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Remarks by Consul General Dong Zhihua at the Post Assumption Reception

Hon. Alannah Clohesy MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier, Representative of Premier

Hon.Petere Waton MLA, Speaker of Legislative Assembly

Mr. Colin Barnett, former Premier of Western Australia

Hon. Julie Bishop MP, former Minister for Foreign Affairs

Hon. Mrs. Liza Harvey, Leader of Opposition

Hon. Samantha Rowe MLC, Representative of Hon.Sue Ellery MLC, Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council

Mr. Ian Blayney MLA,Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

Mr. Tony Krsticevic MLA, Shadow Minister for Local Government; Heritage; Culture and the Arts; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

Mr. Sean Kimberley L'Estrange MLA,Shadow Minister for Health; Mental Health;Manager of Opposition Business

Mrs. Dewi Tobing, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia, Head of WA Consular Corps

Dr. Edward Zhang JP OAM,

Mr Sun Xiaoxuan, President of CCCA Perth Branch,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening!

It's a great pleasure for me to welcome you tonight. Thank you for attending my reception, and thank you for your warm support. I have been in Perth for over a month now, and have already met some of you. I am happy to see you again at my residence and meet new friends tonight.

I feel honored to be appointed as the 9th Chinese Consul-General to Perth. Many people reminded me how lucky I am to be assigned to Western Australia. Not only because it boasts of territorial vastness, natural beauty and mild climate, but also because it shares the same time zone and enjoys geographical proximity with China. Besides the above-mentioned visible elements, there are some key underlying factors that count.

The State government is supportive. During the past month, I attended the Perth Chun Wha Cultural Festival and the China Business Forum. I visited and met with the Governor, the Premier, the leader of the Opposition, Madam President and Mr. Speaker of the State Parliament as well as some important Ministers. Their goodwill towards China and Chinese people and the high expectations on our bilateral relationship have greatly impressed and inspired me. The one single message I got from them is to strengthen cooperation. In addition to traditional cooperation in the mining and resource sectors, the state government is keen on promoting tourism, education, cultural and people to people exchanges. Government commitment provides fundamental guarantee to a sound and strong bilateral relationship.

The business community is vibrant. The overarching theme of the China Business Forum was opportunity. It is the unanimous view of both government officials and the business community that China continues to offer a vast array of opportunities to Western Australia and local business, especially the SMEs. I wish to thank Mr. Adams Hadley, President of Australia China Business Council(ACBC) WA for the kind and generous support by him and his team. I am very proud that we have a growing Chinese Business community here, many members are present today, as represented by Mr. Sun Xiaoxun, president of China Chamber of Commerce in Australia(CCCA) Perth Branch. They get along well with local partners and have brought thousands of jobs and millions of Australian dollars of tax revenue to Western Australia. Economic cooperation remains a strong driving force for our bilateral relations.

The local Chinese community is flourishing. There are over 100 thousand ethnic Chinese living in Western Australia. They constitute an important part of the multicultural society and have won respect from all walks of life through hard and honest work. Their contribution is also recognized by the Australian government. One good example is Dr. Zhang Ye, who has just been awarded OAM last Monday. While keeping the essence of Chinese traditions, the Chinese community successfully integrate into the mainstream and genuinely love Australia-their host country. Many of them present today are loyal friends of the Chinese Consulate-General, who know each and every of my predecessors. Ethnic Chinese play an a unique and important role in enhancing friendship and mutual understanding between China and Australia. Stronger people-to-people ties provide the soil for our bilateral relations to thrive.

So, blessed with the above positives and standing on the shoulders of my predecessors, my job is relatively easy. Yet there remains a lot to be done, and allow me to quote Prime Minister Morrison, I will 'burn every single day' to live up to your expectations. My efforts will be mainly focused on the following areas.

First, to deepen mutual understanding. To help Australian people know more and better about China. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. The past 70 years constitutes a glorious history of enormous success in economic and social development and people's living standard has been greatly improved. We are now striving to achieve the Chinese Dream and the nearest goal is to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the year of 2020. A distinctive feature of the Chinese economy in the new era is the shift from rapid growth to high-quality development, from quantitative expansion to qualitative growth.

In face of the trade frictions that is going on, China remains committed to its own cause and will continue to deepen reform and opening up. China's door will not be closed, it will only open even wider. Disputes and conflicts on the trade and economic front need to be solved through dialogue and consultation. China is confident of achieving steady economic growth in spite of external adversities. China stands ready to join hands with Australia in upholding free trade and multilateralism.

Secondly, to enhance practical cooperation. Western Australia took the lead in building strong economic ties with China. We must keep up with the times and expand our cooperation beyond energy and resources. Our economies complement each other and there is great potential for cooperation in areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, clean energy, bio-pharmaceuticals, etc. We need to double our efforts in building platforms and cultivating environment to make things happen, so that we can attract more Chinese tourists, students and companies to Western Australia, while facilitating more Australian businesses to enter China.

Thirdly, to further our friendship. The most interesting part of my office is to fully embrace the wild west and enjoy life here. At the advice of the speaker and thanks to the kind invitation of the organizers, I have already watched a AFL game played by West Coast Eagles at Optum Stadium. I am looking forward to printing my footsteps on the land and meeting with people, visiting farms and mines, botanic gardens and museums, to getting to know Australian footies and wines, fauna and flora. Then I can collect enough knowledge to introduce Western Australia to China, and let more people know its beauty and attractions, as well as its warm and friendly people. I will continue to work hard to boost exchanges between local governments and to promote cooperation in education, culture and tourism. I will also make unremitting efforts to build a bridge of mutual understanding and amity between our people.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,

In a world of growing uncertainties and challenges, China is committed to forging a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. China stands ready to work together with all countries to build a community with a shared future for humanity, to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. Because we all live in the "Yellow Submarine". I hope that through pressing forward a comprehensive strategic partnership, China and Australia could set a good example in this regard. And Western Australia could again take the lead in this endeavor. I feel very lucky and proud to join you on this journey, which will ultimately lead to a better future for our two countries and peoples, and the region as a whole.

Thank you again for coming.

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