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Statement by Consul General Dong Zhihua at the Launch of China Eastern Trial flight Connecting Perth & Shanghai

(19 December 2019, The Ritz-Carlton, Elizabeth Quay, Perth)

Hon Mark McGowan, MLA, Premier of Western Australia,

Hon Ben Wyatt MLA, Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs; Lands,

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

Hon Peter Tinley AM, MLA, Minister for Housing, Veterans Issues, Youth, Asian Engagement,

Mr. Nathan Harding and Brodie, Chairman and CEO of WA Tourism,

Ms. Kathryn Lu , General Manager of China Eastern Airlines Australia & NZ Office,

Distinguished guests from the State Government, WA business community and Chinese Community,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we gather here to celebrate and promote the launch of trial flight between Shanghai and Perth. I wish to thank the state government and WA tourism for organizing this magnificent launching ceremony.

There couldn't have been a better venue than this, at Ritz Carlton, a new landmark of Perth overlooking the stunning night view of Elizabeth Quay.

There couldn't have been a better timing than this, as we are already in the Christmas season and two months away from the Chinese Spring Festival.

There is 56 days to go before the first trial flight between Perth and Shanghai takes off, which will bring the greetings from the hometown of Quokka to Shanghai and China for the Chinese New Year of the Rat. I think that's a good match and auspicious coincidence which augurs well for good luck and prosperity.

The direct flight will make a huge difference and may fundamentally transform WA's links with China by connecting Shanghai and Perth. Shanghai is the largest city in China with a population almost the same size as the whole of Australia, and stands at the centre of the most populous, wealthy and open region of China.

Just two weeks ago, right in Shanghai, Chinese president Xi Jinping extended an invitation to the world at the Opening Ceremony of the Second China International Import Expo. And I quote, "the Chinese market is such a big one that you should all come and see what it has to offer". Indeed China will reach out its arms and offer countries in the world more opportunities of market, investment and growth.

The direct flight is an important endeavor made by our two sides to boost trade and investment, as well as people to people exchanges, which will help bring our relationship to the next level with deeper mutual understanding and closer practical cooperation.

I congratulate the McGowan government for this important milestone. But this is just a beginning. Today we are here not only for celebration, but more importantly, for a joint commitment and endeavor to make the trial flight a success and turn it into a permanent one.

I join Premier McGowan in calling upon the WA business community and Chinese Community to mobilize all your members and resources for the success of this endeavor.

We together, can make it happen, so that many years later, when we look back at this particular moment, this spectacular night, we will all be so proud of having witnessed and contributed to an endeavor that has brought our two countries and peoples great benefits.

Just last week, at the BRICS Summit in Brasilia, President Xi Jinping proposed for the first time that China will deepen the Asia-Pacific partnership and work for an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future of openness and inclusiveness, innovation-driven growth, greater connectivity, and mutually beneficial cooperation.

China and Australia together with countries in the region, can achieve development for us all. Let's join hands for our common good and common future.

May I wish China Eastern trial flight a great success. May I wish a bright future of common prosperity and enduring friendship between China and WA.

I thank you.

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