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Consul-General Lei Kezhong's Speech at China National Day Celebrations Hosted by CCCA Perth and ACBC WA
12 October 2017

Hon Mark McGowan, MLA, Premier of WA,

Hon Mike Nahan, MLA, Leader of the Opposition,

Mr Sun Xiaoxuan, President of CCCA Perth Branch,

Mrs Lili Pan, Vice President of ACBC WA Branch,

Distinguished guests, Ladies & Gentlemen,

Good Evening!

It's a great pleasure for me to attend this evening's China National Day celebrations jointly organized by ACBC WA and CCCA Perth Branch.First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Perth, I'd like to thank President Adam Handley and President Sun Xiaoxuan for their efforts in organizing this great event. At the same time, I want to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all our friends in WA, including our friends from ACBC and CCCA, for your long term contributions to the promotion of our friendly and cooperative relations between China and WA.

Over the past 68 years since the People's Republic of China was founded, China has made remarkable achievements in its economic and social development. China's GDP has increased almost 1000 times from 10 billion to 11 trillion US Dollars. Since the reform and opening up nearly 40 years ago, more than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty. The living standard of the Chinese people has made a historic leap from adequate food and clothing to well-off life.

In the first half of this year, China's economy grew by 6.9%, and the value added from services accounted for 54% of the GDP, 7 million 350 thousand urban jobs were created. From 2013 to 2016, China contributed an average of 30% to world economic growth.

From paper-making to compass, China now has the four modern day inventions: high-speed rail, shared bicycles, e-commerce and mobile payment.

Having said that, China's economy is also facing many difficulties and challenges. We will continue to put into practice the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development.

In the next 5 years, China will import 8 trillion US dollars of goods. A vibrant Chinese economy will definitely bring more opportunities to the rest of the world.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

China has followed a path of peaceful rise and made its due contribution to world peace and development. In May this year, China hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping and abide by the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, provides a wide platform for inclusive development and offers new opportunities for all countries and businesses. We welcome Australian businesses to take part in this initiative.

The BRICS Summit held in Xiamen last month,has pushed forward the transformation of the BRICS from traditional dual-track approach of economic and political cooperation to a new pattern of "three-wheel drive" of economic, political and cultural exchanges.

Next Wednesday, the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will be held in Beijing, this congress will map out China's future development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Australia. Over the past 45 years, despite differences in our national conditions and social systems, China and Australia have managed to handle properly disagreements, and gradually fostered mutual trust in the spirit of equality and mutual respect.

The economies of China and Australia are strongly complimentary. China has been Australia's largest trading partner for 8 consecutive years. China is also Australia's biggest export market and source of import. And Australia is the second largest destination for China's external direct investment after the United States.

Last year around 2 million people traveled between China and Australia. Among which there were 1.2 million Chinese visitors to Australia, and around half a million Australians to China. This year is the Year of Tourism between China and Australia. We are expecting more and more people to people exchanges between our two countries.

China Australia relations conforms with our common interests. I believe, as long as the two sides bear in mind the spirit of mutual respect and mutual benefit, stick to the right direction of our bilateral relations, and continue to promote mutual understanding and mutual trust, China-Australia relations will continue to flourish.

Dear friends,

Western Australia has played a vital role in China-Australia relations. China is WA's largest export market.In 2016, WA's export to China was valued at 60.2 billion AUD, accounting for 50% of its total export volume. Iron ore continued to be WA's largest export to China. Last year, WA's iron ore export to China reached a record high of 652 million tonnes, accounting for 82% of WA's total export.

China and WA are in the same time zone, this is obviously an advantage for our cooperation. Quite a number of major companies from China's energy, mineral resources, steel and other sectors have investment projects in WA or have maintained long-term cooperative relations with WA businesses.

Meanwhile, WA's agriculture, education, tourism, infrastructure and real estate have attracted more and more Chinese private investment. With the rise of Chinese market for high-quality food, WA's dairy products, beef and lamb, wine and rock lobsters are increasingly popular among Chinese consumers.

Next month, Premier Mark McGowen will be leading a delegation of education and tourism to visit Zhejiang and Shanghai. We welcome the Premier and his delegation to China, and I wish them a great success.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Chinese Consulate General in Perth will continue to work together with all our friends in WA to further promote and strengthen our cooperation. Looking forward, we have full confidence in the mutual beneficial cooperation between China and WA.

Now I'd like to propose a toast

To the relations between China and WA,

And to the health of everyone present here,

Cheers!

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