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Statement by Ms. Dong Zhihua at the Welcoming Function of the West Australian Branch of the Australia China Friendship Society (ACFSWA)

Dear Nancy, President of the Australia China Friendship Society,

Dear members of the Australia China Friendship Society,

Dear friends,

I wish to thank West Australia Branch of Australia China Friendship Society for inviting me and my colleagues here today. Thank you for your warm welcome, I really appreciate it. The ACFSWA has been a long-time friend of the Chinese Consulate-General ever since the Consulate was established in 1994. In spite of the change of the Consul-Generals over the years, you have always been right here for us. So a big thank you! Not only on behalf of myself, but also my predecessors and colleagues.

Today as we gather here, 47 years have passed since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia. I am so touched to see those present today and many who cannot come, as Nancy mentioned, have been members of ACFS for decades. The ACFS played a leading role in lobbying support for the recognition of the PRC and the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. And no matter good times or bad in bilateral relations, you have all along been tirelessly promoting better understanding and friendship between our peoples. Time proves that you are the guardian of our bilateral relations and trustworthy friends of China.

Now the bilateral relations stands at a crossroads with the federal election just concluded. People wait to see which direction it will go, for better or for worse. Does China constitutes a threat to Australia? Is China interfering in your domestic politics? I believe most Australians would have their fair judgment and see the merit of mutually-beneficial cooperation rather than confrontation.

China's development contributed to Australia's 27 years of economic growth, and continue to offer a vast array of opportunities to the world and Australia. I hope that the ACFSWA will again be loud and clear in telling the truth and presenting the real picture, thus play a leading role in pushing our bilateral relations back to the sound track.

Dear friends,

As I stand here I am keenly aware how time flies and our gathering on this beautiful autumn day will fade into history in the form of one or two photos in your publications. I will value each and every moment in my current posting in Perth, and join hands with you on doing things practical that will strengthen our bilateral relations and benefit our peoples. The Chinese Consulate-General in Perth will continue to provide support to ACFSWA in its development and activities.

Last but not least, It's really a great pleasure for me to meet so many old friends of China. Long live China-Australia Friendship and best wishes to the ACFSWA and its members.

Thank you.

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