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Remarks by Consul-General Dr. Xu Jie at the Welcome Reception in Honour of Consul General Dr. Xu Jie and Madame Cao Ailan

On July 28, 2017, the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China hosted a welcome reception in honour of Dr. Xu Jie, Consul-General of the People's Republic of China in Brisbane, and his wife Ms. Cao Ailan. Dr. Xu delivered remarks at the reception and the full text reads as follows:

Honourable Mark Ryan MP, Representative of Premier, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services,
Mr. Tim Nicholls MP, Leader of the Opposition,
The Right Honourable Graham Quirk, Lord Mayor of Brisbane,
Members of Parliament, Councillors,
Consular Corps colleagues,
Representatives from Chinese communities, companies and university students in Queensland,
Distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening!

Thank you for joining us at this welcome reception, and allow me to express my sincere gratitude and high respect to all of you, for the unwavering support to China-Australia and China-Queensland friendship and cooperation.

It is the first time for me and my wife to step foot on Australia. However, we are no strangers to Queensland, as the cuddly koala, red phoenix trees, scenic Gold Coast, magnificent Great Barrier Reef and the mouth-watering beef steak are twice told in China. Arrived in winter, we were overwhelmed by warm greetings like a cozy spring. And during my calls and visits, I was deeply impressed by the friendliness to China and the high expectation to China-Queensland relations extended by all walks of life in Queensland and Brisbane, which fueled my confidence in future work.

Ladies and gentlemen,

China and Australia are both great nations in Asia and the Pacific region. In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Australia and attended the G20 summit held in Brisbane, lifting our relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership. The year of 2015 witnessed the official signing and implementation of China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, from which people of both sides have been rewarded with substantial benefits. In March this year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid an official visit to Australia, further advanced the bilateral relations. And this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Australia. I feel great honoured and shoulder great responsibilities when taking the post at this particular moment.

China-Queensland relationship is a very important pillar to China-Australia relations. Queensland, among all states of Australia, is geographically the closest to China. It is richly endowed by agreeable climate and resources of tourism, agriculture and mining. It is also a powerhouse of education, science and technology. In recent years, the cooperation between China and Queensland has gained remarkable progress. China has ranked the largest trading partner of Queensland for four consecutive years, and remains the largest destination of export and the largest source of import, tourists and international students.

Queensland attracts many overseas Chinese and Chinese Australian. They are hardworking and actively integrating into the mainstream society, and have made contributions to the economic and social development as well as the multicultural society. At the same time, they play an irreplaceable bridging or tying role in the communication and cooperation between China and Australia.

Readiness to converge with others makes a mountain high and a river mighty. The friendly and fruitful China-Queensland relations is the natural result of long-term support from Queensland administrations, parliaments and all circles of society including the local Chinese communities. I wish to take this opportunity to thank you all for the valued support and assistance given to Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Brisbane.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This year marks the 45th anniversary of China-Australia diplomatic relations and also the China-Australia Year of Tourism, a good time to learn from the past and look forward to the future. As the second largest economy in the world, China contributed 33.2% of global economic growth in 2016. In the first six months of this year, China's GDP increased by 6.9 percent year-on-year, and the national economy performed in a reasonable range with good momentum of steady growth. All of these bring more opportunities to other countries including Australia and lay a solid foundation to China-Australia cooperation.

This May, China successfully hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. Acting in the spirit of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the forum participants achieved fruitful outcomes in terms of boosting the connectivity of policies, infrastructure, trade, finance and people. Queensland by location is Australia's gateway to Asia, and a longtime supporter to connecting to the Belt and Road Initiative as well as a practitioner in relevant cooperation projects. Looking ahead, the potential for China-Queensland cooperation is significant.

In my new role, I will work together with my colleagues and all those who concern and support the China-Australia and China-Queensland friendship, to maintain a sound and steady growth of bilateral relations and to renew our achievements in the fields of economy and trade, science and technology, education, tourism and people-to-people exchanges. As always, we will continue to provide our best services to Chinese citizens, institutions and students in Queensland, encourage overseas Chinese to better integrate into local communities and make their contribution to China-Queensland friendship and cooperation.

To conclude my words, I would like to propose a toast,

To the prosperity of China and Australia,

To the friendship between our two peoples,

And to health and happiness of all guests.

Thank you!

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