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Statement by Consul General Dong Zhihua at the Event Hosted by Chung Wah Association marking 190 Years of Chinese in Western Australia

(12 October 2019, Chung Wah Cultural Centra, Perth)

Mr. Ding Shaoping, President of Chung Wah Association,

Hon Pierre Yang MLC, Representing Premier Hon Mark McGowan MLA,

Hon Dr Mike Nahan, MLA, Representing Leader of the Opposition Ms Liza Harvey MLA,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to join you tonight in commemoration of the 190 Years of Chinese in Western Australia. Let me first of all thank President Ding Shaoping and members of Chung Wah Association for the leadership and efforts in organizing this special event. When we look back at the past 190 years since the first Chinese stepped down on the soil of Western Australia, so much has changed and so much remain unchanged. With the economic and social development of Western Australia, the Chinese community also flourishes with a total number of 140 thousand people of Chinese origin calling WA home.

Looking back at the 190 years, the Chinese community have written a successful story of integration. They endured hardships and discrimination on a foreign land and survived and thrived through hard work and perseverance. Today they excel in all walks of life as professors, teachers, lawyers, doctors, public servants and businessmen, and even politicians, like Pierre Yang. They won wide recognition and respect in the multicultural society and live in harmony with other ethnic groups.

Looking back at the past 190 years, the Chinese community have written a successful story of maintaining their distinctive cultural identity, and have left their marks on the outlook and social life of the city and state they are living in. From the Chinese resturants at North Bridge, to the Chinese new year parade which I am yet to see, and the first ever Perth Chung Wah Cultural Festival that I am lucky enough to attend, they keep many of their ethnic traditions and customs, and make WA culture and society more diverse and colorful.

Looking back at the past 190 years, the Chinese community has written a successful story of promoting friendship between the two great countries of Australia and China. They help enhance mutual understanding, promote practical cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, and contributed to the economic prosperity of our two countries during the past decades. Especially since China's reform and opening-up, more and more new immigrants from mainland China have come and settled down, building stronger ties between WA and their hometown in China.

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I must take this opportunity to pay tribute to Chung Wah Association for its contribution to the Chinese community when it celebrates its 110 anniversary. I was very touched visiting Chung Wah headquarters at North Bridge and attending activities of Chung Wah aged centre and Chinese schools in this building. Over the past 110 years, Chung Wah united the Chinese community and took good care of them, keeping the tradition of respecting the elders and caring for the young. Chung Wah played a central role in promoting traditional Chinese culture and safeguarding the rights and interests of the Chinese community. As the largest association with longest history in the WA Chinese community, Chung Wah is widely and highly respected as demonstrated today.

I wish to thank all the previous presidents and senior members of Chung Wah for their dedication and contribution. I wish to congratulate President Ding Shaoping for his remarkable contribution during the past 4 years. He has devoted whole-heartedly to Chung Wah and put in so much hard work and energy. We all owe him a big thank you and applause. It is my sincere hope that Chung Wah will keep up with times, remain young and vigorous and contribute to a even more prosperous future for the Chinese community in the 21st Century.

Last but not least, I thank the long-term support of the WA state government to the Chinese community. I wish the WA Chinese community success and prosperity. Let us join hands in building stronger Sino-WA ties to bring more benefits to the people of our two countries.

I thank you!

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