the grand celebration of Chinese New Year Fair in North Bridge, a multicultural heritage of Perth and WA. I wish everyone a happy and prosperous year of the Rat!

I wish to thank Premier McGowan for his warm words in solidarity with the Chinese People.

Prevention and control of the epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus is the top priority for China. People's well-being always comes first for the Chinese government. We are doing whatever we can and using whatever means we have to curb the spread of the virus. There is shared determination and unity in China from the top leadership to the grassroots, from medical professionals to ordinary people. China is fully confident and capable to win the battle against the epidemic. The Chinese nation will come out of this challenge better and stronger.

Meanwhile, we are doing this also for the sake of regional and global public health and safety. We are sharing information and strengthening cooperation with the WHO and other countries in an open, transparent and responsible manner. Let me take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to people of Australia especially WA for their support to China at this special moment.

I am committed to working closely with the WA State Government to keep the good momentum we have worked so hard and so long to build with a series of exciting breakthroughs at the beginning of this year, including the trial flights of China Eastern, and strive to minimize the impact on our bilateral cooperation and exchanges, while always putting people's safety and health first. I am confident that the links between China and WA will also come out of this challenge better and stronger.

I wish all of you good health, happiness and prosperity in the New Year!

Thank you.

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