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Speech by Consul General Dong Zhihua at the Dinner Celebrating the 13th Anniversary of the Association of Australian Chinese Mainlanders and Friends

Hon. Peter Tinley, Minister of Asian Affairs,

Hon. Bill Marmion,Duty Leader of the Opposition,

Mr. Liang Xiao, President of Dahua Association,

Leaders of Associations from the Chinese Community,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Good evening,

I would like to extend my warm congratulations to the Association of Australian Chinese Mainlanders and Friends for its 13 Anniversary. As an association established by new immigrants from mainland China, Dahua's development and growing influence vividly demonstrates the increased linkage between modern China and WA over the past decade.

Over the years, new immigrants not only have brought in new ideas and perspectives to the local Chinese Community, but also new elements and imputus to the multicultural society of Western Australia. They have also brought in new dynamics into our bilateral relations, with the resources and relations from China. They have become an important force in contributing to China's reform and opening up, and in establishing stronger and closer political, economic, cultural ties as well as people-to-people exchanges between China and WA.

Minister Tinley, with the number of mainland Chinese immigrants keep rising, there are associations here in WA from more than a 20 provinces in China. They contain huge potential to open new channels of communication and create new platforms of cooperation, sometimes directly between WA and respective Chinese provinces and cities. I visited Guangdong Association last week and encouraged them to help explore the possibilities of establishing sister-city relations, and bring more people from their homeland to visit WA through tourist agencies.

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. The Chinese ethnic community is busy preparing for their joint celebrations to express their love and good wishes to their country of origin and Sino-Australia bilateral relations. The Chinese government always encourage and support overseas Chinese to integrate into the local community and contribute to multilateral society, while respecting the laws and traditions of their country of residence. The Chinese Consulate-General is dedicated to providing high quality Consular-service and render support and assistance in protecting their legitimate rights and interests.

It is our sincere hope that Dahua will join hands with other associations in building a harmonious Chinese community, and in setting a good model as responsible citizens in the local community and the multicultural society. You will continue to help build stronger ties between China and WA, through business and family connections, raising the visibility of Perth and WA to attract more Chinese to travel and invest here and buy more WA products and services. I hope you will also speak out and be more active in presenting a contemporary and real China to the Australian people, and help deepen mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples.


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