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Statement by Consul General Dong Zhihua at the "Chinese Anzac" Exhibition Reception

Dr. Eric Tan AM, Chairman of the WA Chinese Historical Society,

Hon Pierre Yang MLC, Member for South Metropolitan,

Mr. Ding Shao Ping, President of Chung Wah Association,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very glad to join you at today's Chinese Anzac Exhibition Reception. As part of the Perth Chung Wah Cultural Festival, the exhibition was initiated by the Museum of Chinese Australian History in Melbourne for the Centenary Commemoration of the Great War and is the first public exhibition organized by the newly established Western Australia Chinese Historical Society. On behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Perth, I wish this exhibition and the Perth Chung Wah Cultural Festival a complete success.

I was told that the first Chinese immigrant who called Western Australia home was a Chinese carpenter named Moon Chow, who came and settled down in Fremantle in 1829. Ever since then, Chinese Australians in WA have constantly grown in size and improved their living conditions through honest and hard work. Together with other ethnic groups, the Chinese community has made outstanding contribution to the development and prosperity of Western Australia.

Chinese Australians have also gained acknowledgment and respect in Australian multicultural society by actively participating in the construction and national defense of Australia as their beloved motherland. There were at least 213 Chinese-Australians who enlisted in World War I, and potentially many more in World War II. Those brave young men fought shoulder to shoulder with fellow compatriots on battlefields afar. The Chinese Australian soldiers' blood and lives sacrificed to safeguard Australia as a young nation should never be overlooked and forgotten, and today's exhibition is part of the great efforts to tell the stories of Chinese Anzacs as part of the broader Australian wartime narrative.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is worth noting that, some of the Chinese Australian soldiers came from Western Australian, and their stories are on display today. The Chinese Anzac exhibition and related research are conducive to raising public awareness about the involvement and contribution in the two world wars by the Chinese community, in which each and every Chinese Australian can take pride in.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to Western Australian government and Chung Wah Association for making today's exhibition possible. And I wish Chinese Australians draw upon strength of those fearless Chinese Australian soldiers and work harder to make greater contribution to the development and prosperity of Western Australia.

Thank you!

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